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I download video files and convert them on my desktop computer 24/7. My 2 different 320GB hard drive failed. I think it was of too much stress on HDD.

I convert my files with ffmpeg. And get my files with multichunk transfer. Which may persist even with new HDD. I'm mostly sure that my newly bought HDDs failed because of video conversion and download which may cause too often access time.

My 2 HDDs are 2 and 3 years respectively. I started download and convert in 4 months ago and one is not be detected by BIOS. Other one has unrepairable sector in it. I don't think RAID 0 and 1 helps because I think it is having too much access.

I hope there is someone having identical problem like me. Please help with my cost savings!

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migrated from serverfault.com Mar 22 '11 at 6:54

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I have changed my PSU. But stopped the video conversion. No HDD dead yet. –  Ariunbayar Jun 23 '12 at 4:10

3 Answers 3

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In addition to all of what Slartibartfast said about heat and buying good drives, etc you should probably use one drive of your system for only the OS and install an SSD drive as your data drive where you do all of your file conversion. This way the SSD drive should hold up much longer on the conversions and if it does die, it doesn't take with it the rest of your system. You can just replace the data drive and keep on ripping, er "converting"

Of course you could do the same thing with a traditional drive, it just wouldn't have the higher MTBF as an SSD drive.

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I think DRAM based SSD is what I need. –  Ariunbayar Mar 22 '11 at 6:30
    
An SSD's predicted lifetime is shorter than a regular hard drive under heavy activity! –  JamesRyan Mar 22 '11 at 11:29
    
Not according to much of what I have read. MTBF for SSD drives can be up to 2 million as opposed to less than a million for a traditional drive. zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/7482 –  BoxerBucks Mar 22 '11 at 13:02
    
MTBF ratings released by the manufacturer are meaningless in practice. Especially since SSD wear is highly write dependant and HDD wear is spun up time dependant. We have not had enough time to really see a typical lifetime yet but manfacturers have mentioned 5 years under use of 100Gb writes a day. A system under heavy use will see significantly more than that. Additionally we have seen return rates of SSDs of upto 10%, on par with 2TB drives which are much higher than conventional disks of 1TB or less. –  JamesRyan Mar 22 '11 at 20:18

First suggestion, control heat and air-flow past the drives. No dust-bunnies.

Second, for some hard-core statistical investigation into drive failure causes, you can't do better than Google: http://labs.google.com/papers/disk_failures.pdf (It is a bit dry, but if you want likely causes, they have done all of the hard work)

Third, purchase drives with a long warranty. Manufacturers choose warranty periods that make them money. This will cost you more initially, but you may well get some reliability out of it.

Fourth, if you get frequent disk failures, use a redundant storage system so that you can tolerate failures. RAID1 doesn't prevent failures, it makes it so that you can tolerate them when they inevitably happen.

Fifth, if you get frequent disk failures, backup. A lot. If you think you're doing too many backups, consider how much it costs you in time and effort to recover from a disk failure, and compare that to the time and effort you are putting into backups. Then do another backup.

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Disks very rarely fail simply from a lot of use.

Check your PSU, if you regularly lose HDs then this is often the cause.

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