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Old 07-31-2005, 08:57 AM   #1
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Question Fedora hard drive crashes

This month I've had two hard drive (head) crashes running Fedora Core.
1. Fedora core 1 on a Toshiba laptop, 40 gig drive
2. Fedora core 3 on a desktop (WD Caviar 450AA)
Both machines with 1 GB RAM, ~1500MZ CPUs
Neither disk was new, both had previously run windows for a couple of years. I do Java and some web development on both machines.
Question 1: Is this just the ultimate weird coincidence? Or is Fedora tough on hard drives?
My experience is that Fedora runs much faster than Windows on the same machine, so the drive may be getting a harder workout. Also, on the laptop, I am aware of disk usage when idle, which I have assumed is journaling.
Question 2: is there a way to distribute the OS over multiple disks to best reduce head wear:
Example: /var with logs, etc. on one disk, everything else on another.
Where does the journaling go, if that's what I'm hearing?
Question 3: If splitting the OS across disks is a possible solution, how can I do this on a laptop? It seems like a USB (flash) drive would not come up early enough at boot to be usable for /var? Or yes?
Thanks for any advice.
Old 08-01-2005, 08:49 AM   #2
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1- It is probably just a coincidence, but you are true, linux can be a bit agressive on harddrive. New distro usually try to get the best possible from DMA ide transfert mode, which is know to be very intensive on harddrive. You could "switch down" the DMA mode, this would mean slower hard drive, but a possible longer life. IDE harddrive are really bad these days, I got a defect per year or so, you can consider that all your drives will fail a day or another... I do backup and buy harddives with a long garantee, there is no other ways.

2- Of course. Just edit your /etc/fstab accordingly. Easy.

3- This could be tricky but that's nothing that you couldn't tweak. As USB only need a kernel module, you could load this one using initrd. Or you could recompile your kernel to make sure this is included in (so, not as a module) so you wouldn't have to care about initrd.


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