It is common to see hard drives die at some point in time, but they all don't die at the same rate. On an average, a hard drive has a lifespan of six years, that is almost 50 percent of the hard drives will last up to six years.
Sometimes, there could be an early death due to the fault of the maker, but often that is not the case. Hard drives will fail earlier than they must last as we don't actually care them properly.
Many people have the misconception that hard drives lie inside the computer and they really don't need much care. But, this is the major reason for the hard drive failure and here are five simple care tips that you need to know. If you really don't want the hard drive to die, you need to prevent these.
Physical damage is the quickest way to render your hard drive useless. Hard drives are fragile than you expect them to be and there are many moving parts in them that can malfunction even when there is a slight disturbance. Even a simple bump when the hard drive is spinning might cause a problem in its functioning.
You can prevent the same by not removing the hard drive from the computer's case once the same is installed. If you want to take it out, there is be a valid reason such as transferring the same to another computer case. Even this should be done with proper equipment in a careful way.
Also, do not move, shake or jostle the computer case while the hard drive is installed. It has to be kept in a safe location that will minimize accidental knocks and kicks.
Similar to the other computer components, even the hard drives are designed to operate within a certain range of optimal temperatures. This will vary based on the model of the drive and the manufacturer. It is recommended to operate within the safe range. If you do not focus on maintaining proper air flow through the computer case, then heat will build up inside it rising the temperature of the hard drive above the room temperature.
In such a case, you should first open the computer case after turning it off and clean out the dust that has been accumulated in it. Use compressed air to clean the nook and corners. Make sure that the fans are working well. In the case of a laptop, this problem is worse as the laptops accumulate more dust than desktops and cleaning should be a high priority task. You can also consider using a laptop cooler to ensure there is better air circulation.
This could cause the hard drive to work harder by making it tougher to find all the pieces that encompass a specific file. The hard work done by the hard drive will make it experience more wear and tear.
So, defragmentation should be done. But, keep in mind that defragmenting very often is a common mistake that computer users commit. You should defragment the drives only when they reach 5 to 10 percent fragmentation. Defragmenting will speed up the computer as files can be loaded off the hard drive faster.
Frequent on and off
Every time you shut down and boot the computer, the hard drive works quite hard and frequent power on and off will add to the wear and tear it faces on regular use. You can follow the rule of shutting down the system if you are away for over a day. If it is just a few hours, you can put the computer in hibernation or standby mode. For durations less than that, you can leave the computer in sleep mode.
Electricity is not always constant. There are instances when the voltages spike above the normal level and this could even be for nanoseconds. These power surges can cause damage to the electronic devices including the computer components.
You can use a surge protector to prevent this from happening. This device will detect the surges and divert the same away from the devices that are actually plugged in.