If you’ve ever experienced a hard drive crashing before, you know how devastating it can be to not know whether your data is lost or can be recovered. In order to help you avoid this traumatizing experience, we’ve outlined a few things you can do that will help prevent damage to your hard drive.
When purchasing a new hard drive, there are a few choices you can make that can help increase the life of your hard drive. Before buying, make sure that you:
- Choose a solid state drive (SSD): SSDs are more likely to save your data in the event of a crash because they distribute data across multiple memory chips. However, it can be harder—and more expensive—to recover the data with these types of drives.
- Do not buy used: Most used hard drives are typically older. When you use an older hard drive, they are much more likely to fail sooner.
- Research the history of a model: If a model is brand new, steer clear. Bad models will generally be discontinued after a few years. In addition, models that have been around for a few years will most likely have addressed any bugs or issues. A model that has been around for a while and has been tested is your best bet.
If you take care to do the above before purchasing, you’ll be less likely to experience problems.
If you already own a hard drive and are looking to prolong its life, there are a few things you can do to help keep it in working condition as long as possible. Keep it protected by taking the following actions:
- Separate user data from OS installation: Before you begin using a computer or laptop, make sure to put the OS installation onto a different drive than the user’s home directories. Your device will be less likely to crash because the drive that has the OS installed on it will experience less reading/writing.
- Protect it from surges: Prevent damage from electrical surges by using a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) or surge suppressor. If the power source is left vulnerable to interruption, you could risk damage to your hard drive, any open files, or the file system. While you may think this is common sense, you would be surprised at the number of people that don’t take this precaution.
- Make sure it’s well ventilated: Without the proper ventilation, your system is prone to overheat. For this reason, you should keep your devices out of tight spaces and make sure the fans are functional. For extra protection, consider adding an additional fan, if possible.
- Use an antivirus program: Not only should you install an antivirus program on your computer, but make sure to regularly run scans and keep it updated.
- Be careful when moving your device: You should always be careful whenever you decide to move your device. Make sure to turn it off and wait until the hard drive has had a chance to stop spinning before you pick it up. If you are using an external hard drive, take extra care not to knock it over while in use.
- Defrag the drive: If you defrag your device on a weekly basis, you can ensure that your machine doesn’t have to work harder than it has to for optimal operation.
- Monitor the device: You can use the Windows chkdsk program to check for any errors that the hard drive may have. In addition, you can download an application that can monitor the condition of your hard drive and send you alerts when there is a problem.
By taking the proper precautions, you can ensure that your hard drive has a much longer life.
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