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j0j081
10-31-05, 03:14 PM
This is kinda a silly question but I'm jw does formatting your hard drives often wear them out? I have a test drive for playing around with various OS installs and it takes quite a beating in the process. On another note, I recently swapped out my Seagate drive for a spare Maxtor I had lying around and the Maxtor is soo much better it's unbelievable. I've heard bad things about Maxtor and reliability but contrary to the reviews I've read the Maxtor is quieter even faster than the Seagate making it a real winner (for now). I'm beginning to wonder if something was wrong with my Seagate cause it's meant to be a really good drive. The specs are virtually identical.

evilghost
10-31-05, 03:45 PM
No.

Rakeesh
10-31-05, 04:12 PM
Memory paging/swapping would wear out your hard disk long long LONG before formatting would.

PaiN
10-31-05, 06:40 PM
hehe If formatting wore out HDs I'd be broke :lol:

mx125race
10-31-05, 07:28 PM
hehe If formatting wore out HDs I'd be broke :lol:
i thoguht u were...(throwpc) .. just playin:D

j0j081
10-31-05, 09:02 PM
well yeah...but i'm not talking about formatting once a blue moon. what if you format it every couple weeks for a year straight? i figured their would be some negative effects besides loss of sleep.

rewt
10-31-05, 09:14 PM
Nope. Formatting is only writing do the disk, specifically partition structure and file system information. It would no more damage the disk than if you edited and saved a text file once a day.

OldOfEvil
10-31-05, 09:16 PM
Myth #1 : Formatting a hard disk too many times will cause it to fail.

Truth : To put it shortly, formatting your hard disk will NOT reduce its lifespan. Yes, formatting is popularly thought to reduce hard disk lifespan but that is nothing more than a myth.

Formatting is NOT a stressful event for the hard disk. The read/write heads do NOT touch the platter surface, so damage to the platter only occurs if there is any shock to the drive during operation. You can format your hard disk 20 times a day, every day and it will not be more likely to fail than any other drive.

The ARP Hard Disk Guide (http://www.rojakpot.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=84&pgno=0)

Very informative article..

rewt
10-31-05, 09:36 PM
Another myth that I didn't see mentioned in the article;

Myth : Formatting a hard disk causes permanent loss of all existing data on the disk.

Truth: While to a degree, it is possible to lose some data in the process of formatting, in all actuality none of the data is permanently erased. A formatted drive's contents can be recovered successfully most of the time by using data recovery software.

ViN86
10-31-05, 11:07 PM
well yeah...but i'm not talking about formatting once a blue moon. what if you format it every couple weeks for a year straight? i figured their would be some negative effects besides loss of sleep.
if you can enable SMART monitoring, just do that and check out the status with speed fan. it will let you know if all the measurable numbers are well within their respectable ranges. remember your drives (most if not all relatively new ones do) and motherboard (many do) must both support it.

wnd
11-01-05, 01:41 PM
I'm playing safe, I've never formatted a disk. ;-) On the other hand I have recreated the filesystem for Windos several times, one tenth of that for GNU/Linux. Anyway to answer your question: hard drives are designed for reading and writing. Creating the filesystem -- or formatting as you call it -- is nothing but yet another write operation.

Hooray, my 100th post!

Dazz
11-02-05, 02:18 AM
It can but it's rare, during a high level format and you quit during or the system reboots it can cause bad sectors on the drive so although it doesn't kill the drive it can damage it or so i have heard never tried it don't want to really i just use low level formats high level when i get a new drive.

pakotlar
11-02-05, 02:33 AM
not sure, but otoh the thing that most commonly fails in a hard disk is the read head. even excluding physical platter damage, the head wears out through repeated motion wear.

j0j081
11-02-05, 05:55 AM
okay cool. yeah both my drives support Smart Monitoring, at least that's what my bios says on startup. so i should use speed fan?

saturnotaku
11-02-05, 06:06 AM
A formatted drive's contents can be recovered successfully most of the time by using data recovery software.

