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F.G.
October 18th, 2011, 02:10 PM
Hi,
so, I seem to compulsively re-partition and install lots of different distro's, I'm wondering if this is bad for the HDD or BIOS?

I got an Asus seashell 1005-px netbook last winter, and since then it's had Windows 7 starter, Ubuntu 10.04, Mint 11, Backtrack5, Ubuntu 10.10, Crunchbang, Ubuntu 11.10, Archbang, backtrack5-R and fedora (and possibly more) all installed on the HDD with various partitioning configurations, sometimes dual booting, sometimes not.

I know I should probably stick with VMs and Live cd's. and realize that this behavior is non-sensical and probably indicative of some psychological condition, however my main concern is that i may be damaging my kit.

so, what's the wear and tear from this kind of activity?

thanks for any advice.
f.g.

ashhab2010
October 18th, 2011, 02:18 PM
i dont think ther will be any peroblem..
i have gone through a similar experience( win xp ,ubuntu 9.10,ubuntu10.4, mint,vista,ubuntu 10.10,win7) they were always in dual boot.. my machine is 6 yrs & i hav had no problems with the hdd (always with the OS especially windows)... so i think you too shouldnt have problems.

collisionystm
October 18th, 2011, 02:20 PM
Hi,
so, I seem to compulsively re-partition and install lots of different distro's, I'm wondering if this is bad for the HDD or BIOS?

I got an Asus seashell 1005-px netbook last winter, and since then it's had Windows 7 starter, Ubuntu 10.04, Mint 11, Backtrack5, Ubuntu 10.10, Crunchbang, Ubuntu 11.10, Archbang, backtrack5-R and fedora (and possibly more) all installed on the HDD with various partitioning configurations, sometimes dual booting, sometimes not.

I know I should probably stick with VMs and Live cd's. and realize that this behavior is non-sensical and probably indicative of some psychological condition, however my main concern is that i may be damaging my kit.

so, what's the wear and tear from this kind of activity?

thanks for any advice.
f.g.

No?

I have re-installed over 50 times lol. Always trying different things. I hate using virtual sessions and dual boot. I like to feel like I am committing to something... although as you can guess... i have not!

F.G.
October 18th, 2011, 02:26 PM
thanks for your quick replies, that good to hear that it is probably OK.

so, collisionystem, each time I install it's going to be the final one, and my system will finally be perfectly setup, and this time I will be committed (who was it who said something about 'repeating the same behavior and expecting different outcomes'?). sounds like you're in the same boat.

collisionystm
October 18th, 2011, 02:34 PM
thanks for your quick replies, that good to hear that it is probably OK.

so, collisionystem, each time I install it's going to be the final one, and my system will finally be perfectly setup, and this time I will be committed (who was it who said something about 'repeating the same behavior and expecting different outcomes'?). sounds like you're in the same boat.

lol I am just never satisfied. Right now I am back on Win7 and it so refreshing to be able to use iTunes and upgrade my ipod properly.

I finally put a 2nd hard drive in my computer last week and just install linux on that.
I disconnect my windows hard drive when installing, when I am done i plug it back in. grub 2 automatically see's it. I no longer keep my windows drive in during installs become grub is like a virus that infects both drives during an installation.

collisionystm
October 18th, 2011, 02:35 PM
You know with Vmware Workstation, you can take control of a physical hard drive and install linux directly to it all from inside your windows session?

I have not tried it yet... but I am going to today.

finally no more rebooting to sit during an install.

F.G.
October 18th, 2011, 02:48 PM
Hmm that sounds interesting, VMWare Workstation is the non-free one isn't it (rather than VM player)? the question then remains how do you use the OS. presumably you can just plug in the hard disk to your machine and it will boot up.

mrgs
October 18th, 2011, 03:04 PM
I just wish that more people would do like you guys: Trying a number of distros before making a choice. Please promote the idea.

We could avoid half of the posts here if people investigated what is offered rather than forcing one particular distro to do all the tricks.

Bluesan
October 18th, 2011, 03:13 PM
I have a six year old Dell Inspiron at home, that I've reformatted, installed, and reinstalled so many times, my wife thinks I have OCD. I've never had a problem with the hard drive.

ballantony
October 18th, 2011, 03:28 PM
I have a six year old Dell Inspiron at home, that I've reformatted, installed, and reinstalled so many times, my wife thinks I have OCD. I've never had a problem with the hard drive.

