[SOLVED] ISO vs smaller files, which one kills the HDD faster ?

knowledge2121

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I have dumped my PS3 games into game folders and I am storing them on an external hard drive..

Does keeping them as folders kill the HDD faster than converting the folder into ISO and then store the ISO on the HDD ?

The folder contains lots of smaller files whereas when converting them to ISO all of them become one file...

should I convert my games on the ex HDD to ISO now ? does it make any difference ?

wouldn't converting them to ISO now also degrade the HDD since the conversion input output is the ex HDD ?
 

knowledge2121

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My understanding is that when storing things as ISO, the HDD head doesn't move so much since it is only one file, but when there are little files here and the HDD head moves like crazy...

Isn't HDD head failure a common thing ?

Also, having a lot of smaller files could increase the chances of corrupting things.... no ?
 

USAFRet

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My understanding is that when storing things as ISO, the HDD head doesn't move so much since it is only one file, but when there are little files here and the HDD head moves like crazy...

Isn't HDD head failure a common thing ?
When you access that ISO, it unpacks it. The head will still move to access different portions.
And being a single ISO does not automatically mean it is all one big space.

head failure a common thing?
Well, no.
But drives do die. Some sooner rather than later.
Trying to prolong a drive lifespan by a particular construct of the files is a waste of time.
 

knowledge2121

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When you access that ISO, it unpacks it. The head will still move to access different portions.
And being a single ISO does not automatically mean it is all one big space.
The ISO is accessed by the PS3 on the internal PS3 drive, I just copy the ISO from the external to the PS3 internal drive..it still makes no difference ?

Also, having a lot of smaller files could increase the chances of corrupting things.... no ?
 

InvalidError

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ISOs are still collections of smaller files internally and with layered file systems, you have extra points of failure. Any failure of the native file system can corrupt your ISO and then you are screwed anyway.

The biggest difference between the two is that copying a single large file is faster since there is no need to create individual file system entries for a bunch of smaller files.

Modern PCs can have millions of small files on them yet corruption is seldom a thing besides drive failures and malware.
 

knowledge2121

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ISOs are still collections of smaller files internally and with layered file systems, you have extra points of failure. Any failure of the native file system can corrupt your ISO and then you are screwed anyway.
But which format will make the drive fail sooner when you read from the HDD every now and then ? ISO or Folder or No difference ?
 

Houndsteeth

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ISO 9660 is a read-only file system format. When the OS opens the ISO file, it creates a mount point and then creates the catalog tree in memory, referencing the assets within the ISO file. What this means is that the bits on the hard drive in the ISO file should not be changing, but the catalog tree in reference will change depending on the mount point. Neither way you are referencing the ISO file will cause the hard drive to fail sooner, as neither method causes the hard drive to read or write differently. Disk failure is usually caused by a mechanical issue with the drive head actuators or the spin motor. For instance, if an actuator causes the head to "crash" into the platter, the platter can be damaged by the head and cause damage to the head. This causes drive failure.
 

InvalidError

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But which format will make the drive fail sooner when you read from the HDD every now and then ? ISO or Folder or No difference ?
Unlikely to make any measurable difference.

Normal file read: OS loads the file location from the file system tables, then HDD heads have to go there to pick the actual data.
ISO file: ISO file system driver has to calculate the file offset where the internal file is located, then the OS needs to access the file system table to find out the physical location of that offset, then HDD heads still have to go there.

You aren't really saving anything either way.
 

knowledge2121

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Unlikely to make any measurable difference.

Normal file read: OS loads the file location from the file system tables, then HDD heads have to go there to pick the actual data.
ISO file: ISO file system driver has to calculate the file offset where the internal file is located, then the OS needs to access the file system table to find out the physical location of that offset, then HDD heads still have to go there.

You aren't really saving anything either way.
I am not opening the ISO file, I am just copying it to another drive....

I am copying the ISO vs folder to another drive...my understanding is that when copying the folder, the HDD head moves a lot more than when copying the same folder converted to ISO...

USAFRet is saying that it makes no difference...
 

InvalidError

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Is there a way to check how much life an HDD has till it fails ? so that we can transfer the data to another HDD on time ?
By the time you notice the first signs of a HDD going bad, usually in the form of occasional stalls during HDD IO, the damage has already occurred and you are on borrowed time. If you are lucky, you may be able to dump all data before the drive dies completely. If you aren't, the drive may already be dead by the time you are ready to get data off of it.

I've had one HDD die in mid-format for RMA after I got all my data off, a couple of others that managed to complete format and my most recent failed HDD gave me 2-3h of intermittent functionality during which I managed to get the ~5GB of important data and ~50GB of other stuff off of out of 1TB.
 

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