Which is why sometimes I'll use KillDisk. It fdisks the drive, then writes junk to it so any data on there can't be recovered. The professional version of the software is US Department of Defense compliant. :eek:

http://www.killdisk.com/

Gnu_Raiz
11-02-05, 11:40 AM
:confused: The question that I think needs to be asked is why does M$ require us to format our disks so much? I can understand putting an OS to reformat. I just did a laptop that my brother inlaw used, put Kubuntu on it.

I see it as a M$ fault requiring us to defrag our hard drives, and reformat every so often, just to have a clean system.

I also think that is is important to define just what a reformat is, some people think that writing your partition table is a reformat. Some prefer a clean erase before a reformat, especially if you run windows.

What is going to be interesting in the next few years is drm, will you be allowed to erase a disk with drm, to make it non drm capable? Will the bios let me determine how and what drm I need? I think that some files will not be reformatable regardless of what tools I use. For instance the rumored windows only computer that will not allow a non drm OS to run on it.

All I can say is fun fun fun, the next few years will be full of these neat little jewels.

Gnu_Raiz

Dazz
11-02-05, 11:49 AM
writing partition table is a full format and erasing data is a low level format.

CaptNKILL
11-02-05, 12:24 PM
:confused: The question that I think needs to be asked is why does M$ require us to format our disks so much? I can understand putting an OS to reformat. I just did a laptop that my brother inlaw used, put Kubuntu on it.

I see it as a M$ fault requiring us to defrag our hard drives, and reformat every so often, just to have a clean system.

I've never seen a reformat required as a regular maintenance thing in a Windows based PC (however changing the screen resolution in some older versions of redhat caused me to have to reformat;)). Right now there are at least 3 computers at work here (PC repair shop) that have windows 98SE installs over 6 years old that work fine (they are here for hardware problems). The computers have been used for DOS and Windows gaming, surfing the internet, photo editing, music playing\downloading, chatting, email... you name it, they have been doing it for longer than most alternative operating systems have even been useable.

No one has reformatted any of them since 1999. Hell, this one next to me right now has 48Mb of RAM and a K6-2 333Mhz and it runs well enough to use DSL, despite having a windows install from mid 1999.

The only reason most people reformat (besides the people that download 5 gigs of spyware and viruses that destroy their OS) is to keep everything organized. I do regular maintenance on my system by defragging, uninstalling programs I no longer use and keeping my temps and registry clean so I dont see myself reformatting for a lonnggg time.

I dont know anything about Kubuntu (never heard of it) but it must be something really magical if it requires no maintenance to keep it "clean" while getting as much use as the average Windows PC.

Oh and the M$ dollar sign thing is clever... did you think that up? ;)

Gnu_Raiz
11-02-05, 12:31 PM
writing partition table is a full format and erasing data is a low level format.

I would take exception with the full format, writitng the partition table to me is not really a format. Its possible in Gnu/Linux to rewrite the partition table without touching the data in the partition. For example ext2 -> ext3 many people do it without data loss. Regardless I agree with you on the windows side of things, but I would never just write the partiton table in Windows without some sort of erase process, I never would trust the renaming of partitions to BillyG.

Gnu_Raiz

Gnu_Raiz
11-02-05, 12:51 PM
The only reason most people reformat (besides the people that download 5 gigs of spyware and viruses that destroy their OS) is to keep everything organized. I do regular maintenance on my system by defragging, uninstalling programs I no longer use and keeping my temps and registry clean so I dont see myself reformatting for a lonnggg time.

Oh and the M$ dollar sign thing is clever... did you think that up? ;)

Sure anyone can keep a computer running for years without updating, now try to update those computers with the latest drivers, and security patches!

Also its nice that you don't have to reformat but I and others have found it otherwise. For example everytime you install drivers, or updates did your register clearner software get everything? In may case if your a serious computer user you will reformat, in fact I know people who reformat every few months because they use their computer that much. Here is an example of a serious computer user that suggests just that.

