Steven Vollom stevenvollom at sbcglobal.net
Wed May 13 00:28:52 UTC 2009

On Tuesday 12 May 2009 10:30:13 am Nils Kassube wrote:
> Steven Vollom wrote:
> > The only part I am not completely confident in doing is to set up the
> > OS and applications so that when data is saved it always
> > automatically goes to the storage partitions.  I don't want the boot
> > partition to contain any important savable data that can be placed on
> > drives that are not subject to application crashes and loss of data.
> With a separate home partition all your applications will save the data
> on that partition because they put the data somewhere in your home
> directory (unless you tell them something different). So there is no
> extra work necessary.
> > May I ask this?  I have never actually lost data due to a broken HDD.
> >  Are there any built-in warning mechanisms within HDD's that let you
> > know when they are about worn out?
> Some disks have the S.M.A.R.T. monitoring festure [1], but I wouldn't
> rely on it.
> > Do they fail, or break, without
> > warning?
> You never know before if it will fail. Some disks show errors before
> failure but it isn't necessarily so. Therefore it is always good to have
> backups.
> > How much of a concern should that be?  In 20+ years, I have
> > never had one break.  I have always just replaced them with bigger
> > drives.
> Same here, more or less. In ~20 years I had just one disk with problems.
> It was from a known to be bad series of Fujitsu disks. The electronics
> was faulty after about 2.5 years of operation (but it is working again
> now and I still use it for tests).
> > I can never be really sure, but I think this may be the last
> > expansion I will ever need for data, so wearing out the drives or
> > actual physical failure are what I am facing now.
> You will certainly need bigger disks in the future. When I started
> playing with Linux, my 170MB disk was quite big. Nowadays Kubuntu
> probably wouldn't even run with 170MB of RAM, let alone disk space.
> Think about it, who would have thought about storing many movies on a PC
> 10 years ago? There will always be new use cases of more and more disk
> space.
> Nils
> [1] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.>

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