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I have recently been experimenting with power down options on my HD and have tried various options. I've put the HD to spin down after 3 minutes to prolong it's life and also reduce noise. However I am wondering now if that means that excessive spinning up and down could do more damage than leaving it to run all the time.


I have a 40Gb Maxtor 7200rpm ATA 100 HD.


Thanks for any help.


Martin


(p.s. Anyone know why some people recommened that power saving be completly turned off?)
 

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That's a good question. My guess is that it would. Maybe you want to set it to spin down after 30 mins or longer of nonuse? I have mine set for an hour.


A corollary question on this topic is "how do you get your case fans to shut off when you go into standby?" Do you need a particular kind of power supply or fan?


Kirby
 

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I am one of those supporters for turning off all forms of Power Conservation. The reasons are simple:


1) Excessive damage due to going into powersaving/out of powersaving quite often compared to that of running at a normal set pattern.


2) If your actual concern is about power usage, try unplugging your VCR,DVD, etc when not in use. These actually use far more electricity when off, then most pc's when on (The actual figure some scientists derived was based on actual time of pc use being 2-3 hours a day or something like that)


If you think about it. The most damaging time for your harddrive is onboot and when turned off. Also, damage may occur during cycle speed changes, excessive use, etc.. So, all in all... Your best bet is to leave your pc on most of the time, and no power saving features. Just letting the harddrive maintain a certain harmony.


Overall, I recommend turning off your pc when you do not intend to use it within 3 hours.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bschuler
These actually use far more electricity when off, then most pc's when on (The actual figure some scientists derived was based on actual time of pc use being 2-3 hours a day or something like that)
How come the scientist didn't talk to ME?? 2-3 hours a day. No way that is too little for me. :D My puter is on about 8 hours a day if not longer. Sometime leave it on 24/7 for a week at a time depending on what I am doing. hehe :)
 

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I agree with disabling alomost all power saving features. (even though I'm in CA)


as far as keeping it on most of the time. CPUs get very hot these days, as well as many of the other components in your computer. They were designed for high operating temps, but probably not designed to be turned off every couple of hours. HOT cold HOT cold.


Of course if you are going to run your system alot you need to make sure you have adequate cooling and your case temps aren't too high.


The HD power down thing could be very bad if you are playing back a DVD and perhaps your HD isn't used for a half hour. And then what?


Using standby and suspend and all these ususally only add to problems.


Just my opinion.
 

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How often have you seen a lightbulb fail when it's on? How often have you seen one fail when you switch it on/off? Equipment is much more likely to fail in a power up/down cycle than in 'normal' running.
 

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Hmm...Interesting discussion.


One thing that we should remember is that fans contain bearings that will eventually fail, and the failure mode of bearings AFAIK is nearly always due to the total number fo revolutions. I just had to replace a celeron CPU fan because of failure after 20 months of 24/7. The bearing hadn't completely shot, but wear was causing the fan to run non-true and that was causing enough friction to slow the fan down to the point where the CPU protection was kicking in.

Obviously you can't turn your HSF fan off whilst keeping your PC on, but I think that it is a good idea to set your bios to catch abnormally high CPU temps and initiate a shutdown, and also to check your fans periodically...


Another thing - hard drives are based on magnetic media. There are 3 ways to destroy magnetism - heat, vibration and alternating electromagnetic fields. IMHO, this is a good enough reason to spin the drive down after 1/2 hour of inactivity so that heat doesn't build up. It probably doesn't matter so much if you never run your PC for more than a couple of hours, but if it's 24/7...


I suppose my third point would be that most of the components in a PC become obsolete before they die - the notable exceptions are probably the 2 I mentioned above, so from that perspective, using power-saving features is probably a good idea.


I generally go for fairly long timeouts though - 30 minutes or more seems to avoid excessive cycling. Remember that the origins of these features was to save energy when monitors were left on overnight and to help prolong the lifespan of monitors, not to save small amounts of energy every time you stepped away for 5 minutes.
 
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