Hard drives and solid state drives remain at the core of most computers, really, making them virtually indispensable when it comes to operating almost any system. In spite of the fact that faster processors, retina displays, portability, and battery life have all become the poster features for what’s new in computers, nothing matters unless you have the ability to store and retrieve information.
When a hard drive fails, it’s an experience you rarely forget – but it’s one that needn’t be so stressful, especially considering the sheer amount of backup technologies available today. Back in the 1990s, there were very few avenues for consistent backups, so most folks just rolled the dice.
Since then, hard drives have come a long way in terms of performance. However, if they are not given proper care and maintenance, they will continue to crash, causing both newcomers and seasoned veterans to scream in horror when they realize they have lost access to their critical data. In an effort to permanently avoid the concept of a failed hard drive, here are some suggestions for maintaining the health of your hard drive and data.
Complacency Kills With Data
When it comes to hard drives, complacency or a false sense of security is usually the most formidable adversary. Saving yourself from a dangerous data situation in the future can’t be done by sitting around. If you are serious about protecting your data, you must take good care of your hard drive. If your data isn’t that important to you, the fact that your hard drive crashes won’t make much of a difference. You will have to spend a hundred dollars to replace the drive, but after that you will be back in business. However, if you are like the majority of people, you understand that your hard drive contains a lot more important data than you might think. Losing your data SHOULD be unacceptable.
Follow Hard Drive Rules And Avoid Crashes
The first step in taking good care of your hard drive is to become familiar with the rules. Here are some critical things to remember about hard drives:
Stability Helps: Moving, bumping, or dropping a hard drive is not a good thing for the drive, especially while the drive is working (which is almost always, as hard drives spin continually when turned on). Solid-state drives don’t have the same concerns, as they lack moving parts. However, a general rule of thumb is to keep all hard drives on a level surface and to treat them as if they were fragile at all times. It’s a good way to be if you want to keep your drives.
Keep It Clean: Dust and dirt can actually damage your hard drive and, in fact, your entire computer. It can wreak havoc on your hard drive and cause a buildup of static electricity, which can cause components to short and break. Additionally, you’ll want to keep your hard drive and computer free of any magnetic contamination, while we’re on the subject of electrical safety.
Run From Heat: Heat can kill your electronics, including your computer. Ensure that your computer is kept in a well-ventilated area; don’t try to squeeze it into a small slot in your rolltop desk or hide your tower somewhere beneath your desk. Although this is less of an issue for newer systems, it is important to remember that your computer requires fresh, cool air to function properly.
Disk Checking Should Be Part Of System Maintenance: Disk utility and virus protection software are critical to the long-term health of your data and hard drives. If you can do a virus check and a disk check weekly and a disk defragment monthly, you’re better protected than 80% of folks out there. If you’re a real stickler, you might consider a computer monitoring program that will keep track of the temperature of your computer as well as the overall health of your hard drive, among other things. But, with systems nowadays, this isn’t as critical.
What Causes Hard Drive Failure? Inevitability!
Whatever operating system you are using, hard drives are mechanical, like any machine, and much like most machines, they can wear out and crash over time. Data backup won’t be so painful once you accept this critical fact. Bonus here is that today’s backup software can be programmed to automatically backup data to an external hard drive or to the cloud even without your intervention. And yet, even with these precautions, a hard drive failure at an inconvenient time can result in the loss of some of your most important data. You can always call Hard Drive Recovery Associates if you’re asking “why did my hard drive stop working”, but believe us, you’d probably rather not!