Hard drives currently have a life span of six years. That is if given the proper care it needs in order to last that given time frame. While we do acknowledge that its early death may sometimes be caused by a factory glitch, the more probable reasons are due to poor care and maintenance.
While some may have the notion that it doesn’t need much care as it’s safely tucked inside the computer, you’d be surprised to know that yes, it still does. Here are some of the common causes of why a hard drive fails and corresponding quick fixes:
1. Physical Damage
Even if it’s suppose to be safe and tucked inside your computer, hard drives can get damaged because of physical trauma. What you may think is a simple bump can already cause problems especially when this occurred while spinning. Because of its sensitive parts, some could already malfunction even with a slight disturbance.
To ensure safety, avoid removing your hard drive from the computer once it’s already installed in place. If there’s a need to take it out, it should be only for transferring it to another computer case. Even so, do it quickly and carefully with the correct equipment. Moreover, refrain from moving or jostling your computer case when it’s turned on. Put it in a place where you don’t get to kick or knock it accidentally.
2. Excessive Heat
Just like your computer, hard drives are built to work with a particular range of optimal temperatures. While this may differ according to the model and manufacturer of your hard drive, what’s important is you stick to the standard temperature it operates best.
Note that it’s important to keep it within the safe range. You need to be diligent in maintaining proper flow of air through your computer to avoid heat from building up inside into a temperature that’s even more hot than the temperature of your room.
For desktops, put it off, open the computer case and start cleaning out all accumulated dust inside. For tight and hard-to-reach corners, use a compressed air can. Ensure that your fans are circulating properly, pulling air from one side and expelling it on the other.
Laptops need even more cleaning because they have smaller and tighter corners. To avoid intake of dust and maximize circulation of air, put it on a hard and flat surface. Buy a laptop cooler for air intake improvement.
3. Frequent On and Off
While it may be easy to put on or off a computer, it’s actually the most demanding action for hard drives. That’s because the act of booting up and shutting down is equal to having it spin up and down frequently which leads to additional attrition aside from the wearing and tearing brought about by regular usage.
While you don’t want to your hard drive turned on all the time, you also wouldn’t want to keep turning it on and off a number of times within a day right? The best thing to do is if you’re going out for just a couple of hours, you can let it hibernate or go on stand by mode. If it’s less than that time, just leave it on or set it to sleep mode with your disks powered down.
4. Surge of Power
When voltages spike above what’s normal, power surges occur. The thing about surges is it can damage devices running on electricity and unfortunately, this involves a lot of the stuff in your house, including your computer. Even just a single power surge can already fry your hard drives!
Your best defense against sudden power surges is a surge protector, which is a very helpful device in detecting electric surges and diverting them away your plugged in devices.
5. File Fragmentation
File fragmentation is when fragments of files are scattered across the hard drive instead of having it be located in the same place. While this is not a direct cause of damaging your hard drive, it does make it work harder because it’s a lot harder to find all the pieces that make up a specific file. Because it works harder, there are more chances of wear and tear.
The best solution is defragmentation, which is one process you should also inculcate to be part of your regular computer maintenance.
These tips should be basic and helpful enough in keeping your hard drives in tip top shape; however, if you have any additional queries or need a hand in cleaning them up, just give us a call at 480-464-0202 and our friendly and able technicians are always ready to be of assistance.