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As we know, each hard drive counts its power-on count and power-on hours. Why these interesting values aren't counted also by mainboards?

It would be nice to look at all those old computers I have at home a see how many operating hours they achieved.

Or do at least Windows count it?

I know that there probably is some third party software to do that, but I don't consider it reliable, because during the long life of a computer I usually change the operating system and whole disk a few times.

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closed as not constructive by Xavierjazz, Indrek, Nifle, Mokubai, Canadian Luke Sep 8 '12 at 17:04

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2 Answers

Responding your main question:

Knowing for how long a motherboard was powered might be interesting to you, but it's ultimately a meaningless statistic.

However, the power-on hours of a hard drive are designed to estimate the mechanical wear and ultimately how likely it is that the hard drive will begin to fail shortly.

Also, your premise that all hard drives store this information is wrong. There are Hard drives that don't support S.M.A.R.T. at all, and even if they do, they don't have to count power-on hours.

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As we know, each hard drive counts its power-on count and power-on hours. Why these interesting values aren't counted also by mainboards?

Where would this information be stored exactly? The information you are asking about is stored in a cache within the physical hardware of the HDD. This information follows a semi-standard called S.M.A.R.T it is useful dianostic information.

It would be nice to look at all those old computers I have at home a see how many operating hours they achieved.

Unless the storage devices in question supported S.M.A.R.T this is not possible.

Or do at least Windows count it?

Most operating systems can only keep track of how long they were ran without a restart. You can figure out the lifetime of the system by finding the oldest file on the storage device.

I know that there probably is some third party software to do that, but I don't consider it reliable, because during the long life of a computer I usually change the operating system and whole disk a few times.

So even if the operating system tracked this information, it would be lost, because you would have wiped the information.

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"Where would this information be stored exactly?" - How about the same memory chip where the clock/calender and BIOS configuration data are stored? –  sawdust Sep 7 '12 at 18:25
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