[SATLUG] Bittorrent and Hard drive failure

John Pappas j at jvpappas.net
Wed Jul 29 20:11:10 CDT 2009

On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 15:00, MK Davis Jr <gtmo321 at earthlink.net> wrote:

> While doing  large bit torrent download, I've had two hard drives to fail
> during or within days thereof.  I've googled  and there appears to be some
> concern that a failure maybe caused by excessive  Hdrive usage. I have used
> Dban software, a disk wipe program, that read/write the Hdrive for hours
> with no failures. I wonder if any of you have had a similar experience.

Define "failure".  What are the symptoms that you are experiencing?  What
failure indicators are you seeing/using to diagose the problem?

I believe the bittorrent thing is coincidental, as most residential
broadband cannot saturate a HDD with data (PATA at ~40Mbps, SATA 3 at
70-90Mbps), there might be other activities that hit the HDD harder (use
iotop to see point-in-time stats, or the sysstat (sar) package to watch

If the spindles are near the same age, the probability of close failures
increase, but this depends on the definition of failure in this context.

I have had many spindle failures, but I am not sure what "similar
experience"  you are looking for.  If it is "running bittorrent and hard
drive fails" then no, I have not had those happen at the same time, but if
you are saying "running I/O intensive workload and drive failed" then yes.
Usualy, this is not on a desktop-class system, but heavy VMWare demo can
certainly push I/O, as can  multi-threaded video transcoding.

We need more information to properly diagnose (or at least rule out
coincidental occurrences).


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