Are you worried about HDD's Load_Cycle_Count?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hzxu, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. hzxu macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2008
    I just upgraded the HDD of my macbook pro 13", from a stock Hitachi 160G 5400RPM to a Hitachi 500GB 7200RPM, the HDD is fine, quiet(although a little bit noisier than previous one), cool and fast. As the previous HDD suffers from fast-increasing Load_Cycle_Count, I checked the new one using smartmontools(installed via MacPort), unsurprisingly it has the same problem.

    Here is what Load Cycle Count means from Wikipedia:
    Count of load/unload cycles into head landing zone position.[15]
    The typical lifetime rating for laptop (2.5-in) hard drives is 300,000 to 600,000 load cycles.[16] Some laptop drives are programmed to unload the heads whenever there has not been any activity for about five seconds.[17] Many Linux installations write to the file system a few times a minute in the background.[18] As a result, there may be 100 or more load cycles per hour, and the load cycle rating may be exceeded in less than a year.[19]

    Recall that for the previous HDD I used Hitachi's Feature Tool to reset its APM level to 192, and LCC merely increases, but a PC laptop is needed for doing this and I currently do not have a PC laptop, so I cannot do it for the new HDD. Then I searched on the internet and found this thread:
    Which mentions LCC is actually not related to the 600000 times count but start/stop count is, then I found:

    I found the HDD's webpage from Hitachi:

    There is a data sheet, that states:

    Load / Unload cycle 600,000

    Then I'm confused, is it the spin-up/spin-down time but use the same attribute name "Load / Unload cycle" which is equivalent to "Start/Stop Cycles" in SMART and SMART uses the same attribute name(LCC) for another attribute?

    Have you ever worried about your HDD?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Any platter-based drive is the same as any other, and will fail. Regardless of load cycle counts, brands, or any other similarily meaningless quantity drives are judged by, the only way to ensure against data loss is with backups.
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I think it's a waste of time to worry about such things as your load cycle count. HDs can fail at any time, from 2 cyles to 2 million. It's far more important to simply keep good backups of your system than to worry about cycle counts. HDs are meant to be used and cycle count is really just how the mfgrs specify the devices are expected to last.
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
  5. hzxu thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2008
    Yes I know I do not need to worry too much, but I am not overthinking the problem, there is a term called Predictive Failure(PF), and LCC is a factor for the analysis, usually if it is approaching 600000 or even over it, the HDD is about to fail at any time. Fast-increasing LCC makes the HDD face PF in less time, or lower LCC increments can make the HDD lasts longer before predictive failure.
  6. deeesea macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2010
    I think it's an unnecessary source of stress on you to constantly worry about load cycles and battery health.

    I get it, yeah we all spent 2 grand on a laptop and to a lot of us it's a big chunk of change, but honestly, we bought the thing to use it, not to put it on a pedestal and stare at it. It's similar to the rich man who buys a ferrari only to park it in his garage and stare at it and use it once in a blue moon. I really respect the frame of mind of an individual who buys a ferrari and uses it as a daily driver. Use it for what it's meant to be used as.

    Now I don't know about you guys, but I bought the laptop as a tool to get my work done at school. The laptop's a tool, it's there to do what you need to do to make money. Worrying about all this stuff isn't worth it. No matter how much you baby the computer it's still gonna be worth nothing in a few years.

    Just use it for what it's meant to do, keep a solid backup around, and if **** goes down just do what you need to do to get it back up and running.
  7. hzxu thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2008
    I fully understand, and I also think in this way, laptop is just a tool, however, the tool neither free nor cheap, and it is not permanent, it has a limited life time, if there is a tweak which can make it last longer, why do not take it?

    Here is the tweak:

    Download feature tool, burn it to a CD, install the HDD into a PC laptop, boot from the CD, then you will see the feature tool which has a function lets you adjust the APM(Advanced Power Management) level of the HDD, from 0(min) to 255(max), among the range, 192 is preferred as it does not sacrifice too much battery power and decrease the LCC by a huge amount, it also lowers the noise of HDD, as a bonus. I did this to my old Hitachi HDD and it works very well. But currently I do not have a PC for this so I use hdapm as an alternative.

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