Same here. Saying that, when looking at new distros I prefer to run them from USB sticks first. They usually install to the stick faster and it doesn't mean you have a machine taken out of action. Also, stick dropbox on them and you can still access your files

kurt18947
October 18th, 2011, 03:40 PM
I use a partition/bootmanager and can install as many OSs as I have room for. Each OS thinks it's the only one installed unless I give make other partitions available to it. It's not free; it has a crippled demo mode that beeps at you after 30 days. Google terabyteunlimited and you should find it. Their imaging software works pretty well too; I bought both years ago.

mick222
October 18th, 2011, 03:54 PM
Same here. Saying that, when looking at new distros I prefer to run them from USB sticks first. They usually install to the stick faster and it doesn't mean you have a machine taken out of action. Also, stick dropbox on them and you can still access your files

Agree Usb sticks are great to try out different distro's. I used to be a compulsive installer ( this is a bit like an AA meeting ,not that I've ever been) Doesn't seem to do any harm t. this thread makes me want to try Mandriva or Fedora again not seen them in a while.

Dragonbite
October 18th, 2011, 05:00 PM
Hi,
so, I seem to compulsively re-partition and install lots of different distro's, I'm wondering if this is bad for the HDD or BIOS?

I hope not, otherwise my systems should be due for a meltdown soon!
:lolflag:

I think there is such an astronomical number of read/writes a HDD is able to handle, while SSD have a smaller number. Other than that,

I don't see any issue and I don't think they touch the BIOS, but I can be wrong.

collisionystm
October 18th, 2011, 05:00 PM
Hmm that sounds interesting, VMWare Workstation is the non-free one isn't it (rather than VM player)? the question then remains how do you use the OS. presumably you can just plug in the hard disk to your machine and it will boot up.

Exactly.

collisionystm
October 18th, 2011, 05:01 PM
I just with that more people would do like you guys: Trying a number of distros before making a choice. Please promote the idea.

We could avoid half of the posts here if people investigated what is offered rather than forcing one particular distro to do all the tricks.


Much agreed. I am sure it would end this whole Unity outrage if people would TRY something lol.

collisionystm
October 18th, 2011, 05:03 PM
I hope not, otherwise my systems should be due for a meltdown soon!
:lolflag:

I think there is such an astronomical number of read/writes a HDD is able to handle, while SSD have a smaller number. Other than that,

I don't see any issue and I don't think they touch the BIOS, but I can be wrong.


They don't touch the bios. It takes special software with encrypted keys to unlock that. The CMOS is really the only thing you yourself can edit.

I think SSD's have a much longer lifetime than a mechanical hard drive. Last time I read about how many read and writes a simple usb thumb drive is capable of and it completely blew away a regular HDD. I am sure the SSD is the same way.

satanselbow
October 18th, 2011, 05:05 PM
I hope not, otherwise my systems should be due for a meltdown soon!
:lolflag:

I think there is such an astronomical number of read/writes a HDD is able to handle, while SSD have a smaller number. Other than that,

I don't see any issue and I don't think they touch the BIOS, but I can be wrong.

I do most of my "test installations" on a skanky old IDE HDD that was apparently manufactured in 1997 according to the drive label :o

Hasn't run out of writes yet :lol:

collisionystm
October 18th, 2011, 05:17 PM
I do most of my "test installations" on a skanky old IDE HDD that was apparently manufactured in 1997 according to the drive label :o

Hasn't run out of writes yet :lol:

That's pretty good! The rule of thumb among the guys that work in my industry is, If it has been going longer than 8 years, It will last forever.
Generally I am used to see hard drive failures around the 4 to 5 year mark. Although it seems that Dell computers seem to keep their hard drives alive the longest. ( at least the older models ).

wolfen69
October 18th, 2011, 05:20 PM
I think SSD's have a much longer lifetime than a mechanical hard drive. Last time I read about how many read and writes a simple usb thumb drive is capable of and it completely blew away a regular HDD. I am sure the SSD is the same way.

