Peppermint OS

Support => Hardware => Topic started by: sskarma on September 29, 2015, 03:25:38 am

Title: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: sskarma on September 29, 2015, 03:25:38 am
Hi. I have assigned the following. partitions to my hard disk

Primary:ext4:11GB-Puppy Linux
Primary:ext4:30 GB - Peppermint
Primary:ext4:2.2 GB -swap
Primary:ext4:extended partition:115 GB
logical:ext4:20 GB
logical:ext4:95 GB

although rest of all partitions are permanent, I use the logical 20 GB partition frequently to experiment with new linux distros. it involves formatting before installation and formatting after removal. So whenever I got to have a hands on with a Linux distribution, I have to format it.

My question is: is it going to affect me HDD or probably ending it's life?

secondly, I upgraded my RAM yesterday and it is now 2 GB. should I recreate the partitions and now increase the swap size to 4 GB?
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk?
Post by: Slim.Fatz on September 29, 2015, 03:43:03 am
Hi sk_sarma,

No risk to your HDD in terms of life expectancy. As for your swap partition: it depends on how much RAM you typically require. There is no harm in expanding swap to 4 GB, but going beyond that is of little value for 99% of users.

Regards,

-- Slim
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk?
Post by: sskarma on September 29, 2015, 03:48:11 am
That comes as a relief :) I was worried that I was killing my HDD slowly. Thanks Slim.
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: PCNetSpec on September 29, 2015, 06:52:13 am
NO .. unlike an SSD, a HDD effectively has no limit to the amount of erase/write cycles.

There may be a limit, but your drive will die of other causes WAY before reaching it.
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: sskarma on September 29, 2015, 10:27:27 am
Thank you PCNetSpec. It's around 6 years old already. I still have my 80 GB HDD from a 2001 PC in tip-top condition. So I guess this one's not going to die any sooner too :P
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: scifidude79 on September 29, 2015, 10:32:22 am
That 80GB is living on borrowed time.  Most drives anymore fail after 3-5 years.  Though, they may have been made better 14 years ago.  Nowadays, electronics manufacturers make stuff so that intentionally craps out after a few years.   >:(
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: sskarma on September 29, 2015, 02:06:59 pm
Nowadays, electronics manufacturers make stuff so that intentionally craps out after a few years.   >:(

True. We used to have some really kick-ass stuff in the past. Now, increased demand=increased production=much lower quality
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: scifidude79 on September 29, 2015, 03:17:41 pm
Actually, it's just increased greed.  If your device works fine for 5+ or 10+ years, why would you upgrade to the next one?  If it breaks, or at least stops working correctly, then you'll be forced to upgrade.  So, they make it to fail after a certain amount of time.
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: sskarma on September 29, 2015, 08:15:00 pm
That's right. but I think that assembled PCs last more than cheap laptops because you yourself can choose the components. There are some brands who offer high spec laptops for a very low price. Most of the time, these laptops are crap. one of my colleagues bought a cheap Lenovo laptop and he had to buy a new Hard disk after 3 years. That's almost 25% of the price he paid for the laptop itself..
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: scifidude79 on September 29, 2015, 08:36:22 pm
I have a $350 ASUS laptop that runs fine, but I don't use it much.  However, my dad has a slightly older version that he uses every day and it works fine.  Mine is from 2012, his is from earlier, maybe 2011.  So, it really depends on exactly which cheapo components they use and, of course, things like how rough you are on your stuff and luck.

I build my own desktops these days but, even buying top rated components, you can still have failures after a certain amount of time.  Sometimes, it comes down to one tiny component or another breaking within the larger component.  I bought a 320GB HItachi HD in 2008 that was top rated and it's still going strong in my mom's computer and she's on the thing many hours a day.  Meanwhile, I'm on my second 1TB HD in my desktop, and I built it later.  The one that died early last year was also a top rated drive, but it only lasted about 3 years.  Sometimes, it's just the luck of the draw.
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: sskarma on September 29, 2015, 10:37:09 pm
A dead hard disk is like a heart attack to oneself. I've seen the horror people face when suddenly one day, their computer boots up extremely slow and the guy at the repair shop breaks up the news like "Congratulations! your hard disk's dead.". That's like two blows on the same day. the pain of losing important data and the pain of losing a lot of money. It sucks. Mankind has progressed so much in technology, yet we have failed to invent a 100% reliable indestructible personal storage medium
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: scifidude79 on September 29, 2015, 11:37:01 pm
If your hard drive ever starts making a pinging sound, you're screwed.  I've had that happen.  *Ping! Ping! Ping! Ka-Chunk!*  After Ka-Chunk, it won't work anymore.   :'(  I actually got lucky with my last drive failure.  It started "losing" files, which meant it was developing bad sectors and would be dying soon.  So, I stopped using the computer until I replaced the drive, so that I could mount it and copy my files over.
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: PCNetSpec on September 30, 2015, 01:53:08 am
If only it had gone *Plunk! Plunk! Plunk! Ka-Ching!* instead :)

I'm also sure there's a "Kerplunk" joke hidden in there somewhere.

Sorry it's a bit early here, and I'm obviously loosing my marbles.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpaOy8b8X6A
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: sskarma on September 30, 2015, 02:37:48 am
Wish there was an app or feature that would display a message on the screen like "ATTENTION USER! YOUR HARD DISK IS ABOUT TO BE DEAD SOON. PLEASE BACK UP YOUR DATA BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE" and then a little countdown will show up on the system tray showing how many days until it gets permanently damaged.
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: scifidude79 on September 30, 2015, 07:58:05 am
I'm obviously loosing my marbles.....

Join the club.  We have jackets.   :D
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: AndyInMokum on September 30, 2015, 08:20:27 am
Hi sk_sarma, how's it going?  Have you heard of Clonezilla?  It's a disk imaging programme, somewhat similar to Norton Ghost.  This is free though.  I use it as part of my backup regime.  It takes an image of your whole disk and compresses it and stores it on an external drive, server even myCloud.  You can flash the image onto a new drive, (as long as it's large enough to accommodate the image).  This way if your existing drive goes, "belly up", you only lose what was between Clonezilla backups. This can be made up with regular incremental backups of your home partition/folder with a standard backup like deja-dup/duplicity.  It's worth thinking about.  Here's Clonezilla's website: Clonezilla (http://clonezilla.org/).  You download the ISO file and flash it to a USB stick with the USB stick Formatter in the Peppermint Six menu.  This way you don't have to worry about disks dying and loosing valuable data  ;).
Title: Re: Can frequent partitioning/formatting damage a hard disk? [SOLVED]
Post by: sskarma on September 30, 2015, 09:21:38 am
Thank you AndyInMokum. I had never heard of Clonezilla before nor I was aware of such programs :) After I accidently deleted all my hard disk data a few months ago, I currently have just a few GBs of data now. I use my 16 GB memory card as backup. but I guess using cloudzilla is a much better option. thanks :)