This was found in the newbie section, quoted for clarity.

http://doom9.net/

Also: From my experience I'd say that at least every 3rd error that happens when somebody is ripping is due to a screwed up configuration. Even Windows2000 requires periodic reinstalls without prior deleting of every file associated with it (so in other words the c:\windows, or c:\winnt directory has to be erased completely). I've been in the PC business for 8 years now and in the old days I had to reinstall Windows 3.1 every 3 weeks or so and now with Windows2000/WinXP I'm up to about 2-3 months but I still do it. Some day something is bound to screw up your system. The more frequently you install software the more likely it is to happen. The more hardware you have into your PC the more frequently it's bound to happen.

So it seems that I am not the only one with this view, I am happy for all those users who do not have problems. But my experience is like the above, lets just say that I agree to disagree.

Gnu_Raiz

Rakeesh
11-02-05, 01:11 PM
:confused: The question that I think needs to be asked is why does M$ require us to format our disks so much? I can understand putting an OS to reformat. I just did a laptop that my brother inlaw used, put Kubuntu on it.

It isn't a requirement, just there are so many design flaws with windows that it kind of becomes a necessity.

Take the registry for example...that is a f*cking MESS. It is hard to tell what is what in there, and after a while it becomes so convoluted that the only way to clean it out is to just start over. And when it gets too big, that is your only recourse as after a while it begins to eat up too much memory. And no registry cleaner, anywhere, ever, can fully clean this sucker out. There are just too many unpredictable possibilities for where different programs can put things that the registry cleaner programmers will never think of.

And most programs can just arbitrarily stick files wherever they please, so it is also quite possible to lose track of what is what on the root filesystem as well.

Contrast to say *nix where each program stores its configuration data in your home directory (that way each individual user has their own profile) and each configuration file is even helpfully named as such to indicate what program it belongs to.

Not only that, but it is generally easier for more experienced *nix users to be able to tell exactly what file belongs where, and it isn't necessary to stick arbitrary files in the critical OS directories (e.g. /lib/modules, /etc/rc.d, etc)

AthlonXP1800
11-02-05, 02:03 PM
No Maxtor by default is the loudest hard drive. When I build my new system back in August and I sat beside the PC case and I can heard my PC whined loud caused my ear ringing like screaming baby. I hated it and it drove me nuts and gave me a huge headache, I spinned down the location and I realised it was the maxtor hard drive spinned very fast caused loud noise. I then researched Internet and found alots of people complainted about loud noise from maxtor hard drive, in fact maxtor is the loudest hard drive ever, Western Digital is the quieter hard drive and Seagate is the quietest hard drive ever. I found the workaround for the loud noise, I downloaded maxtor utility called amset.exe and changed the loud to /QUIET command programmed to the Maxtor firmware and thankfully it quite down. :rolleyes:

Next time I will not buy Maxtor and will instead buy Seagate for the quietest hard drive.

wnd
11-02-05, 03:48 PM
I dont know anything about Kubuntu (never heard of it) but it must be something really magical if it requires no maintenance to keep it "clean" while getting as much use as the average Windows PC.

Kubuntu is a "KDE-version" of Ubuntu, which is a derivate of Debian, which in this case, is one of the oldest GNU/Linux distributions (Debian also offers Hurd, NetBSD, and kFreeBSD). Debian, like most of Linux distributions, offers decent packaging system which takes care of installing and uninstalling packages. Unlike in Windows, packaging is handled by the operating system (base system, operating environment or whatever you want to call it). In case of Debian (and derivates), packaging system knows exactly which files were created at the installation time, so removing a package will clean up everything. There's nothing magical about keeping the system clean -- IMO it's quite the opposite.

As opposed to the operating system itself, applications -- I mean application _user_ data, i.e. user settings etc., are handled by the applications. This is where you encounter problems with several Linux and other open source applications (from now on I will speak about Linux for clarity's sake) too. Fortunately _most_ native Linux applications follow the simple rule of use file creation and put their stuff in ~/.appname and/or ~/.appnamerc. This means you can usually wipe the application data by running "rm -rf ~/.appname{,rc}" and have a clean start.

