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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Hard drive wear and tear?

    I ask this question based on extreme ignorance! I use several programs which each perform full scans of master and slave drives for viruses and spyware, each either daily or 3 times a week. Does this constant hard drive activity shorten the life of the drives?
    Many thanks
    Dianne

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Hard drive wear and tear?

    Dianne,
    Todays HDs are pretty rugged devices and are designed to last for quite a long time, however, I do kinda question the need to perform THAT many tests on a daily or weekly schedule.
    Perhaps other loungers feel differently but I run my tests only about once a week or so, unless I suspect there might be a problem. Then I run them all to see if they pick up something. I think you are going a little "overboard" with that frequent a schedule.
    BOB
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  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Hard drive wear and tear?

    Hi Bob,

    I run my spyware scans once a week too. With the permanent protection offered by NAV, SpywareBlaster and TeaTimer, adware/spyware doesn't have much chance anyway, so a weekly scan should be sufficient. Once every two weeks would probably be OK too.

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Hard drive wear and tear?

    I am not in the same camp here and I would urge all others to come to my camp.

    New viruses, worms, and Trojans are discovered at the rate of about 12 per day. Symantec, McAfee, AVG, and the other AV makers release updates as needed, often several a week. If you scan once a week, there is the potential for your systems to remain vulnerable for nearly a whole week.

    Using LiveUpdate is not enough as it is not real time, and it does not force a scan after updating to see if something sneaked in.

    Unless you changed the defaults and told your hard drives to shut down after a specified period of inactivity, they are spinning anyway. True, the head mechanisms are not bouncing all over the place, but if the computer is turned on, the drive motor is running and the platters are spinning.

    I leave my computers on 24/7. At 3:00 AM, every night, my systems look for new updates. At 3:30 AM, my systems go through a complete scan. If you attach to the Internet daily, I recommend you check for updates and scan daily too - at least with your AV app.

    Hard drives are actually quite reliable and normally will provide years of service. You should still be performing backups - at least of all your critical data.

    To ease the burden of your scans, I recommend you delete all your temporary Internet files and cookies frequently. There is no need to scan 1000s of temporary files - that will make it a little easier on your drives. Also, keeping your drives defragged (after purging Temp files) will help some too.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Hard drive wear and tear?

    I was talking about spyware scans, not virus scans. I haven't had a SINGLE new occurrence of spyware/adware for two years now. I keep running these scans religiously to be on the safe side.

    BTW Norton Anti-Virus LiveUpdate nowadays installs new signature files almost every day for me, sometimes twice a day - fully automatically.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Hard drive wear and tear?

    My Kaspersky updater checks every hour - I estimate we get between 18-20 definition updates per day!

  7. #7
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Hard drive wear and tear?

    First, Diane asked about scanning for viruses, as well as spyware, and how that impacts her drive's lifespan.

    Again, just because the AV program checks for new updates, does not mean it then goes back and scan to see if a new threat came in since the last update. You will be protected from that point on, but not if something came in since the last scan. The fact that Leif reports Kaspersky updates it's signature file that often only demonstrates the enormity of the problem. Why risk it? You can scan unattended. How much is the data on your drives worth? Mine's worth a lot more than a new drive.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

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  8. #8
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Hard drive wear and tear?

    When *I* was employed, my BATch file used to poll the Sophos website for new virus patterns every 20 minutes!

    But the frequency of new patterns varied between one a week to a few a day. They didn't consider "non-prevalent rubbish viruses" as urgent, and just left those to the monthly update.

    However, there is always the window of virus opportunity between "the time the virus appears on the internet" to "the installation on your PC(s) of the virus pattern just produced by the antivirus manufacturer". This can be hours or even days, depending on the difficulty of finding a fix. The only heuristics-based AV system I'd have any faith in is that used by MessageLabs...

    John
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