How "Optimize your Hard Drive" works? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 06-06-2012, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
LeandrodaFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 85
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
How does this work? Sometimes it runs fro 8 hours, some times it runs for 2 minutes and says it need to be optimized again. I just tought I could learn something from the physical and software point of view of what happens when optimizng the HD
LeandrodaFL is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 06-06-2012, 04:14 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,054
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked: 51
Your AVS name seems familiar: if I recall your old posts correctly you have a Pioneer 550 DVD/HDD recorder? If so, there really isn't any information out there about the manual "Optimize" and automatic "Repairing HDD" functions. Pioneer didn't provide much documentation in the service manuals, what little there is just repeats whats in the user manuals.

The "Repairing HDD" alert is really scary, esp because it tends to occur multiple times within a short period and then not reoccur for several weeks or months. I've noticed the unit will typically "repair" itself if I divide a title into several much smaller titles, and do some very tight edits to the segments. It will also go into repair mode upon restarting after a failed burn (defective disc or corrupt sector in the HDD file).

The "Optimize" function is alleged to activate automatically when the recorder detects a need for it, but I have never experienced this with any Pioneer recorder going back to 2003. "Optimize" seems to be strictly a manually invoked option. It carries significant risk of failing part way and destroying some or all of the videos on the HDD, so I would caution against using the feature just because its there or because you remember when it used to be necessary on old computer HDDs. Modern DVD/HDD recorders with modern HDDs have fairly sophisticated HDD mapping strategies with no particular need for optimizing.

The best way to keep your recorder HDD "in shape" is to use it evenly: don't keep recording and deleting over the same space constantly. Leave old recordings on the HDD until it gets about 90% full, then delete half the recordings, working your way up from the oldest. When the HDD gets full again, repeat the process. I try to do this at least once a year, so that I'm wearing down a different half of the HDD every few months. (Be sure to burn any desired old recordings to DVD promptly, the longer they sit on the HDD the more chance they will go corrupt and not HS copy to DVD properly).
CitiBear is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 06-06-2012, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
LeandrodaFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 85
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks just trying to better understand my machine. Its a Pioneer 640H-S.
LeandrodaFL is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 06-06-2012, 06:57 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Kelson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Delaware - The First State (USA)
Posts: 10,393
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 474 Post(s)
Liked: 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

The best way to keep your recorder HDD "in shape" is to use it evenly: don't keep recording and deleting over the same space constantly . . . . so that I'm wearing down a different half of the HDD every few months.
Bear, I'm not sure that actually applies to a HDD. The heads fly over the platter on an air cushion and never make contact with the surface to give it any wear. The magnetization curve and coercivity of the magnetic materials does not change from repeated read/writes. Perhaps you are thinking of something mechanical?

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

Kelson is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 06-06-2012, 07:05 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,054
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked: 51
Pioneer changed its machines radically beginning with the 640, so it has the same operating system as the followup 550 and 560 (only difference is the 640 was the last to use EIDE hard drives, the later models are SATA).

Unfortunately there just isn't any official info to fully explain how the "Optimize" feature of the 640-550-560 works, or to suggest when/how to use it. I can only give you my opinion based on personal use, which I posted earlier: optimizing isn't particularly necessary and can be dangerous if activated on a drive with corrupt sectors.

A "healthy" Pioneer HDD thats 60%-70% full should take about 90 to 160 mins to finish optimizing. If you are seeing completion times of 8 hours, you should probably avoid using the feature: either the aging HDD has too many errors to optimize efficiently, or the HDD is too full and doesn't have enough free space to permit effective optimization.

What is your usage pattern? Optimization might improve performance and reliability if your HDD is full of a great many short clips, or over 100 TV shows with the commercials edited out. But if you mostly use the HDD to timeshift (record>watch>erase) and don't leave edited videos on it long-term, there's nothing to be gained from optimizing.

I never optimize my own 540 and 640: they're too old, the risk of video loss during the process is not worth the (mostly theoretical) benefits. Pioneer has indicated its later models like the 640 automatically perform casual optimization as long as there is free space on the HDD, mostly this involves "collapsing" recently edited titles to avoid too many fragments. I suspect this might be what the scary "Repairing HDD" alert really means.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Bear, I'm not sure that actually applies to a HDD. The heads fly over the platter on an air cushion and never make contact with the surface to give it any wear. The magnetization curve and coercivity of the magnetic materials does not change from repeated read/writes. Perhaps you are thinking of something mechanical?

