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Hard drive is failing. Better to leave it on or turn it off?

#1DawnshadowPosted 9/1/2013 4:35:12 PM
So, Windows tells me my hard drive is failing. I have an order in for a new one, but it won't be here for four days. I've a backup of my personal files, but my backup drive's too small for /everything/ and I would like to try to just copy some of the large but non-essential files (Steam directory, mainly) from the old drive.

If I want to /attempt/ to keep my hard drive from entirely failing before then, is it better to just leave my computer on and NOT TOUCH ANYTHING until the new drive gets here, or shut it down for now? (..granted, I'll need to turn it off to install the new drive.) Also, once I get the new drive, how do I tell the computer to boot from the new drive and not the old one?
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#2LordSeiferPosted 9/1/2013 4:36:27 PM
turn if off for the entire time seems like the obvious answer
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^ this
#3WerdnAndreWPosted 9/1/2013 4:37:47 PM
Best thing to do is transfer all your personal files immediately. If you don't have a drive big enough then remove the hard drive and keep it in a dry cool place till you get the replacement.
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#4Dawnshadow(Topic Creator)Posted 9/1/2013 4:45:15 PM
LordSeifer posted...
turn if off for the entire time seems like the obvious answer


The reason I asked is because I heard that the most stress on computer parts is when you turn them on and off.

On the other hand, hard drives... spin. Constantly.

(The thing's going on four years old, I knew this was coming sometime.)

WerdnAndreW posted...
Best thing to do is transfer all your personal files immediately....


I have my personal files backed up to an external drive regularly, and store a lot of them on Dropbox to boot. It's just the big, bulky, but replacable stuff that I don't bother with. It'll be annoying to redownload them, but they're not irreplacable.
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I have a blog! Warcraft and other gamer musings.
http://oilstainedlibram.wordpress.com/
#5codyorrPosted 9/1/2013 9:25:47 PM
I ran one for a year and a half with ever increasing failures and what not. Turn it off if you need to back stuff up without errors in it.
#6mizukage2Posted 9/1/2013 9:46:49 PM
Take stock of what data you really want to keep, transfer that data over to your back up (if it is still to much go back over the data and cut out the stuff that you really want to keep the least least until it fits), afterwards just do whatever.

Oh, or run out to walmart and buy a bigger external hard-drive that will be able to store all of your data.
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#7PhilOnDezPosted 9/1/2013 10:14:47 PM
If your drive fails before your files are completely backed it up you can stick it in your freezer for a while and it will work for a few more minutes, I've yet to hear from anyone that trick hasn't worked for. I know that doesn't really answer your question but it might be useful to you at some point before you get your new drive.
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