Here's an interesting critique of the Google study:
Comment on linked paper: Saying that temperature and utilization
doesn't seem to affect disk life may be misguided; figures 3, 4, and 5
tell a more obvious story: ~20% of consumer drives failed in the first
year while used in a data center environment. -- Sub-20°C temperatures
indicate cold/hot aisle containment (forcing cold air through the
server racks), which is typical of data centers. Data center
environments tend to be associated with higher utilization; figure 3
shows a high correlation between disk utilization and failure rate.
Anyways, his suggestions are this:
There are a number of things that can extend the life of the disk:
- Maintain a stable temperature that is within the manufacturer's
specified range (typically 5-60°C); heating and cooling cycles put
stress on the disk
- Minimize rotation on axes parallel to the disk's platters (wears
out the spindle bearings)
- Minimize the number of spin-up and spin-down cycles (puts stress on
- Avoid shock and vibration that exceeds the manufacturer's
However, my personal philosophy is to hope for he best, plan for the
worst, and to not let a $50 component dictate how I use my laptop.
Instead, keep important data backed up, expect the disk to die within
2 years, replace the disk and battery when they die, and use the
machine in the way that makes me feel the most comfortable. --It's a
tool, not an investment!