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Windows 7: Heat doesn't kill hard drives. Here's what does

08 Mar 2016   #1

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
Heat doesn't kill hard drives. Here's what does

"Free-cooled" datacenters use ambient outside air instead of air conditioning. That lets us see how environment affects system components. Biggest surprise: temperature is not the disk drive killing monster we thought. Here's what is.

At last months Usenix FAST 16 conference, in the Best Paper award winner Environmental Conditions and Disk Reliability in Free-cooled Datacenters, researchers Ioannis Manousakis and Thu D. Nguyen, of Rutgers, Sriram Sankar of GoDaddy, and Gregg McKnight and Ricardo Bianchini of Microsoft, studied how the higher and more variable temperatures and humidity of free-cooling affect hardware components. They reached three key conclusions:
  • Relative humidity, not higher or more variable temperatures, has a dominant impact on disk failures.
  • High relative humidity causes disk failures largely due to controller/adapter malfunction.
  • Despite the higher failure rates, software to mask failures and enable free-cooling is a huge money-saver.


Datacenters are energy hogs. A web-scale datacenter can use more than 30 megawatts and collectively they are estimated to use 2 percent of US electricity production.

Moreover, the chillers for water cooling and the backup power required to keep them running in a blackout are costly too. As the use of cloud services has grown, the cost of hyperscale datacenters has led to more experimentation such as free-cooling and higher operating temperatures.

But to fully optimize these techniques, operators also need to understand their impact on the equipment. If lower energy costs are offset by higher hardware costs and downtime, it isn't a win.

The study

The researchers looked at 9 Microsoft datacenters around the world for periods ranging from 1.5 to 4 years, covering over 1 million drives. They gathered environmental data including temperature and relative humidity and the variation of each.

Being good scientists, they took the data and built a model to analyze the results. They quantified the trade-offs between energy, environment, reliability, and cost. Finally, they have some suggestions for datacenter design...

Read more: Heat doesn't kill hard drives. Here's what does | ZDNet

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2016   #2

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Being in Texas I can relate to humidity and dehumidifiers
The weird thing is it took them this long to figure out humidity is a bad thing for hdd's :)
Next someone will say it's bad for all electronics
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08 Mar 2016   #3

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and numerous virtual machines

Here you go Thrashzone. Humidity is very bad for electronics especially if it condenses into water....It is not as bad as it used to be with CRT displays. The focus voltage was between 4K volts and 8K volts and the final anode 20K volts to 30K volts for colour CRT's. Humidity played havoc with the final anode with flash over (a loud crack that scared the s**t out of people) and a constant corona sizzle which you could smell with ozone. Oh yeah we are all better off with LCD displays......Humidity is bad for all electronics.
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08 Mar 2016   #4

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Took a really silly person to use outside air and no dehumidifier system in it
Wonder how much they paid for someone to connect the dots
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08 Mar 2016   #5
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

High humidity can also play hell with all connectors to electronics.
When you are dealing with such small amounts of volts and amps it doesn't take much corrosion on a connector to cause problems.

The corrosion will not be visible to the human eye. It's a bacteria in some cases. Bacteria just love high humidity to bath in.

Air conditioners are also dehumidifiers. That is why you see the water run out the back or bottom of them.
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08 Mar 2016   #6

Windows 10 64 bit

The large Federal government agency where I worked (until retirement) had regional data centers, regional LAN/WAN Network gateway systems and hardware help desk (where I worked) and the main headquarters computer center. Most of the equipment in these centers were "big iron" (IBM Mainframe and comm processors) and required lots of air conditioning. Outside air wouldn't do it for those types of systems. If we had an commercial electrical power outage we would last about 30 minutes without Air Condition, just on air circulating in the computer room, before we either manual shutdown equipment or it shut itself down (We had UPS that had about 1 hour of backup AC power) . Our field offices were in varying environments (buildings) and we had a lot of equipment failures related to heat/humidity/AC power. The environmental conditions (e.g. heat) would not show up immediately but some point later there would be failures that were traced back to environment conditions at some previous point. When the agency offices were upgraded from "dumb" terminals (IBM 3270 series) to Client Server LAN's the agency wide requirement for the file server, communications (modem, bridge, IBM token ring CAU's and LAM's) UPS to be in a controlled environment room. (AC power for the LAN systems and workstations (PC's) also required Hubbell IG5262 (Orange) Isolated ground AC Receptacles and third wire ground tied directly from the receptacle to the AC power panel's ground).
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14 Mar 2016   #7

10 Pro and 8.1 Home

We don't have to worry about that over here in Ireland, I suppose it's one of the reasons that Google, Facebook and Twitter have their European headquarters over here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2016   #8

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

It doesn't rain in Ireland
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14 Mar 2016   #9
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ThrashZone View Post
It doesn't rain in Ireland
True. Some days just aren't as soft as some others.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2016   #10

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Possibly they have a dry rain like in Arizona it evaporates when it hits 1000ft
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Heat doesn't kill hard drives. Here's what does

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