5 Ways to Protect your Hard Drive from Physical Failure

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5 Ways to Protect your Hard Drive from Physical Failure

All hard drives are destined to fail someday. But this doesn’t mean they fail at the same rate. The average life of a hard drive, at the time of writing this article, is around 6 years. While an early failure could be manufacturer’s fault, however, in most cases it is because we don’t take care of them. Hard disk drives are sensitive devices and are prone to effects of excessive wear and tear. Let’s look at the most common causes of physical failures and what you can do to prevent them.

What Causes Mechanical Failures in Hard Drives?

Subjecting hard disk drives to excessive heat, poor operating conditions, and rough handling leads to malfunctioning of the drive and eventually mechanical failures. Even a sudden physical jolt is enough to offset the read/write heads preventing HDD from accessing data. At the same time, improper air flow can lead to heat build-up which increases the disk temperature beyond the recommended values. As electricity isn’t always constant, voltage spikes above normal levels can badly affect your computer system and can surely fry up your hard disk.

Common symptoms accompanying physical failures are unusual operating sounds including whirring, clicking, buzzing, and beeping. In some cases, the files may also go corrupt and you may even notice a decline in the performance of your computer system.

Protecting your Hard Disk Drive

As hard disks are fragile, you must be always prepared for any data loss situations. Availing hard drive  / flash drive data recovery services could be your last resort to recover your lost data, following these tips will protect your hard disk from unexpected physical failures:

  1. Keep your external hard disk in a safe and secure place. Exercise caution while traveling with your hard disk. Do not shake or jostle your hard disk. Avoid bumping it against a wall as it could corrupt your data.
  2. Make regular cleaning of fans a priority. Use a can of compressed air to blow off the dust from tight nooks. Laptops are worse than desktops. Always make sure you rest your laptop on a flat and clean surface to avoid dust intake. If the fan is not working, get it replaced immediately.
  3. To prevent dangerous power spikes from damaging the hard disk, unplug your computer when not in use. It is a good idea to invest in a surge protector as it will guard against power surges when computer is in use.
  4. Resist the urge to frequently ON and OFF the computer. If you are going away for a day, shut it down. In other cases, putting your computer into standby or hibernation will not burden the hard disk drive.
  5. Do not force your hard drive to work harder to find all the pieces that form a particular file. Perform routine checks and computer scans to makes sure all drives are running and defragmented. Disk defragmentation prevents the hard drive from working harder and experiencing immoderate wear and tear.

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