Monday, February 19, 2007

Hard drives: everything is wrong

I'm used to this sort of reversal from medical science, not computer hardware. Google research says we don't undersand hard drives all that well.

In brief:

1. They're much less heat sensitive than we thought. Once a drive is "mature" heat doesn't have much of an impact on lifespan.
2. After a drive emerges from its infant mortality period, it's not much affected by use. So contrary to everything I've ever written, there's no great need to spin down a USB attached drive.
3. If a drive is found to have any defects on initial testing, it is 10 times as likely to fail as a defect free drive. I'd read that Apple selects server drives by buying conventional drives and tossing out any that have defects. Makes sense. If you buy a new drive, and find a mapped-out defect (may need special software), maybe you should consider returning it ...

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