Can re-installing the OS too much shorten the life of the HD?

xolmusic

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 2, 2005
7
0
I just bought a used IMAC g5

Can re-installing the OS too many times on a imac g5 , add wear and tear to the HARDDRIVE?

also, when you erase and re-install your OS does it take from the amount of GIG space, versus just leaving it alone and deleteing all the files manually?
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
If by "too many times" you mean less than, say, 100, you shouldn't have any problems.

When purchasing a used computer, your best best is to do an erase and install of the OS, during which time you can select the installation options (such as languages, etc.) that you need. Most likely this will result in less disk space being used vs. more, depending upon how the system was originally installed.

Deleting system files manually is probably something you shouldn't be doing if you're not familiar with how everything works together.

Edit: I assume this is related to this thread?
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,398
3
I mean, yeah, but it's not worth worrying about. Maybe if you reformat 10 times a day...but how many times are you really going to do it...

You could argue that opening and closing your Macintosh HD could create more wear and tear on the HD than letting it sit.

On the iMac, you can replace the HD though, so if worst comes to worst, and it's out of warranty, you can just but a new one.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
xolmusic said:
Can re-installing the OS too many times on a imac g5 , add wear and tear to the HARDDRIVE?
Yes it adds wear and tear, but not in any amount that would make any real difference to you. I wouldn't worry about it.

xolmusic said:
also, when you erase and re-install your OS does it take from the amount of GIG space, versus just leaving it alone and deleteing all the files manually?
The space will be equal, no matter which one you do. But why do it the hard way (manually erasing all the files) when you can just erase the hard drive?
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,892
1,466
Palookaville
Reinstalling the OS even once is so unnecessary, it's difficult to conceive of reinstalling it so many times that your hard drive would be damaged.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
IJ Reilly said:
Reinstalling the OS even once is so unnecessary
Normally I would agree, but since this is a used system, I think he's better off wiping and reinstalling the OS.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
emw said:
I think he's better off wiping and reinstalling the OS.
I agree. Who knows what dingleberries are hanging on from the previous user? Best to start fresh and safe with a clean install.
 

EGT

macrumors 68000
Sep 4, 2003
1,605
1
What about erasing a drive? Do the security options "wear and tear" more than erasing the directory information?

I've always wondered about this. I know it's not like "Oh god, don't use secure erase other wise your disk will blow up ... etc"
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
Anything that requires more disk access will lead to more wear and tear. Secure erasing, which generally involved overwriting "blank" areas of the disk with a series of information, will always be more effort, and hence more wear and tear, than simply removing a directory entry and leaving the data on the drive.
 

EGT

macrumors 68000
Sep 4, 2003
1,605
1
Just to be safe, i'll travel 20 years into the future with my tardis and bring back a nano sized 120GB flash drive.

I wish :rolleyes:
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,892
1,466
Palookaville
emw said:
Normally I would agree, but since this is a used system, I think he's better off wiping and reinstalling the OS.
Sure. I'll go for that. But the questions was how many times is too much. Sounded like "clean installing, worst case scenario."