Which power option would be best for my hard drive (longest lifespan wise)? I have read up on it and I have heard that letting your hard sleep or "powering down" and then "powering it back up" when it is needed puts more wear and tear on the drive. Is it better to leave the hard on constantly while your computer is running? or to let it power up and down? Thanks.
On a sample size of "one", it is impossible to tell.
Your particular drive might be the one that dies on the 853rd spin up process, or it might last for years.
The best way to protect against drive death? A comprehensive automated backup routine.
If the drive dies, it dies. You data is still safe.
If it is still under warranty...replace for free.
If it is outside of warranty, replace at your cost (with an SSD).
Often asked question, 10 people asked will give u 10 diff answers.
Me, DEPENDS on your usage. One of my boxes pretty much not doing anything when am at work, so maybe active 6 hours during evening, so I give It a sleep timer of 1 hour. So mostly on during eve, mostly off during day. I have a util running that tally this up on a log file, and this box HD can sleep/wake 1/2 dozen time each day. Now I do this because it bothers wasting electricity and extra heat (minimal) produce, u don't care any of that and drive longevity is your single target, I would not hesitate to tell you leave it on 24x7.