I'm sure the average person will get a new computer before the drive wears out. People worry unnecessarily about it. Plus, most ssd's have wear leveling that makes it virtually impossible to wear it out during normal usage.

mips
October 18th, 2011, 06:28 PM
F.G., you will burn out your flux capacitor!!!

vicshrike
October 18th, 2011, 07:57 PM
Just google the word "distro hopping", or check this:

http://crunchbanglinux.org/forums/topic/5729/distrohoppers-anonymous/

ekaspar
October 18th, 2011, 09:01 PM
I had doubts about multiple OS installations on an HD as well. Glad to hear it confirmed that it'll all be ok.
In my early days of experimenting with Linux I'd have about 8-9 different OS's on my 80 gig Dell HD. I liked Fedora and openSUSE about the best, but that was before I got hooked on Debian. Most of my friends and co-workers use Ubuntu and so I switched.
One bone I have to pick: when will Ubuntu just please give up with Unity? Classic gnome is hard to beat for productivity, and, importantly for me, customizability.

mips
October 18th, 2011, 09:13 PM
One bone I have to pick: when will Ubuntu just please give up with Unity? Classic gnome is hard to beat for productivity, and, importantly for me, customizability.

Never, they are committed to the end, whatever that might be. Try Gnome 3 which I find a bit better but still not my cup of tea and if that does not suite you go with Xubuntu, I'm happy with it.

collisionystm
October 18th, 2011, 09:19 PM
the Mint team is apparently going to bring a customized Gnome 3 to the table soon. It will be interesting to see how much better they can make it

wolfen69
October 18th, 2011, 09:52 PM
when will Ubuntu just please give up with Unity?

Ubuntu is not going to give up unity for something that's not going to be developed anymore. THE GNOME TEAM DECIDED TO MOVE ON WITH GNOME 3, NOT UBUNTU. Is it hard to understand? Besides, you can tweak G3 to act and look like G2. OK? Geez people.

Dragonbite
October 18th, 2011, 10:07 PM
Is this the same thread as started, or are we derailed into a Unity/Anti-Unity thread?

mrgs
October 18th, 2011, 10:34 PM
Yes, let's keep on track. Please take the Unity discussion in one of the treads in Recurring Discussions.

Erik1984
October 18th, 2011, 10:55 PM
At my parent's place there's a 12 year old Dell desktop (p3 500 MHz) that has seen Win98, XP, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, XP, Xubuntu, Bodhi and now Xubuntu 7.10 again. Drive has had different partitioning schemes also. That machine is still doing fine, still the same HD.

wolfen69
October 18th, 2011, 11:35 PM
Yes, let's keep on track. Please take the Unity discussion in one of the treads in Recurring Discussions.
Sorry that I contributed to the derailment, but it happens. But anyway, no I don't think it's bad to constantly install different OS's. Hardware is pretty sturdy these days. I used to try many different os's all the time, but now I have an ubuntu drive that get a reinstall every 6 months, another drive for trying the flavor of the month, and another for gaming/testing windows apps.

LinuxFan999
October 18th, 2011, 11:44 PM
You should be fine if you have a mechanical hard drive, but if you have an SSD, doing that will be very bad for it, because of the limited writes, and SSDs are unreliable anyway, and have far shorter lifetimes than Hard drives do. Don't ever buy an SSD.

KingYaba
October 19th, 2011, 05:20 AM
Nah, I install lots of things in Virtualbox to try 'em out. Poor time management is the only problem. :lolflag:

wolfen69
October 19th, 2011, 05:23 AM
You should be fine if you have a mechanical hard drive, but if you have an SSD, doing that will be very bad for it, because of the limited writes, and SSDs are unreliable anyway, and have far shorter lifetimes than Hard drives do. Don't ever buy an SSD.

Why are you spreading fud?

ubupirate
October 19th, 2011, 05:34 AM
Why are you spreading fud?

He isn't spreading fud? SSD have limited cycles, thus short lifespan compared to HDD which are made for 24/7 read/write and the lifespan can be virtually lifetime for average desktop user.

wolfen69
October 19th, 2011, 05:53 AM
He isn't spreading fud? SSD have limited cycles, thus short lifespan compared to HDD which are made for 24/7 read/write and the lifespan can be virtually lifetime for average desktop user.

I'm not going to argue with you. You obviously havn't done any research. Seriously, don't even bother.

F.G.
October 19th, 2011, 01:15 PM
F.G., you will burn out your flux capacitor!!!
that happened a while ago, and I've been stuck here ever since.

regarding SSD's i've heard about the read write limitations of then, and why you therefore shouldn't use them as swap partitions, however surely installing os's as frequently as phsyically possible would still not be in that ball park?

i mean disks are written to in the natural course of their daily use, is installing an OS significantly different?

(as I write this, having got bored of fedora, i'm installing #! on my netbook)

satanselbow
October 19th, 2011, 01:19 PM
Although it seems that Dell computers seem to keep their hard drives alive the longest. ( at least the older models ).