I started using PCs in 1999. I started with Windows 95 OSR2.5 (and occasional tries of Redhat 6.2), which I used to reinstall about every three months. In late 2000 I finally got a network connection, downloaded my copy of Debian GNU/Linux potato, installed from the CD. I never reinstalled that until September this month when I wanted a 64-bit OS. Until then I _copied_ -- never reinstalled -- my installation of Debian from hard disk to another for four times. I wonder in what kind of shape Windows 95 OSR 2.5 would have been after being used, tweaked and tried for five years by someone new to it. In my case, Debian GNU/Linux prevailed. It's still living on my hard drive, I can chroot it and run application in 32-bit environment should I wish to do so. It's nothing magical, all it takes is a clean design. Apparently Windows is still lacking that.

I've never seen a reformat required as a regular maintenance thing in a Windows based PC (however changing the screen resolution in some older versions of redhat caused me to have to reformat;)).

Excuse me, but I won't buy that. Reinstalling may have seemed the easiest way out, but that's like taking a car (aargh I hate these comparisons) back to the shop when you have a flat tire. On the other hand I had to reinstall my Windows XP when booting never passed "Windows logo on black background" -screen -- I wouldn't have a slightest idea what to do. I'm sure a certified Microsoft engineer (or whatever) would've known at least five different approaches to solve this us.

The only reason most people reformat (besides the people that download 5 gigs of spyware and viruses that destroy their OS) is to keep everything organized. I do regular maintenance on my system by defragging, uninstalling programs I no longer use and keeping my temps and registry clean so I dont see myself reformatting for a lonnggg time.

Having spyware installed without you knowing is an indication of unsafe configuration or bad design of the system -- or just user ignorance. Defragging is an operation which is only required for badly designed file systems such as FAT and its derivates. NTFS does significantly better, as do ext2/3 plus most of the filesystems available in Linux. I'm not saying NTFS, ext3 or Reiser4 are free of file fragmentation, I'm just saying that their design minimizes the need to defrag (or at leas tries to).

Edit: I think I'm a master of off-topic
Edit2: I think I won't bother to start blabbing about the difference of formatting a disk, modifying partition table, and creating a filesystem. Anyway, most people mean "create a filesystem" when they say "format" (as in "format c:").

CaptNKILL
11-02-05, 05:18 PM
Yeah, Windows deffinitely has its flaws (understatement), but I have tried a few different versions of linux and not had any luck at all. I wasnt lying about the Redhat resolution thing. I think it was Redhat 5.1 (it was from around 1998-99) and I was using it in a system that worked great with Windows 98 so I knew the system was ok. The screen was set to 640x480 by default but the desktop was enormous... it scrolled in all directions, it was probably 4 640x480 screens in one. I wanted to simply increase the resolution and I couldnt find any obvious place to do it in the GUI so I checked online to actually learn how to do it because I really wanted to try some kind of linux. I found out that I had to run this extremely overcomplicated setup program (xsetup maybe?... sshhh, I know I sound like a n00b :p) and I had to go through every step just to change the resolution. Now there may have been some easier way to do it somewhere, but in all the documents I looked through, this was the only way.

Anyway, long story short... 20 minutes later I finished going through all of the questions, avoiding anything that looked like it would screw anything up, I was back at the "desktop" and it looked fine. It was 1024x768. I had some nasty graphical glitches on the screen, so I decided to restart. Big mistake. When I booted back up it said something along the lines of "cannot load xwindows" (it was a lot more complicated than that, but thats basically what it said). I looked around for a bit (totaly frustrated I might add) to find a solution... the help screens were barely readable (apparently only Windows\DOS n00bs should need properly spaced text menus... these were horrible) and the online documentation was very limited as far as troubleshooting goes. I didnt really have any choice except to reinstall the operating system.

I've had a few more very sucktastic experiences with Linux operating systems since then and it just hasnt seemed to be worth the enormous pain in the ass to learn how to do simple tasks all over again (without breaking something).

