Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
Ask
    poseidon's Avatar
    poseidon Posts: 243, Reputation: 54
    Full Member
     
    #1

    Mar 12, 2006, 04:57 AM
    Formatting HD
    Hi all,

    You may think this an odd question but I would be interested in the answer.

    Does the Hard Drive depreciate the more it is formatted?

    If so, does anyone have any idea about approximately how may formats are needed before it depreciates beyond use?

    Thanks in anticipation.

    Poseidon
    cajalat's Avatar
    cajalat Posts: 469, Reputation: 66
    Full Member
     
    #2

    Mar 12, 2006, 06:08 AM
    Absolutely in theory. But not for the reasons you may think. In practice HD ware and tear will result due to mechanical than electronic reasons. So "formatting" a drive has mechanical and electronic components to that function. The electronic component whereby you "erase" the data has far less ware and tear than the mechanical component of spinning the drive and moving the arm back and forth. So keeping that in mind, the spinning portion will happen at a constant rate regardless of whether you format. So that portion of formatting doesn't really add any more or less to the life of the drive. That part is driven by time alone. The other part is the arm movement. In normal operation the arm moves in a seemingly erratic pattern depending on what information is being read or written. During a format, the arm is less erratic in its movement and tends to move from cylinder to cylinder starting from one side and finally ending at the other end. Less movement of the arm contributes to longer life.

    Now having said all of that... you should format your drive constantly to get the most out of it :D (I'm kidding of course).

    Seriously though, what you should be looking at is the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) numbers of the drive, the reputation of the manufacturer, other people's experiences, etc. The HD manufacturers do extensive and rigorous tests on drives and come up with MTBF numbers that should give you a good starting point for comparison and life expectancy of your drive.

    Hope that helps.

    Casey
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member
     
    #3

    Mar 12, 2006, 06:09 AM
    Hi,
    Here is a link showing some pictures of the inside of a hard drive, showing the arms and heads, just one example:
    http://www.ntfs.com/hard-disk-basics.htm
    A hard drive is a mechanical device, and is subject to wear and tear. Just how long a hard drive will last is up in the air.
    Some years ago, I bought a new Gateway computer. The hard drive begin having unusual noises coming from it, and shortly after, (just 2 years old), stopped working. The replacement has been working great now for 4 years.
    Yes, the more it's formatted, the more the arms and heads work, and does cause some deterioration in the drive; as Defragging does also.
    The extent of the deterioration is up for different opinions. It's like driving a car. One driven 50,000 miles a year will normally, need repairs faster that one driven only 20,000 miles a year.
    jawsman's Avatar
    jawsman Posts: 3, Reputation: 2
    New Member
     
    #4

    Mar 12, 2006, 07:30 AM
    It shouldn't depreciate, but you will lose storage each time.
    cajalat's Avatar
    cajalat Posts: 469, Reputation: 66
    Full Member
     
    #5

    Mar 12, 2006, 07:36 AM
    Can you explain what you mean by that? How do you lose storage every time you format?
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #6

    Mar 12, 2006, 10:07 AM
    When you format a drive part of the process is to check for bad sectors. Bad sectors are areas of a drive that have have lost enough of their magnetic charge that they may no longer be stable enough to hold the positive or negative charge that corresponds to the 0s and 1s of the binary system. When that charge becomes unstable, the sector is marked as bad so it will not be used.

    Bad sectors are not uncommon. It is possible, that, in reformatting, you get some additional bad secotrs thereby reducing the amount of available space.
    cajalat's Avatar
    cajalat Posts: 469, Reputation: 66
    Full Member
     
    #7

    Mar 12, 2006, 10:30 AM
    Hi Scott,

    Sectors are indeed marked bad during a format IF there are bad sectors that happened from the last format (or ScanDisk or equiv). What I was questioning was the statement that "everytime" a format is done you lose storage.

    Casey
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #8

    Mar 12, 2006, 02:20 PM
    Casey,
    True, its unlikely to be every time. I was just explaining (and I knew you knew about bad sectors) why the amount of space MIGHT diminish.

Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions

 

Question Tools Search this Question
Search this Question:

Advanced Search

Add your answer here.


Check out some similar questions!

Formatting software [ 2 Answers ]

Hi, I have this old CPU, which I need to reformat. But it seems that my CD ROM is not that functioning. Please teach how can I format a hardisk with the use of Floopy disk drive, or can you please send me a website that can help me do this. Thank you very much. Br, Yolly;)

Formatting hardisk [ 3 Answers ]

Please help me on how to reformat hardisk in step by step procedure:(

Formatting Xp Pro Help [ 3 Answers ]

HI EVERYONE IAM NEW HERE AND WHAT A BONUS THIS SITE IS SOOOOO MUCH HELP FROM U ALL HERE,OK IAM HAVE BOUGHT A NEW PC A FEW MONTHS AGO AND CAUSE I DOWNLOAD A LOTA FILES/VIDEOS ECT I NEED TO FULLY FORMAT MY PC NOW MY MATE NORMALY COMES AND SORTS IT BUT HES MISSES Won't LET HIM DOWN TO MINE SO IAM...

Formatting and installing win xp [ 1 Answers ]

Hi does anyone know how to install win xp after formatting hard drive. I format using win 98 boot disk Which boots from A drive first but xp requires it to boot from the cd rom drive to install. Is there any way I can change the bios settings once I have formatted the drive So I can change it to...

Formatting a hardisk [ 3 Answers ]

:(I formatted a hardisk and followed the steps in formatting, I got a message after "pls wait while setup Initializes, scanning system registry... Windows setup requires 7340032 bytes available And it stops there. I got the same message for a new hardisk. What shall I do??


View more questions Search