Wear and tear on hard drive--what about playing DVDs a lot?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Greenfeather, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. Greenfeather macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I recently had to replace my HD on my three-year-old iBook G4. The Apple Store employee said that using one's computer "day and night" definitely causes wear and tear on the HD. Guiltily I thought about my habit of falling asleep while playing movies on my laptop--sometimes very long DVDs, like complete seasons of shows, so the DVD is playing for several hours (after a day of regular laptop use, e.g., e-mail, creating docs., etc.)

    Do I have to forego the DVD habit or risk ruining my new HD? If DVD-playing does wear out the hard drive, er...how fast...?
     
  2. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    #2
    Are you playing the DVDs off the hard drive or the optical disk drive? It's the starting and stopping of a hard drive that can be harsh.
     
  3. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

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    #3
    wouldnt think so unless if its on the hd lik that guy said ^
     
  4. Greenfeather thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    DVDs and hard-drive wear and tear

    Not sure--I just stick the DVD into the side slot. I didn't know of a choice (playing DVD off hard drive or off the optical drive).

    On System Preferences, under "When you insert a video DVD," the choices are "Open DVD player [the default choice]," "Open other application," "Run script," and "Ignore." I don't know what the last three choices refer to.
     
  5. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #5
    I think he's talking about playing a DVD that you've ripped and stored on your HD.
     
  6. logana macrumors 65816

    logana

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    #6
    If you are using your optical drive to play dvd's then you are ore likely to wear out your optical drive than the hard drive.

    Anyway 3 or 4 years life for a hard drive is ok especially if you are using it all day.
     
  7. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    #7
    Yes I'm sorry, I was referring to that if you ripped the DVDs to your hard drive and played them from there. I didn't understand when you said playing a DVDs all night would damage your hard drive as the hdd doesn't get used while playing a DVD of the disc you inserted so no additional wear is on that drive.

    +1
     
  8. Greenfeather thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    DVDs, HD wear & tear

    Thanks, everyone. Yes, it must be the optical drive I'm using, since I haven't ripped any DVDs to the HD.

    Which brings up the natural question: how much wear and tear does playing DVDs for hours on end cause the optical drive? As I said, I do often fall asleep while playing complete-season DVDs, which can run for four or five hours straight.
     
  9. vniow macrumors G4

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    #9


    The Apple store employee gets a gold star from me for stating the blindly obvious. A mechanical object that spins at a minimum of 4200rpm day and night can wear out over time if its constantly used? This kid's brilliant!

    I don't think I would worry too much about wear on a DVD drive if you use it all the time. Mostly they're build pretty well and last a good while. The vast majority I see coming in to be repaired are not mechanical failures, but circuitry failures. That's not so much due to the wear, its due to ****** design. It will wear out eventually, but I would doubt it would in the useable life of the computer.
     
  10. Greenfeather thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Well, then, bring on the all-night DVDs! Eeeee-haaw!

    Okay! Thanks again, everyone.
     
  11. lost eden macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Protip: always buy Seagate hard drives which all come with 5-year warranties :)
     
  12. vniow macrumors G4

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    #12

    You're going to need that 5 year warranty after the thing fails on you year after year. Seagates suck.
     
  13. lost eden macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I would love to see you substantiate that claim. Anybody with half a clue & some experience knows that Seagate drives are amongst the most reliable drives available.
     
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #14
    Make your next computer a MacBook, and when the hard drive dies after three years (and you backed it up with time machine), you just buy a new one with three times the capacity, takes you ten minutes to put it in, restore from time machine, and you are good to go.

    Seriously, playing movies from the hard drive should be no problem. The hard drive rotates anyway, the drive head doesn't have to move much because it's just one big file. Copying a folder with 1000 files of 1 KByte each is more wear and tear for the hard drive than reading a complete DVD.
     
  15. vniow macrumors G4

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    #15
    Some experience? Before we go off on some mine is bigger than yours e-penis competition, I should tell you that I work in a Mac repair shop and see customers come in with failures on a daily basis. The brands I see more often than not are (in order) Toshiba, Seagate and Fujitsu. All drives nowadays seem to suck, but some suck far far worse than others. There's about 3 cardboard bins full of dead hard drives pulled from customer's machines and the VAST majority of them contain those brands. Seagates comprise of most of the SATA failures and Toshiba the ATAs. Some Seagate drives have a known flaw and while I see a lot of that kind in here, there seems to be multiple Seagate drives of multiple revisions scattered throughout our **** bin.

    Seagates may make decent desktop drives, but their laptop division has some catching up to do. I would advise staying away from them until a few other revisions.

    Please don't tell me that I don't have half a clue or don't have experience with these things. I deal with it on a (week)daily basis.
     
  16. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    #16
    Actually, an interesting side effect of your statement to buy Seagate drives for the warranty...why do you need such a long warranty if you have so much trust in Seagate? ;)

    Anyway, I think you guys are in a pointless argument. Hard drives will fail, it is purely a matter of time. How fast they fail can be a subjective thing (e.g. I find seagate and wd drives are fantastic but maxtor blows chunks, while the lovely vniow would disagree with the first part of my statement). The smart thing to do is have some sort of redundant backup system so when it does fail you're not royally ****ed. :D
     
  17. lost eden macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    The 5-year warranty is reassurance. Why do you think Seagate offer a 5-year warranty when other manufacturers only offer 1-year or 3-year? Because they know that the vast majority of their drives will last that long.
     
  18. myuserid08 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I think is could be the opposite, if you leave the macbook on it will keep parking the heads which will eventually kill the drive. My brand new replacement hitachi drive has already done 2000 cycles within a few days. If you leave it reading music/movies it wont park the heads, but if its dropped etc you could scratch the disk.
    Catch 22 situation!
     
  19. Ryuukumori macrumors 6502

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    #19
    I own a Seagate 320 GB External Pro for my desktop. It has not caused problems ever since I bought it a year ago. I had to reformat to FAT32 to be able to use it for my xbox 360. Other than that, it was, and still is, a good hard drive.
     
  20. Uoila macrumors member

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    Oct 20, 2007
    #20
    It doesn't matter

    Turning it on and off causes wear and tear also. I really don't agree with those who say that constant use will wear out a drive. There are drives that survive under load day in and day out. There are also drives (i.e. ipod drives) that survive in severe environments... cold, vibration, jogging. Its the same mechanical technology in both drives. In actuality there aren't that many parts of a drive that can "wear out" with fluid bearings and electromagnetic head operation.

    The difference between running it 24/7 and turning it on and off constantly is miniscule. If your drive did die it was probably just because thats when the drive would have failed anyways, not necessarily from "over use"
     
  21. lost eden macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I would tend to agree. Most laptop/iPod hard drives are killed by adverse handling (drops, knocks, etc.) rather than 'wearing out'.
     
  22. Adokimus macrumors 6502a

    Adokimus

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    #22
    Without being all high and mighty... I might point out that it's not the greenest way to live. I feel bad enough if I let the faucet run when I'm brushing my teeth, I couldn't imagine sleeping through entire seasons of TV shows every night. You're running your machine, the processor, the dvd drive, the screen, maybe the sound, the fans, etc. Every night.

    Just something to think about.
     
  23. lost eden macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Probably uses less power than running a hair dryer for 5 minutes. Got to put things in perspective.
     

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