View Full Version : constant hard drive usage
05-20-2003, 05:45 PM
Anybody know how long a hard drive can take this kind of abuse? I assume having SageTV read and write to the drive 24/7 will really lower its life expectancy. Have the SageTV guys done any formal testing of this kind of thing? I just bought a 120GB Maxtor to use with SageTV and the poor thing hasn't stopped working since I installed it 2 weeks ago!
Thanks for making a great product!
05-20-2003, 06:28 PM
I bought a couple of Western Digital drives for use with SageTV. I considered Maxtor but WD provides a 3 year warranty vs. 1 year for the Maxtor. If I get 3 years of constant use running SageTV I will be very happy.
05-20-2003, 07:41 PM
I've bought close to a terabyte of storage in the past 2 years. And I'm still using all of the disks I bought. There's one 60GB drive that's been recording for most of the past 17 months nonstop, and it's fine. I've got another pair of 60GBs that have been going for about a year now. Another few hundred gigs have been going straight for about 6 months now. No problems either. In all of our testing, a hard drive has never failed. But as you all know, they can fail. Consult your hard drive manufacturer for additional information on MTBFs.
05-21-2003, 01:39 AM
Also take into account that the hard disk isn't generally going full out like it does during software installs and boot up and starting a program/game or during a defrag or any number of other thing's people generally do on their pc's.
I have had times where my drive light is twinkling light a star in the night sky doing any of the aformentioned thing's but while recording a show in sleep mode the drive light just flashes briefly and goes dark for a few moments and flashes driefly again so while it is still doing work it's generally doing less at a time then if it were doing any of the other thing's.
And least we forget that tivo has the feature to do this kind of intellegent recording as well and they have been running in peoples homes for how many years now? And i haven't heard many people complaining of their drives dieing on them. My brother has used one for the last couple years and he hasn't had his drive die on him so i think for the most part it's pretty safe. Barring of course the occasional defective drive that would die even in a normal pc anyway.
Just make sure you buy a good drive with a nice warranty in the first place like the WD drives with the 3 year warranty that way if it die's (generally if a drive is going to die it does it in the first 2 years anyway) it should still be under warranty and replaceable. And if it does end up dieing after 4 or 5 years well given the speed at which drive size is increasing and the price dropping you might be able to buy a newer drive that's 1 tbyte for about the same price as a 200 gig today that's also alot faster.
Just saw the screensavers tonight where they talked about getting networks (over internet 2) speeds up to 10 gig and had the guy on who broke the 2.4 gig barrier tranfering tbyte size data on the human genome accross the ocean. And he was talking about how now they gotta make the drives faster to keep up with that kind of load. Also considering the entertainment industry is also working on newer storage medium that will be much bigger than a DVD 15 for making HDTV movies and HDTV means to get that kind of quality and still keep the record times up to 30 or 60+ hours we'll need bigger drives soon enough anyway.
Finally if you want to take some of the load off consider raid in stripping mode as it would split the work over 2 drives instead of one and that way both drive only have to work half as much as they otherwise would by themselves.
Just some things to mul over while your wondering about how long the drive may or may not last.
05-22-2003, 01:15 AM
The company I work for designs and builds video servers for TV stations.
We use 20 HDDs in each storage block and these beasts go 24/7 365 Days (TV stations never sleep!) and these get hammered FAR harder than a TiVo (tm) and the drives are lasting for years, and years and years.
I've got drives in my home PC that have been running for 5 years (24/7) and they get worked more than my SageMachine.
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