For what its worth, Knoppix is amazing... I absolutely love it. Im sure its probably considered a n00b's linux because its easy to use, but its helped me out more than once over the past year.

One thing Im eagerly awaiting is NTFS read\write support for it... thats going to kick ass.

wnd
11-02-05, 06:42 PM
Windows deffinitely has its flaws

Every single system has flaws. Every single system also has their own reason to exist.

[Redhat 5.1] The screen was set to 640x480 by default but the desktop was enormous... it scrolled in all directions -- so I checked online to actually learn how to do it -- I found out that I had to run this extremely overcomplicated setup program (xsetup maybe?... sshhh, I know I sound like a n00b :p)

Just in case you alwasy wanted to know: you defined the desktop size to be larger than the screen resolution. I have desktop and screen resolution (dimensions, really) set to 1600*1200, but occasionally I zap to 800*600 when I'm playing something with a Famicom emulator or such. When I do this, I change the resolution, but not the desktop size. What you did was start the X server in resolution lower than the screen size.

xf86config isn't really one of the easiest configuration utlities. Nowasays, fortunately, you only have to run it once. That is, if the distribution installer won't do that for you. Don't worry about sounding like a n00b, I'm sure I do that when asking help for setting up Windows.

I was back at the "desktop" and it looked fine. -- so I decided to restart. Big mistake. When I booted back up it said something along the lines of "cannot load xwindows" -- I looked around for a bit (totaly frustrated I might add) to find a solution -- I didnt really have any choice except to reinstall the operating system.

I can't tell for sure what was the problem here, but I best guess is that one of the instructions you followed wasn't either written for RedHat, or was just flawed. Or maybe you changed the configuration file, but never restarted X. I really cannot tell, and I suppose it no longer matters. I can fully see why you felt like having no option but to reinstall -- like I said, that's how I felt when Windows didn't boot up after upgrading from x86 from AMD64. The question is which system you're familiar with.

I've had a few more very sucktastic experiences with Linux operating systems since then and it just hasnt seemed to be worth the enormous pain in the ass to learn how to do simple tasks all over again (without breaking something).

That's the point people tend to forget. "learn how to do simple tasks all over again". Thanks for bringing back my hope for human kind. :-)

When people try GNU/Linux applications and desktop environment, they tend to expect it to work exactly like the one they're already familiar with, be it Windows, Mac OS, or, say, CDE. I'm quite familiar with Debian GNU/Linux and FVMW2, but I'm sort of lost with Gnome, KDE, Windows, and any Mac OS. If you're familiar with Windows but cannot use Gnome, it doesn't mean Gnome is more difficult to use than Windows, it only means you're not familiar with. If you take someone who never used a computer before, do you think (s)he would know how to download and install some third-party SCSI-driver for Windows any more than for Linux?

On the other hand if you have this same person to start playing around with fully set Gnome or KDE desktop, Windows, or Mac OS, I'd expect him to do pretty much equal among the systems. One doesn't born with the knowledge to use Windows. It's a skill one must learn.

For what its worth, Knoppix is amazing... I absolutely love it. Im sure its probably considered a n00b's linux because its easy to use, but its helped me out more than once over the past year.

There's no reason to be called n00b for using desktop environment that's easy to use. I'm using custom configuration for FVWM2 and command line with no desktop environment at all only because I think it's easy and fast to use. Should this set-up be considered n00b's set-up?-) I think not. Besides, computers are supposed to make your life easier, not to make you feel incompetent.

One thing Im eagerly awaiting is NTFS read\write support for it... thats going to kick ass.

You probably know that NTFS read support have been around for ages, and write support have been alpha for almost as long. I think about a year ago someone came up with the idea to run WINE (and FUSE?) to mount NTFS partitions using NTFS driver "borrowed" from your Windows installation. Naturally this gives you fully-featured support for NTFS partitions. Personally I think using WINE for mounting a r/w filesystem is a Bad Idea(tm), but well, it's possible. :-)

BTW this is WAY off-topic. :-)