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There are plenty of indexing services.

Windows wants to index. Google desktop wants to index. There is a crummy program that comes with Nero software that also tries to index your disk.

Whenever you leave your computer for a SECOND, they attack the hard disk with incredible tenacity.

I'm starting to grow concerned that running these indexing services is way expensive and ages my hard drives. Is this true?

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I don't think you could index your computer enough before you replace it because it has become too small – Ivo Flipse Aug 19 '09 at 16:37
up vote 5 down vote accepted

FWIW, Google, analyzing "more than one hundred thousand disk drives" in their datacenters found that there was "very little correlation between failure rates and either elevated temperature or activity levels." Source: Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population

I just shut off indexing and use Voidtools' Everything search. It indexes instantly and search is super fast since it just uses the NTFS MFT. If you need comprehensive, though, Google Desktop wins there.

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In my experience, it's best to just leave indexing services off, especially if you don't use them. If you do happen to need Google Desktop, make sure that it's the only indexing service enabled.

Unless you have hundreds of thousands to sort through (and even then, with a decent computer, the Windows search isn't that slow), I would disable all non-essential file indexers.

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There's certainly some disk based overhead that can cause computers that are already bottlenecked by disk speed to really become slow. As a rule, I remove/disable all index services. My thoughts are simple, I'd rather have faster performance all the time and slower performance when I search for things as opposed to the other way around.

As to putting wear/tear on your drives. It's clear that you'll be putting more use on your equipment by allowing indexing services to operate than if you did not allow them. However, as the previous poster suggested, I doubt you'd encounter a situation where the indexing would lead to drive failure before you were ready to make an upgrade anyhow.

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I tend to limit the Windows Indexing service to a minimum of dynamic
(where files get created, deleted) folders that I need to search through.

For static searching I typically use Locate32 (another reference).
I can decide when this index needs to be updated, and
Locate32 is fast and flexible too.

Other indexing services are turned off.
This was done after I identified the combination I use most
(other indexes are then useless or rarely used).

Suggest, you identify which indexing is really used by you and turn off the others.
I am more concerned about my system resource utilization when its in use today,
over the possibility of an early demise of my hdd (which of course is backed up).

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I wouldn't worry about it from a hard disk life perspective. Think about appliances like DVRs that write to hard discs almost 24/7 and still run until long after they're obsolete. You'll probably replace the machine before the hard disk fails, and as hyperslug noted Google has found that hard disks tend to fail whenever they fail, regardless of usage.

There is a performance hit, though. I'd cut it down to only the program that you use often indexing, and disable the others. I just leave it to Windows search.

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