Does partitioning put more wear and tear on your hard drive?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by simX, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. simX macrumors 6502a

    simX

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    May 28, 2002
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    Bay Area, CA
    #1
    I'm interested in knowing if partitioning a drive can put your hard drive under undue wear and tear. I've been partitioning my hard drives ever since I got the original iMac, and I've never had a problem with the hard drives I've used. I actually recommend partitioning because that way you can use one as a repair drive, if needed.

    But my friend said that it could cause a 30% higher chance of the hard drive failing. (I have no idea from where he got this stat.) If that's true, I might rethink my decision to use partitioning.

    So is this true, or is the difference negligible?
     
  2. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

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    NJ
    #2
    don't think there will be any difference
    what do you mean by a repair drive? if the hard drive does break ALL partitions will be lost
     
  3. simX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    simX

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    #3
    As in, if the drive formatting gets mangled somehow and you can't boot up off that partition, you can always boot up off another partition and use TechTool Pro or DiskWarrior to repair it, without losing any data. You can't do this if you have a single partition -- you have to use some other hard drive or a repair CD.
     
  4. simX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    simX

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    #4
    Anybody have an answer to my original question?
     
  5. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    San Diego, CA
    #5
    I've never had any experiences in my tech work with hard drive failures attributable to partitioning. If a drive is going to fail, it's going to fail regardless of partitions.

    The only extra wear and tear I can think of is if the drive is reformatted and repartitioned often, but that's just a general usage issue.
     
  6. Versello macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #6
    Taken from a Maximum PC article:

    "Using multiple partitions reduces application performance because you are running I/O to more than one partition on the same disk..."

    Thus running I/O means more head movement and wear on the hardware components.
     
  7. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #7
    if anything I would think it would cause less wear and tear because it doesn't have to search through as much to find a given file.
     
  8. Stelliform macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    #8
    I think any benefit or degradation to the longevity of the drive would be miniscule. Like rower said, when the drives die, they die. I had roughly 6 drives fail this year. 5 had single partitions and 1 had multiple. 3 were the moving mechanisms and 3 were circuitry. (as far as I can tell.) And in all cases it was a failure that would render both partitions inaccessible. Multiple partitions would save you if you had a good backup on the second partition and you formatted or deleted your your main drive. But that wouldn't be due to hardware failure.

    Basically I go by this rule of thumb. Never trust a drive's reliability after 3 years or age. (no matter how little it has been run.) After two years of age on a drive make sure that you have good backups. After 3 years, if the data is very important, consider upgrading to a larger new drive. Then you get the extra space, and fresh hardware to wear out.
     
  9. simX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    simX

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
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    Bay Area, CA
    #9
    I don't see how this quote makes any sense at all. Why does multiple partitions automatically make you run I/O to more than one partition? Apps almost never reside on different partitions, and the only way you're accessing another partition is when you access a file on another partition. But when you do that, you would cause the same amount of wear and tear as you would as with only one partition, because you still have to access the file.

    Would you mind posting a link to the article or a more lengthy excerpt?
     

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