Hard Drives Spin Down/Spin Up

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Daddy, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Daddy

    Daddy Guest

    I'm a recent convert to the power savings options of my Studio XPS 8100
    desktop. Previously, everything was running all the time with no attempt
    to save power.

    Now that I'm employing power savings, I'm hearing something that I
    didn't notice before: the sound of my hard drives (2)spinning down and
    spinning up while I'm sitting at the computer, probably in accordance
    with my power settings.

    Is it okay for the hard drives to spin down and up frequently, or was I
    better off with leaving them running all the time? (P.S. I used to power
    down my computer every night; now it just goes to (S3) sleep.)

    Daddy, Feb 10, 2011
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  2. Daddy

    BillW50 Guest

    In Daddy typed on Thu, 10 Feb 2011 11:55:18 -0500:
    To answer that question, we need to know that make and model of the hard
    drive. Then look up the specs (if published). For example, the MTBF of
    the last hard drive I looked up had a MTBF for spin-ups was 50,000

    Say it does this about 5 times per hour and the computer runs for about
    12 hours a day. That would be like 833 days or about 2 1/4 years.
    Spinning up once a day, it would take about 137 years to hit 50,000

    MTBF isn't an exact science of course. Some can go longer and some less.
    But there is a little doubt that a lot of spin-ups per day will
    shortened the life of a hard drive significantly.
    BillW50, Feb 10, 2011
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  3. Hi!
    Schools of thought differ on this. My own take on it? Outside of
    laptops, just let the drives run steadily. If Windows is going to spin
    them up and down often, you might as well save the wear and tear. And
    believe me, Windows and all of the drivers, system services, programs
    and whatnot that you are running will request a spinup quite often.
    Other operating systems do behave a little differently in this regard.

    Spinup does stress the drive's electronics a bit more than just
    sitting there running (in particular, the servo driver for the spindle
    motor, which will have to supply more current to get the motor moving)
    and waiting for the next request. If a device is going to fail, it's
    more likely to fail when under more stress than normal.

    Putting your computer to sleep is fine, at the S3 level it won't be
    drawing much more power than it would be if it was simply "off".

    William R. Walsh, Feb 10, 2011
  4. Daddy

    who where Guest

    That's the essence of the answer.
    who where, Feb 11, 2011
  5. Daddy

    Daddy Guest

    Thanks to both of you. Think I'll adjust my power saving options.

    Daddy, Feb 15, 2011
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