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Formatting the hard drive under Linux


Lover of quiet computers

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Lover of quiet computers

The tech at the school that I attend told me that Microsoft recommends formatting a hard drive under Windows every six months, while the tech consultant at the business where I work told me that Microsoft's recommendation is once per year.Whatever the case, I am wondering how often formatting the hard drive is recommended under Linux.

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Well for me I format and reinstall linux almost monthly......but that is because I usually have it so screwed up I just start all over. :rolleyes:

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GolfProRM
The tech at the school that I attend told me that Microsoft recommends formatting a hard drive under Windows every six months, while the tech consultant at the business where I work told me that Microsoft's recommendation is once per year.
Interesting to hear that Microsoft recommends this... I've never heard (maybe just missed this) that Microsoft recommended reformatting every 6mos-year... I usually reformat my windows install every 3 months or so (just to keep stuff cleaned up... I run 2 partitions so it's real easy (all the programs on the main one, and install files/documents/mp3s on the backup)Never messed with Linux though, so I'm not going to be much help there :rolleyes:
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The tech at the school that I attend told me that Microsoft recommends formatting a hard drive under Windows every six months, while the tech consultant at the business where I work told me that Microsoft's recommendation is once per year.Whatever the case, I am wondering how often formatting the hard drive is recommended under Linux.
OK, lets take it for granted that MS did recommend a format every six months..The reason for recommending it would be obvious. When u install applications in Windows,(any flavour, though XP may be a bit more stable) it's obvious that over a period of time, the overall functioning of the system just slows down tremendously. Not to mention BSOD's, dll's missing (due to some mistake in un-un-installation of previous progs), illegal-operations etc etc..Now, as a GNU/Linux user, I can safely say that I have'nt formatted for the last 2yrs, and nothing is screwed up till now. There is nothing like dll **** or BSOD's etc. Reason for this is b'cause unlike proprietary software, GNU/Linux applications are much more stable and upgrades usually mean new features not patches.Bottom line, there is no need to format at all. Though I will be formatting since am planning to install RH 9..rgds,007
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Guest ComputerBob

I never heard of that MS recommendation. Now it turns out that I'm way behind the recommended reformatting schedule. I've used Win98SE for the past 4-5 years, and I've only reformatted once, about 3 or 4 years ago, when I had a catastrophic hardware failure.Man, now I'm going to have to reformat it 8 or 10 times in a row in order to catch up to its recommended maintenance schedule. :rolleyes:

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greengeek
:rolleyes: I format my Windows' systems about every four to six months, but I've never had to do it with Linux because it doesn't do all the Windows type things, like BSODs, slowdowns etc. Must be their better file system.Joy
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:rolleyes: I format my Windows' systems about every four to six months, but I've never had to do it with Linux because it doesn't do all the Windows type things, like BSODs, slowdowns etc.  Must be their better file system.Joy
Ur right! Apart from the filesystem (ext3 rocks!), most of the software is throughly checked for bugs and stuff, since everything is open-source and transparent..The other day we were trying out various stuff to actually *hang* the system, but no luck...GNU/Linux systems are really stable.rgds,007
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I only format my drive when I install a new distro.As I upgrade from one version to another I format all partitions except /homeThere is absolutely no need to do any maintenance ( like: format, defrag, scandisk, etc. in windows ) on your Linux drives.Every 20 - 30 boots Linux does an automatic check of your drives and corrects them if needed.Bruno

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I have used Windows and FreeBSD for years now. I never had the need to format the HD with either OS for a reason other than getting a new HD or an existing HD failing. When Windows acted up too bad, installing it over the existing version did the trick. While this would not clean up all the cruft, what does it matter. My Windows XP dir on my windows machine is 1.3GB. A few dozen left behind DLLs won't make much of a difference.I think reformatting every few months is silly, and uncalled for. You just gotta make use of the existing uninstalling facilities and not delete stuff by hand (ok, occasionally there's some diving into the registry needed too - but that's still better than reformatting).As for Linux having less bugs because it's open source: not sure if I agree. They simply tend to get fixed a lot sooner.

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There is absolutely no need to do any maintenance ( like: format, defrag, scandisk, etc. in windows ) on your Linux drives.
If fsck isn't like scandisk, then what is it like?
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Guest LilBambi

I have rarely had to reformat a drive in Windows ... I am using Win98se ... I use Fred Langa's Clean9x as well as using scandisk and defrag on a regular schedule.I also go into safemode periodically and turn off the swapfile, reboot into safemode, then I turn it back on and reboot to rebuilt it.I think as with anything routine maintenance is key.As far as Linux goes ... once it is up and running, not only do you not have to reformat it (unless you install a new distro or something in place of the one you are using), but the uptime on Linux is amazing ....The last time I rebooted my Linux box was when we were expecting some thunderstorms ... and that was:5:30pm up 44 days, 12 min.I had to reboot Windows yesterday after 2-3 days .. I have been known to go up to a whole whopping 2 weeks before a reboot was necessary on Win98se. :)

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Maxtor:Read the second line aswell : ( Every 20 - 30 boots Linux does an automatic check of your drives and corrects them if needed. )Bruno

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Guest ThunderRiver

I have never heard of such rules as "format every 6 months or even once a year?" It is not doing anything good for the hard drive since you are making it over work anyway. I don't believe it is necessary to format unless something is really going wrong, or you plan on installing a new OS, or plan on resize partition or convert file system. For whatever the reasons you have. there is no such rules as in format hard drive every 6 months. If you think about it, where do you put your existing data when format is taking place? You are most likely to lose your data sooner than the time it takes to format hard drive. Sunny

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greengeek
:( I can't see how formatting works a hard drive any more than a good Photoshop or game session. A friend of mine, who used to test software for computer magazine reviews, formatted his hard drives in the two test machines every two weeks, that's how messed up they got! He never had a failed hard drive in those machines either.Joy
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Guest ThunderRiver
:( I can't see how formatting works a hard drive any more than a good Photoshop or game session.  A friend of mine, who used to test software for computer magazine reviews, formatted his hard drives in the two test machines every two weeks, that's how messed up they got! He never had a failed hard drive in those machines either.Joy
Mmm..let me guess.. it is a desktop right? Tell him to get a laptop and try it every two weeks too..see what will happen. For best result.. use either Fujitsu or IBM TravelStar :(
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greengeek
:( I've never used a laptop (can't afford one). Are their hard drives really so delicate? If they are I'll stick to desktops.Joy
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Guest LilBambi

greengeek --That would depend on the manufacturer ... and what year it was made from what I've seen ... they all seem to go in and out of favor from year to year. For example, several years ago IBM drives were the cat's meow, two years later they have the worst failure rate of just about any drives.They all have years of excessive failure rates and other years where the drives are killer.I think the worst year to buy a drive may be when the technology changes ... I really think they don't give the technology enough of a workout before they begin selling them to consumers, particularly in notebook/laptop computers ... at least that is how it appears. :( Maybe others could comment on this oddity.

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