TechSpot

HD Temperature Rising

By delfofthebla
Sep 4, 2008
  1. About 5-7 months ago, I built a new PC for myself, and bought this as my HDD Western Digital Caviar SE16 even to this day I am not having any "problems" with the drive.

    Since day one I've had this computer, I've monitored all my PC's temperatures. The HD's temperature has been rising since I bought it, but nothing else has. It used to sit idle at about 25-26 degrees, and it eventually moved up to 27-29, 31-34, 36-38, and now it as at 38-40. These are IDLE temps mind you, and if I do anything at all, eventually the temperature rises to 41, or lately even 42, and it will not go back down. Even as I speak my HD is "idling" at 42 degrees.

    I've done a S.M.A.R.T. Scan using HDTune and Speedfan's built in tools. I have even scanned the entire HD with HDTune, no bad sectors, but it did say
    "your hard disk Power On Hours Count attribute current value (97) is below the normal range (98 - 100) reported for your specific hard disk model. Basically your hard disk was powered on for more than the maximum time the average user did. This means that either all of the reports collected are from hard disks that were not powered on for too long (this is realistic for recent models) or that your hard disk is becoming old. Usually this is not considered as a pre-failure advisory, but you should check whether you want to replace the hardware or keep an eye on its performances over time." I turn my computer off every day before I go to bed, and its a brand new hard drive, it should not be saying this.

    Even though there are no major errors, and no issues, I have had this HD for less than a year, and the temperature is rising at an alarming rate. Does anyone have any comments on this? I'm not sure if I should be worried, or if I should ignore it. Would it be best to prepare for a HD failure in the future, or am I safe?
     
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I feel you are overly concerned about this
    Many users purchase a new HardDrive and do not run tests on Heat and Drive tests, unless they suspect a fault. (ie Noisy, slow response, files being lost, so forth)
    Your drive is acting Normal under the conditions
    The Conditions: Left on for extended periods (actually Not exactly sure on this)
    Data being written to it everyday, consistantly adding up.

    You have not mentioned the percentage used?
    Or what programs run on it generally?
    The fragmentation of the HardDrive?
    The cooling inside the unknown case?
    The temperature where you are?
    The system CPU and including PageFile and Ram (possibly making the HardDrive work harder)
    The orientation of the HardDrive
    This list can go on and on

    It is best to check your HardDrive when or if it faults (Hopefully within warranty if it does, for your sake!)
    Otherwise nothing to worry about.
     
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    I also would not be concerned. Software readings of hardware temps are notoriously unreliable. The upward trend you are seeing is probably relavent if it has never dropped, but I still wouldn't put too much stock into it. On top of that, most of the temp data you read about and see online is "hyperparanoid", you can run hardware at much higher temps than what is "acceptable" according to what you mostly see online.

    Check your intake and outgoing fans for any obstructions, and use a thing of canned air to blow out any dust on your system (while its off).
     
  4. delfofthebla

    delfofthebla TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    The space left on the HD is 51%, and I have NO fragmented files. I defrag my PC every 2-3 days, because I do a lot of file downloading/deletion every day. I keep my room at about 73 degrees fahrenheit, with two large fans circulating air throughout the room. This is my case, and there is 120mm fan directly in front of the hard drive, which is located in the front of the case. I have 2gb's of RAM, and from what dxdiag tells me, 3938 pagefile. My CPU is a 2.40 ghz quad core, and I am running Windows XP 32 bit.

    I don't run too many programs at once, but I am a gamer. My HD usually heats up after playing any game, and will not cool back down even after I exit whatever it is I'm playing.
    The reason for my concern is the fact that I hear a lot about failing hard drives these days, and a rapidly increasing temperature seems like it would be the kind of thing to cause this.

    I just checked the fans about an hour ago, I have practically no dust in the case, let alone the fans, but I suppose I'll just take your word for it and hope for the best. Thanks for the replies
     
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I see you are trying to avoid or calculate any possible future fault
    Sadly the response is continue on as per Normal, and if you have an actual fault (as stated by your warranty) then you need to deal with it.

    There are some areas that you could help your HardDrive's performance and life.

