Is formatting PC many times bad for the hard disk?

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Is formatting PC many times bad for the hard disk?

Postby Zorba on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:13 pm

I am a technophile and I format my PC many times to test Linux distros. Is that bad for my hard disk??? :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: Is formatting PC many times bad for the hard disk?

Postby jungle_boy on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:30 pm

Format the HD does not decrease the life of HD in any way, for being a part with internal mechanical elements has life estimated between 5 ~ 6 years, from this old HD loses his confidence to keep important data and must be replaced and can be used for data without importance.
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Re: Is formatting PC many times bad for the hard disk?

Postby Adelante on Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:02 am

I don't have the technical answer - but I do it often to no apparent bad effect.

Brahim wrote:I am a technophile and I format my PC many times to test Linux distros. Is that bad for my hard disk??? :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: Is formatting PC many times bad for the hard disk?

Postby eanfrid on Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:13 am

Formatting is only writing a few special bytes on your HDD. Is writing on your HDD harmful ? Certainly yes: you should not use it at all :D
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Re: Is formatting PC many times bad for the hard disk?

Postby Hiero2 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:53 am

No, formatting the hard disk is not bad for it. In some instances, I suppose it can even be argued that it could extend the life of the hard disk, at least theoretically.

Formatting is only doing a read/write action on the disk. The higher level of formatting, the more read/write action you would see. Theoretically, someone could argue that this does put wear on the read/write hardware, since that hardware is designed to work for some huge number, but a finite number, of cycles. So, compare it to a car. Let's say your car is designed to go 200,000 miles before the body has flexed so much it begins to fail from metal fatigue. It might fail sooner, but more likely will last longer. All that formatting is doing is using up about a mile out of that 200,000 miles. Not very significant in terms of wear, yes? The wear that you incur is so tiny, it is probably equivalent to no real wear.

Another tool - defragmentation - can even reduce long term wear, since it can reduce the distance the hardware travels to do a read/write action.
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Re: Is formatting PC many times bad for the hard disk?

Postby DrHu on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:26 pm

The RW (read/write) head does not touch the disk platter, so the electrical operation of reading and writing does not wear down the platter: ergo RW does not affect the platter physically
  • The hard drive is AOK to format/reformat read write as many times as you want
    --you only lose readability when the magnetic structure of the media (platter) gets reduced by many-many cycles..)
    --even then it can sometimes be refreshed enough to be useable via a program such as spinrite from Gibson research, enough to save your data before the hard drive truly gives up the ghost
  • Another trick for a failing hard drive is to freeze it for a while, say 1/2 an hour and then immediately read your data after boot and save it elsewhere

A bit 'bout formatting..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_form ... tting_(LLF)_of_hard_disks
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Re: Is formatting PC many times bad for the hard disk?

Postby Orbmiser on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:41 pm

Yep no problems. As last longer than most use before replacing with a larger newer drive.
My internal is at least 5 years old. And why the attention to backups to my external usb drives.

And yep the temporary Freezer trick has saved my customers data on more than one occasion.
And left them with an impression I was a "Miracle Worker". Tho used 1hr in the freezer in a sealed zip-lock.
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