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michael c

What % of HD capacity is pushing it?

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I thought I read somewhere that there was a certain percentage of capacity used on a drive that if exceeded, would make your hard drive more prone to errors or to fail. Is this true?

I have a 400 gig drive that is loaded with orchestral samples. I just need to read from the drive, not constantly write to it. What % should I try to stay under to keep the drive operating efficiently?

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If you are always reading and writing only, not deleting or moving or copying anything then there's no objections to fill the drive almost 100%.

Anyway this is not related to errors or drive failing. It's just to avoid multiple fragmentation causing some drop in general speed.

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I thought I read somewhere that there was a certain percentage of capacity used on a drive that if exceeded, would make your hard drive more prone to errors or to fail. Is this true?

I have a 400 gig drive that is loaded with orchestral samples. I just need to read from the drive, not constantly write to it. What % should I try to stay under to keep the drive operating efficiently?

While not utilizing more than 80% of a system's power supply would seem to have some basis for this statement, I don't believe that the same is true of hard drive storage. AFAIK, whether you utilize 8%, 80%, or even 100% will not affect your chances of drive failure.

Now, with that being said, what the duty cycle of the drive is, the environment the drive is in, the average temperature of the drive, and even how frequently data is being read or written will all have an affect of reliability, and is an entirely different issue from simply how much space you're using.

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There was prior to the Crash a thread on this subject.Seems that some hard drive utility programs need x-amount of free space to work as they should.On this subject I yield to those with more knowledge of the issue.

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There was prior to the Crash a thread on this subject.Seems that some hard drive utility programs need x-amount of free space to work as they should.On this subject I yield to those with more knowledge of the issue.

That's because you need free space to make a copy of the stuff you're trying to recover, and you're never writing to the same drive that you're recovering from anyways, so you need a second drive when you're recovering data from the first. Either a second physical one or a second partition (assuming this is simply a partition error and not a physical failure in the hard drive).

You can write a drive to almost all the way full pretty much. I think it's a waste if you don't. I have 225mb free on my Seagate 7200.10.

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I thought I read somewhere that there was a certain percentage of capacity used on a drive that if exceeded, would make your hard drive more prone to errors or to fail. Is this true?

No. You're either mis-remembering, or got your info from someone ignorant of the issues involved. There are various reasons why you don't want to completely fill up a file system, but that is only tangentially related to hard drives. Certain operations on certain file systems start getting very slow (or fail completely) when there isn't much (or any) free space left. It's even possible under certain circumstances to end up with a filesystem so full that one of the operations that fails is 'delete'. That's an exciting one.

That said, I've used quite a few different file systems (FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, HPFS, HFS, HFS+, ext2, ext3, xfs, etc), and done horrible things to many of them, without any problems. The short answer is: don't worry about it. The longer answer is: try to leave 5-20% of the file system free, depending on what you want to do with it. 5% should be fine for most things. Defraggers usually want closer to 20%. If you end up filling the drive, things might start to get slow, but nothing should break. And certainly the drive doesn't care one way or the other - its reliability is independent of how full it is.

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