You're right, of course: I tend to think of it as "wear" but the true reasoning (suggested by Pioneer) is to spread the risk of a sector going bad by not repeatedly gambling on the same area of the HDD. If you alternate heavy use of different portions of the media, you reduce the risk of potential glitches. Pioneers will sometimes fail to HS copy a recording from HDD to DVD if the recording has a bad sector: you can load DVD after DVD and each will fail with a "Cannot Complete Copy" alert. Besides being inconvenient, this wastes a lot of DVDs until you realize what the issue is. I find it happens less now that I alternate my HDD usage areas. YMMV, in the long run neither optimizing nor my "system" amounts to much. Avoiding too many fragmented titles is helpful if the HDD is nearly full, the Catch-22 being a full disk is more difficult and dangerous to optimize.
CitiBear is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 06-06-2012, 08:01 PM
AVS Special Member
 
kjbawc's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Posts: 3,013
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I optimize the HDD on my 640 every once in a while. I usually wait until I get it down to less than 50% full. It often says it will take a few hours, but usually is complete in less than one hour. I've never lost anything from the HDD while doing this. Also, I note that the time remaining is the same after, as it was before.
kjbawc is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 06-07-2012, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
LeandrodaFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 85
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

What is your usage pattern? .

I actually have over 600 titles with lots of edited parts, like 90 edit points in some videos.

Having said that, dont panic....this was last week. I already stated backing to DVDs, and Im over 300 titles now....Im on a everything must go rage.

Out of curiosity, there is a sort of a bug that got me with my Pioneer 6 months ago wich was that the Recorder showed the HDD as full, even tough it wasnt. It was impossible to record new shows or perfomr new edits. Optimizing the HDD resolved this problem for me that time. If the HDD is too full to be optimized, deleting a lot of files also adress this issue, btw.
LeandrodaFL is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 06-07-2012, 11:20 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Sean Nelson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Vancouver BC, Canada
Posts: 3,309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Between my wife and I we have four Pioneer recorders (533, 633 and two 640's) which have seen heavy recording and editing usage over the past 5 to 7 years. To the best of my knowledge none of them have ever been optimized nor shown the "Disk Repair" message. One of the 640's had its hard drive fail, and the symptom of that was the "HDD ERR" message in the display when it was powered on. It was replaced under warranty about 4 years ago and it's been working fine since then.
Sean Nelson is online now  
post #9 of 9 Old 06-07-2012, 02:02 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,054
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked: 51
The 531, 533 and 633 Sean mentions all predate the 640 and use a slightly different OS under the similar interface. I can't recall ever seeing the "Repairing HDD" alert on any of my older Pioneers (510, 520, 531): they may not even have that system. And I don't think the pre-531 models offer the "Optimize" function as an everyday user option: I believe the 510 and 520 decide for themselves when they need to be optimized and then put up an alert asking your permission to do it.

"Repairing HDD" is not often seen on the 640 because of its more rugged EIDE connection, but the repair operation has been frequently reported by owners of the later models with SATA HDD connections (x50, x60, and Sony RDR-HX780). Whether this has to do with the higher incidence of SATA HDD issues vs EIDE, or because Pioneer changed the OS to repair itself more obviously, is unclear.

I've never had a title fail to HS copy to DVD when using a 510, 520, 531, or 640 because of minor unpredictable HDD issues, but it happens monthly with my current 450 and 560 Pioneers. The only "fix" for such corrupted titles is to format a VR mode DVD, dub the title from the HDD, erase the original from the HDD and dub it back from the VR copy. Then I can make a normal HS dub to finalized DVD. Apparently these units can patch over errors better using their proprietary VR format but choke when dubbing buggy titles to a normal "finalize-format" DVD. This makes me think the SATA models are inherently more HDD error-prone, so I'd steer clear of any unnecessary optimizing on those (and dub important videos to DVD promptly).
CitiBear is offline  
Reply DVD Recorders (Standard Def)

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off