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Thread: Should I be worried about using an old hard drive?

  1. #1
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    Should I be worried about using an old hard drive?

    Hi,

    I want to move over to Ubuntu from Mac OS X as I feel Ubuntu has got to the point where it can do everything I need. I have used Linux a long time ago (2004) but I've got no idea how worried I should be about using an old 320gb SATA hard drive with the current Ubuntu? Should I worry about files getting corrupted if my hard drive starts to fail? Obviously, I will have good backups too.

    I have checked the hard drive with the live cd and disks app, smart test shows everything to be ok.
    I have also ran badblocks -wvs from the live cd and that also shows no errors.

    I have a second old Seagate Barracuda 320gb IDE hard disk. Should I put that into the pc too and set up some kind of mirroring? The motherboard offers raid and I understand that software raid and LVM offer mirroring too. Do I bother doing any of these to avoid hassle later on or is it not necessary with the current file system?

    Many thanks,
    Matt


    ------
    3GHZ x4 AMD, 8GB RAM, GTX 970
    Last edited by matthorton2; October 26th, 2017 at 04:35 PM.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2008
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    Re: Should I be worried about using an old hard drive?

    Why not? Not being smart retort but if all seems to work I'd give a shot. There's people that buy used drives off of Ebay and they last them.If you are going to backup as you say then I'd go for it. I'm still running my old MS Windows XP media Center Edition 2005 Hp Paavilion a1440n on all original equipment.All I did was add a couple mem cards to bring it up to 4gb mem from the 2 it came with. Still running good.

    Should see the hell I cause when telling the spammers that call what kind of keyboard I'm using. Pees them off when I tell them I'm running Linux on the pc and using keyboard. Keep saying I lied to them.

    But knowing that there's people that go out on places like Ebay and get used stuff or from pc's that's being tossed and still using the stuff I'd say give it a shot.

    But see what others will say also. That's just my view on the subject.
    Debian Testing and Debian Stable
    Hp Pavilion a1440n,GeForce 7300LE,2.0GB mem,250GB HD. Asus A53S Laptop running MX-18
    Ubuntu user Number:#31469, Linux Registered number:511570

  3. #3
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    Re: Should I be worried about using an old hard drive?

    I would second what's already been posted. If you're not worried about failure, because you have backups, why not just suck it and see?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Land of fire and drought
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    Xubuntu

    Re: Should I be worried about using an old hard drive?

    Install Ubuntu, tweak it to how you like it then immediately clone the install before going any further so if the drive dies, you can install a new on and clone the backup to the new one and back to square one.

    If it's working, don't waste it. It still has some useful life. If you don't want to take the chance, give it to someone who will or think of the environment and recycle it, if you can do so in your part of the world.

    Working computer parts should never become landfill (and no computer parts should in the 21st century, but that's the world we live in and another story ...).
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; October 26th, 2017 at 05:15 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Should I be worried about using an old hard drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_Lucas View Post
    I would second what's already been posted. If you're not worried about failure, because you have backups, why not just suck it and see?
    What I'm worried about is a file becoming corrupt, me not noticing, and then one day finding that something doesn't work. It would mean having to find the problem file and then digging through backups to find a working version of it. If I can take steps now, to avoid hassle like this, I will.

    Is this something that happens with the current filesystem or am I worrying needlessly? Would setting up a mirrored drive prevent against this or would it be a waste of time?

    ...I think I read somewhere that bad blocks are automatically 'remapped' so that they are not used and no data is lost. Is this correct?
    Last edited by matthorton2; October 26th, 2017 at 05:40 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu Mate Development Release

    Re: Should I be worried about using an old hard drive?

    I would have to say loosing data can happen at any point on any machine, having a backup is always a smart thing to do

    I have a few older machine that have SATA hard drives in them and I don't worry at all about anything failing. Ubuntu works great out of the box, well at least for me when ever I do an installation so no worries there

    Give it a go and see how it runs

  7. #7
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    Re: Should I be worried about using an old hard drive?

    13 machines running. Oldest is a single core, 2 gig RAM, EIDE HD with a build date of 1996. Still going strong.

  8. #8
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    Re: Should I be worried about using an old hard drive?

    +1 Audodave

  9. #9
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    Re: Should I be worried about using an old hard drive?

    I still use a couple of very old IDE disks in a caddy as a backup destination.

    They both came out of old machines long since gone to the great computer-heaven, but these old disks still perform fine for the purpose for which I use them.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 18.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo --- Wireless-Info --- SolvedThreads

  10. #10
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    Apr 2014
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    Re: Should I be worried about using an old hard drive?

    Just because something is old doesn't mean it won't last, while new does not mean going to last either. Things fail and it's quite random. I'd use it till it dies. As you said, you have good backups. No sense throwing away a drive that very well could keep running for a few years yet.

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