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Old January 11th, 2010, 03:01 AM   #1
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Laptop drive durability, urban legend or true?

I've heard it said that laptop drives are actually far more durable than desktop drives. Seems counter intuitive, after all, a desktop drive is bigger, so it must be stronger right? But from personal experience, I have every brand of desktop drive fail, but not one laptop drive. So, is there something here? If so, should we be archiving on laptop drives?
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Old January 11th, 2010, 05:27 AM   #2
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Ive been working with user support and IT for many years and laptop drives break more often than desktop drives. Laptops have to withstand a tougher handling since they get moved around all the time. So maybe they are tougher built, but not enough to stand the everyday abuse in a briefcase.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Viktor Carlquist View Post
Ive been working with user support and IT for many years and laptop drives break more often than desktop drives. Laptops have to withstand a tougher handling since they get moved around all the time. So maybe they are tougher built, but not enough to stand the everyday abuse in a briefcase.
Thanks Viktor, that's what I'm driving at, that since they're built for abuse, they're actually built better. Suppose you were using them in a studio? As an external drive? Might they be the better solution for archiving?
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Old January 11th, 2010, 11:20 AM   #4
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Misguided assumptions.

First of all, they use the same technology. Sudden movements while the drive is spinning are never a good idea no matter what type of drive (except for soild state drives). This can cause the heads to hit the disc, ruining the drive. Laptop drives are probably designed with this in mind, and have fewer dics.

Drives that are actually designed to last longer are server hard drives. They rate their life by how many hours they're guaranteed to last. But here again this shouldn't have an impact on how you plan to use it, back up information, since the time spent spinning will be very little. Server drives need to be able to run 24/7 so the amount of hours of operation are long and thus are important and are constantly reading and writing data.

If you really are that concerned buy 2 hard drives and alternate them or better yet run them together in a mirror raid. This why corporations back up to different tape every night, that way if one tape fails they can go back to the day before. In addition, they run raid arrays in the server, if one drive fails no data is lost. Off site back up, in case of a fire, theft, etc. which are probably just as likely as a hardware failure.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 12:49 PM   #5
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If you want reliable external drives, put them together yourself, using an enclosure with a fan that bathes the drive generously with cool air, and a drive that run relatively cool in the first place (Hitachi drives tend to be a good choice).

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Old January 13th, 2010, 01:39 PM   #6
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Is it perhaps the fact that laptop drives are generally slower (e.g. 4500 or 5200rpm vs 7200rpm)?
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Old January 13th, 2010, 05:59 PM   #7
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Is it perhaps the fact that laptop drives are generally slower (e.g. 4500 or 5200rpm vs 7200rpm)?
They now offer 7200rpm laptop drives and 5400rpm desktop drives so that wouldn't be a factor. I think its more of a function of the platters inside being smaller in diameter and thus less prone to the forces of a drop. But thats speculation, it wouldn't be a good idea to drop either, and since this is for home backup, this type of durability wouldn't be a factor in the longevity of the drive.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 03:50 AM   #8
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This isn't the easiest subject to find information about, but from what I've seen on the SE's, laptop drives do indeed seem better suited as an archive solution.
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