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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Do hard drives run slow after time


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mr..nemo
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every windows pc ive ever had only lasts me about 2years, the only conclusion i can find is that its because i ram the hard drive with so much stuff, it this true? and can i prevent this with a mac by buying a bigger hard drive therfor putting less stress onto it?
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mynameis

 
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Simply having files on your hard drive won't make your system run slower. The percentage the hard drive is full doesn't affect performance. The problem really is that when you installed apps on a PC, they almost all want to have install a little program that runs in the background, so as you install more programs you keep having more and more things running in the background which really slow you down. OS X disk management is a bit better than Windows in that you won't have to defragment ever.
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MAC-simus

 
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thats true, but if you are still worried about the disk performance there are meny disk otimizers from alsoft. (in any case, OS X will optimize your disk after every install)
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Ex_PC_Puke
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biggest issue is that the appa and data become fragmented -- need to defrag every few months or so
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Avid6eek

 
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How much data you have on a drive does have an effect on performance. Assuming you have your drive defragmented, If you only have 10% of your drive full, the read/write head does not have to move very far to fetch all your data. If your disk is full, the head must swipe across the entire disk to try to find the data. The less movement, the lower the average seek times, and the quieter the HD will run.

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ocie
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hard drive performance degrades as you fill it up. the affects become more pronounced at aroun 10% free, 90% used.
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mr..nemo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avid6eek
How much data you have on a drive does have an effect on performance. Assuming you have your drive defragmented, If you only have 10% of your drive full, the read/write head does not have to move very far to fetch all your data. If your disk is full, the head must swipe across the entire disk to try to find the data. The less movement, the lower the average seek times, and the quieter the HD will run.

So in theory if i have 2 hard drives, 160bg and 250gb both are full about 30% the 250gb will run faster.... and if i had a 400bg that will run even faster
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Avid6eek

 
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Yes, if they were the same drives from the same product line. There are other things that make performance differences as well such as spindle speed, catch, NCQ, and interface (SATA vs SATAII).

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if hard drives got slower with the more stuff you put on them then they wouldnt make such big hard drives! The problem with pc's is the start-up items that accumulate over the years and their general unreliability means files are damaged over the years making them even more unreliable.

Macs are much better at managing hard drives, they use a better filesystem and have a better operating system. Disk defrags are constant and startup items are few, meaning the macs dont have the same problems as pc's
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Thud
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The problem is that all those bits are heavy. Put enough megabytes on a hard drive, and the drive has to spin slower because of the extra weight. Too much data means that some bits will be flung off the drive platters, corrupting data. This is why drives are enclosed in those metal cases-- to prevent potential injury from flying bits. The 0's don't hurt as bad but the 1's are like little splinters.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Sprout
if hard drives got slower with the more stuff you put on them then they wouldnt make such big hard drives!
A full 400GB HD would run at the same speed as a full 200GB as the read/write head must sweep the whole drive of both systems. As a HD fills up, it's performance does fall.

Whether or not a feature such as constant disk management makes an OS better is an opinion. Those nice little features may be what causes OS X to be sluggish compared to WinXP....too many things going on in the background. I would much rather have control of what my system is doing, and how it does it. This of course is only my personal preference.

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Hard Drives mainly get slow because of too much stuff on them. The less free space, the slower the performance. U should defrag the drive as well as check for spyware.



http://spybot.com

( spyware removal tool that works well)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thud
The problem is that all those bits are heavy. Put enough megabytes on a hard drive, and the drive has to spin slower because of the extra weight. Too much data means that some bits will be flung off the drive platters, corrupting data. This is why drives are enclosed in those metal cases-- to prevent potential injury from flying bits. The 0's don't hurt as bad but the 1's are like little splinters.
****... is that why my laptop rattles when shaked VERY vigorously?

I did notice the hard drive had packed up totally and, before fixing it with a hammer, thought that a **** good shake would work.

I'd better put my 250GB back-up drive in a steel box, just in case... :-))
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