Can You Increase the Reliability of a Hard Drive by Using Less of Its Total Capacity?

Your computer has a massive hard drive that you significantly underuse. Would decreasing the size of the primary partition actually increase the lifespan of the drive?

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

SuperUser reader Chazjn is curious if underusing his drivespace will actually increase the longevity of the drive:

So what’s the story? Does his theory about using less of the disk hold up?

SuperUser contributor Mokubai steps in and shoots the theory down:

While formatting/partitioning won’t extend the life of your drive, you can still leverage partitioning to your advantage by creating a partition for your operating system/applications and another for your data. In case of operating system problems or a total operating system reinstall your data is safely stored on a separate area of the drive.

Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.