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Is turning off hard disks harmful?

Is turning off hard disks harmful?

I set Windows 7 to turn off hard disks after 20 minutes of nonuse, which it does a really good job at - it seems to turn off individual hard disks that have been idle for 20 minutes exactly. When I access a drive that I haven't used in 20 minutes, I can hear it firing up and it takes a couple of seconds to access it.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 25
Total answers/comments: 4
Guest [Entry]

Google showed that heat has very little effect on hard drive life expectancy, despite anecdotal claims to the contrary. See this paper. The paper was by far the largest study on the subject. Note, though, that Google keeps their drives running 24/7, so there was no information on specifically whether turning off your hard drives was harmful, only that you don't need to worry so much about temperature.
Guest [Entry]

"My (totally anecdotal) experience has been that drives that spin down do reduce electrical consumption costs (and associated cooling), but fail marginally more often. I felt this was a bit of a loss overall for the environment, since I'm minutely saving electrical consumption at the cost of filling a landfill slightly faster.

It is hard to figure out precisely what is going on, since it is usually single-disk workstations which are the best candidate for stopping idle drives; however since they are single drives, the OS likes to go and touch things on it occasionally."
Guest [Entry]

"Turning on things make them peak in power consumption and it is unstable (the powerconsumptuin, for the time it starts up). Both this stress the the electronics (esp electromechanical things) a lot.

In the case of harddisks, constant heat ins't good either (especially desktop grade harddisks).

But as Yoooder mentioned what is the worse in exactly your case is hard to say.

Personally I rather have the disk on all time (unless on laptop with just battery), but afaik I don't got any heat problem (ofc harddisks get warm but thats normal)."
Guest [Entry]

The "spin down" or "power saving" mode for HDD's can be bad for certain SSD's, apparently: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/272075-32-sleep