Funny enough it may well have started life in a Dell - with their buying power you would hope they get the pick of the crop!

Gremlinzzz
October 19th, 2011, 01:52 PM
Been doing it for 4 years with the same computer:popcorn:

computer hasn't complained:popcorn:

mrgs
October 19th, 2011, 02:28 PM
I'm not going to argue with you. You obviously havn't done any research. Seriously, don't even bother.

Please skip this tone. Such a statement does not convince anyone, but a selection of good references might.

'Less fighting and more working together'.

mips
October 19th, 2011, 03:36 PM
that happened a while ago, and I've been stuck here ever since.

Glad you got the joke :)



He isn't spreading fud? SSD have limited cycles, thus short lifespan compared to HDD which are made for 24/7 read/write and the lifespan can be virtually lifetime for average desktop user.

Current SSDs have a longer life expectancy than hard drives. There are no ifs or buts about it. If you need reference material I will go look for it and provide the links when I have time.

collisionystm
October 19th, 2011, 03:54 PM
Hopefully this clears some things up

http://elitepcbuilding.com/ssd-vs-hdd

olain
October 19th, 2011, 04:17 PM
I have lots of linuxes installed and can choose what linux is best for what I do. It is not bad for anything, in fact it is good to be able to test new things.

F.G.
October 19th, 2011, 04:53 PM
Hopefully this clears some things up

http://elitepcbuilding.com/ssd-vs-hdd
wow, if this is accurate, then there is no real downside to SSDs (as i'm sure cost and encryption capability will come down in time).

also from the sound of it they can handle enough reads/writes for it not really to be an issue, and they would be fine for use as a swap partition (assuming you don't mind if that bit of your disk only lasts 40 years).

collisionystm
October 19th, 2011, 05:16 PM
wow, if this is accurate, then there is no real downside to SSDs (as i'm sure cost and encryption capability will come down in time).

also from the sound of it they can handle enough reads/writes for it not really to be an issue, and they would be fine for use as a swap partition (assuming you don't mind if that bit of your disk only lasts 40 years).

Exactly. 40 years and no mechanical failures? I can handle that.

Mechanical drives, even with infinite read/writes still would never survive as long as an SSD.

So weighing in all factors, I think SSD takes the cake.

wolfen69
October 19th, 2011, 05:41 PM
Hopefully this clears some things up

http://elitepcbuilding.com/ssd-vs-hdd

Thank you for that. I have also read other similar articles. It seems there's not much to worry about. Btw, one of my less than a year old hard drives (mechanical) just died. Not even a year old!

mips
October 19th, 2011, 06:47 PM
wow, if this is accurate, then there is no real downside to SSDs (as i'm sure cost and encryption capability will come down in time).


Cost per megabyte is an issue.
Should you require data recovery services on a SSD expect to pay WAY MORE than a normal HDD.

cap10Ibraim
October 19th, 2011, 09:23 PM
I keep repartitioning my hard drive too (nearly 30 times in 3 years) , keep changing the OS but the hard disk always shows as healthy after tests
oh the last experience went terrible I tried FreeBSD but my Realtek driver wont work
so I went back to 10.04 !
I guess because i'm not hard formatting the hdd then no problem

zhogan85
October 20th, 2011, 06:55 PM
wow, if this is accurate, then there is no real downside to SSDs (as i'm sure cost and encryption capability will come down in time).

also from the sound of it they can handle enough reads/writes for it not really to be an issue, and they would be fine for use as a swap partition (assuming you don't mind if that bit of your disk only lasts 40 years).

Yeah, I've been excited about the potential of SSD's but for now, the price is still rather high, though it has come down drastically over the past couple of years. Give it 5 more years and they might even be the norm.

zhogan85
October 20th, 2011, 06:59 PM
I just wish that more people would do like you guys: Trying a number of distros before making a choice. Please promote the idea.

We could avoid half of the posts here if people investigated what is offered rather than forcing one particular distro to do all the tricks.

That's one of the beauties of linux, the seemingly endless amount of distros. I love trying new ones. I have a triple boot system, with two 20 gbs for my two main distros, and a third 20gb for the flavor-of-the-week distro as it were. All three share a data partition that takes up the remaining space on the hard drive.

satanselbow
October 20th, 2011, 07:21 PM
My name is satanselbow and i'm a distro addict... :popcorn: