Posts Tagged ‘hdd’

Are 5400 RPM drives more reliable than 7200 RPM drives?

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Bottom line, I don’t have an answer.  But, if I had to bet, I would bet yes.

I skimmed many of the top 10  pages that came up on a Google search and found a lot of hand-waving and very little actual data.  So, I decided to post my own theory here!

Even if there was data, it doesn’t matter.  The differences between various models of drives, or different factories, or different years from the same manufacturer, are probably larger than the difference from spindle rotation speed.  Every brand of hard drive has head crashes, and generally, it seems proportional to market share.  Every once in a while a company has a bad run, and it’s happened to almost all the brands at one time or another.

I decided to replace the crashed hard drive of my home “server” with a 5400 RPM Western Digital Green drive.

My theory is that almost all the components that go into a hard drive are designed and spec’d for 7200 RPM drives.  I can’t imagine a hard drive manufacturer producing parts that are only stable up to 5400 RPM.  The engineering and machinery costs are far higher than the price of the bits of metal and chemicals.  Thus, if the majority (or even all) of the parts are designed to run at a faster speed, running at a lower speed will generally be better for the drive life.

Besides, for this particular machine, speed isn’t that important, plus saving a few watts in power is an added benefit.

What do you think?


Windows 7 RAID-1 (Software Disk Mirror)

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Today, I learned more about Windows 7 and it’s built in software disk mirroring for hard drives than I ever wanted to know.

It’s virtually impossible to find this listed on an official page (I can’t find it), but Windows 7 Professional has software disk mirroring enabled. In previous versions of Windows, software disk redundancy was limited to the server class operating systems, e.g. Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2003, and Windows 2008. Although, IIRC, Windows NT4 Workstation had disk mirroring, but I’m too lazy to look that up.

I spent several minutes today trying to find an official page that listed software RAID as a feature… and failed. Then, before starting this post, I tried again, and still failed. There are several 3rd party sites that mention software RAID being enabled in Win7. In the end, I had to set it up myself to be satisfied that it was true.

No, dynamic disk mirrors are not really the same as RAID1, but it’s close enough for me, and better in some ways – it should be possible to move a Windows mirrored drive to a completely different motherboard, for instance.

BTW, be careful with the entry level Dell Vostro 230’s, they don’t include support for Intel Matrix Storage anymore! Yes, that’s how this whole exercise started.

P.S. I just noticed that this is blog post number 101!