[SATLUG] Bittorrent and Hard drive failure

MK Davis Jr gtmo321 at earthlink.net
Fri Jul 31 07:18:11 CDT 2009


Don Wright wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Jul 2009 15:00:10 -0500, 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. 
>>     
>
> Hmm, I expected more responses by now. Time to stir the anthill.
>
> Yes, a bittorrent transfer is one of the more stressful uses of a disk
> drive. Consumer-grade drives were built with the expectation that disk
> access would be infrequent and mostly sequential. Bittorrent transfers
> (which by definition are both client and server) involve a lot of random
> positioning and continuous operation for hours at a time. They are much
> more like a database with random requests from hundreds of users than a
> simple file download. 
>
> What can be done? 
> 1. Install more RAM. Linux can use spare system memory to make disk
> access faster and easier on the hardware.
> 2. Turn off unneeded options. Add noatime to the /etc/fstab entry for
> your data drive so every read of a file doesn't cause a write to the
> directory. (You _do_ have a separate data drive, yes?)
> 3. Keep it cool. Running a drive close to the maximum temperature
> aggravates the stress on its components.
> 4. Slow it down. Consider limiting the torrent bandwidth usage and
> number of connections. This will reduce the number of read/write
> requests per second, allowing the drive some breathing room.
> 5. Throw technology at it. RAID can spread the workload among multiple
> drives and reduce the chance of expensive data loss when a cheap drive
> fails.
> 6. Get a bigger truck. Perhaps you should be using server drives that
> are built, warranted, and priced for such heavy use.
>
> I like Bittorrent because it spreads the pain around. Unfortunately
> there's also more pain to be spread around.  --Don
>
>   
Thank you for your comments and suggestions.  I did manage to recover my 
most important data...must remember to backup bookmarks and address book.

Mike


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