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Windows 7: ISO vs actual disc - which is worse on the hardware?

30 Aug 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
ISO vs actual disc - which is worse on the hardware?

This is mainly a technical question. I know that running a mounted ISO file is better in some ways than running off a disc- simulated disc read times are much faster off a HDD than through a disc even with a good DVD drive and you don't have to worry about a surface scratch causing read issues. But I'm wondering, is running an ISO really an advantage compared to an actual disc? Am I right in assuming that this puts more wear on the HDD itself?

I honestly tried to answer this via google, but all I got were a few sites arguing over stuff like FMV playback, nothing in regards to which is more stressful for hardware.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2013   #2

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

This seems to indicate that activity level is not a problem:

A 2007 study published by Google suggested very little correlation between failure rates and either high temperature or activity level. Indeed, the Google study indicated that "lower temperatures are associated with higher failure rates". Hard drives with S.M.A.R.T.-reported average temperatures below 27 C (81 F) had higher failure rates than hard drives with the highest reported average temperature of 50 C (122 F), failure rates at least twice as high as the optimum S.M.A.R.T.-reported temperature range of 36 C (97 F) to 47 C (117 F).[12] The correlation between manufacturer/model and failure rate was relatively strong. Statistics in this matter are kept highly secret by most entities Google did not relate manufacturers' names with failure rates,[12] though they have since revealed that they use Hitachi Deskstar drives in some of their servers.[13]
Hard disk drive failure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Or you can read the PDF of that 2007 study:
See page 2 for the statement that activity is not an issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2013   #3

Win8/8.1,Win7-U64, Vista U64, uncounted Linux distor's

Running a iso or "live cd" you do not have any hhd activity, it reads the cd drive and runs in ram. The only hhd activity would be if you had a "persistent" file for the live cd.

The different Linux disto's you find on live cd all are much faster when installed to the hhd. I wouldn't be concerned about "wearing out" the hhd. I have drives with over 100k hours, that about ten years of operating. I have one with a few bad sectors, but the hhd reallocated the bad ones and it's still chugging along.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Aug 2013   #4

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by madcratebuilder View Post
Running a iso or "live cd" you do not have any hhd activity, it reads the cd drive and runs in ram....
The OP is talking about mounting an ISO file. There can be lots of HDD activity when you do that. See this utility.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 ISO vs actual disc - which is worse on the hardware?

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