[SATLUG] Bittorrent and Hard drive failure

Justin Burdette justin.burdette at gmail.com
Fri Jul 31 07:43:20 CDT 2009

On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 07:18, MK Davis Jr<gtmo321 at earthlink.net> wrote:
> 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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A side thought for backing up bookmarks...I've been using Xmarks
(formerly Foxmarks) to sync my Firefox/IE bookmarks across the various
computers I use, as well as my Firefox Portable on my flash drive.

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