    One:
    This is not all that good!
    Although you can use up to 95% of your HardDrive, I believe having (in your case) 250Gig of mostly data is a lot!
    Two:
    This is too often
    You are making the HardDrive use and wear of the platters and Head too much
    Three:
    Again too much wear on your HardDrive

    I believe we have found the cause for the gradual heating of your HardDrive
    You should always make external backups of all data
    Heavy usage of your HardDrive will lead to a reduced lifespan (likely past the warranty period though :( )
     
  6. delfofthebla

    delfofthebla TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    I bought this hard drive because I was planning to have a lot of data on it, kind of ridiculous that I would have to limit my hard drive usage to less than 50% just so It doesn't catch fire (not literally of course)

    I sure had this backwards, I always thought that it would be BETTER to defrag more often. I'll cut back, thanks.

    Honestly, I'd be perfectly fine if it was past the warranty period, if you did indeed mean past the 3 years of warrenty. Thanks for the help, and I suppose I'll start backing up my data, heh.
     
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Just to double up
    Yes what I said is correct
    I'll make one alteration, you can use up to 85% of your HardDrive. Past this point Defrag may not work.

    As for the above 50% issue
    I have debated this with other support members and lost :(
    But (I suspect similar to others) I have seen hundreds (many hundreds) of HardDrives fail, over decades of service (meaning my service, not the hdd). In my experience when a HardDrive is used above 50% of its capacity, the efficiency will deteriate more rapidly, than if it were under 50% used. This is noted by my experience only.
     
  8. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    If I remember correctly I thought that your hard drive was more likely to fail when it's cold then when it's warm. I could be mistaken of course but I'm sure I read that somewhere. The hard drive heating up is normal operation, cooling is good but you don't need all kinds of fancy hardware. My drives get pretty hot on the bottom but I've never had a problem. As far as fragmentation goes, I've had Windows XP installed on my 160GB IDE for over a year and I've never defragged it. All of my programs run just fine; the OS still starts relatively quickly. I think people get way too hyped about keeping their disks defragged and I for one can't even tell the difference when it's done.
     
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Your point on Defrag is reasonable. Not only that, but many Windows users haven't even heard of Defrag, it's certainly not done often (if ever) in business enviroments either.

    But, regarding Hot or Cold.
    The Colder the better :cool: (Not the other way around)
     
  10. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    Boy, heat is absolutely an overrated concern for most users. I even have people worrying about their network cables in hot server rooms. I tell them that if the computers are running, the cables will be, too. I am not sure at what temp the PVC jacket or boot on the cable will start to melt, but they will be having more problems to worry about than cables if that temperature is reached! Getting back to the topic, the temps that the original poster listed do not cause me any concerns, either.
     
  11. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Posts: 327   +13

    optimal hd temp:

    when those tech guys at google came out with that report about predictors of hd failure, the one valuable piece of data was the info on hd temp.

    low operating temp was assoc with failure, and high operating temp was assoc with failure.

    i believe in their environment, hds basically were never turned off.

    the optimal temp was right around 40 degrees celsius.

    so, i agree that a gradual increase in temp could be concerning, since it could indicate a developing problem.

    however, at this point, the temp has arrived from the lower end of optimal range ot the middle of optimal range. so, the current heat level, in and of itself, is not worrisome according to the best available evidence (with all respect to the techs who see many comps and hds coming and going every week).

    at less than $50 for a similar size hd, just add a 2nd hd internal. or go external.
     
  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,392   +107

    Degfrag programs like Disk Keepr and O&O Professional have auto sense features to trigger when a defrag is need to run on the drive. Drives can fail anytime. I just had to replace one last night for my nephew mom she called told me they hear a noise. I heard over the phone sure enough was the HDD. When I got there it was sure enough WD200, those seem to fail more than Maxtor did. Which I did replace it with and re-install the OS etc..
     
  13. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    My dad has a pretty ancient 30GB Seagate drive running Windows XP Home that still purrs like a kitten, good stuff.

    I have used Diskeeper Premium and Perfect Disk on my system before which seemed to do little in terms of drive performance. Both programs completely defragged my drives but I just could not see the difference. I know that Diskeeper has the "Frag Shield" feature that defragments files as they become fragmented but I think that seems worse for the drive. Having the program constantly monitor and access the disk is a bad thing imo; would probably cause the disk to fail more quickly.
     
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