[mythtv-users] Dvd archive setup

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Sun Mar 4 17:39:56 UTC 2007

On Mar 4, 2007, at 10:10 AM, Rod Smith wrote:

> On Sunday 04 March 2007 09:55, Mike Jacks wrote:
>> I have a front-end/back-end already setup. I'm wanting
>> to setup a back-end server to hold my dvd collection.
>> I don't want to have the box running all the time to
>> save the life of the hard drives.
> There's some debate about whether or not this would actually save  
> disk life;
> the stress of turning the disks on and off may be greater than the  
> stress of
> leaving them running 24/7. There were a couple of recent big  
> studies on disk
> life released, one from Google and one from another source (I don't  
> recall
> exactly who it was). I haven't studied either, I'm afraid, so I  
> don't know
> what, if anything, they say on this issue. You might want to look  
> into it,
> though.

In my experience drives usually fail at startup, what I like to call  
the "lightbulb effect". How many lightbulbs have you seen fail just  
as you turn them on, as opposed to just sitting there burning and  
they decide to fail? Of course if you just spindown the drive the  
control electronics is actually still running and you  do save motor/ 
bearing wear.

But spinning a drive all the time will generate more heat, and if you  
are not doing a good job of removing that heat the overall life of  
any electronics will decrease with an increase in temperature.

Then there are power consumption issues, and the extra heat from your  
PSU to run the drives.

All factors need to be taken into consideration, some of which are  
beyond your control.

But if all you want to do is hold video recordings magnetic hard  
drives might not be the best solution. HDDs are designed for  
relatively fast on-line random-access storage. What you seem to want  
to do might be better handled by a writable Blu-Ray drive or two,  
which spins up only when needed. There are other possibilities as  
well such as large flash storage arrays or even DVD changers.

Hard drives are relatively expensive and the traits you are paying  
for might not be needed for your particular application. 

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