In this information age, losing data is equivalent to losing money especially for businesses and individuals that highly depend on data to do work. Hard disks are one of the major storage devices used in personal computers to store data. So, keeping them safe and protecting them from potential failure should be top of your priority list if you don’t want to lose the valuable data stored on the hard disks.
Hard disks can experience failure due to both hardware and software problems. Knowing how to keep your hard drives safe from both hardware and software problems will reduce their chances of failing and also improve their performance. In today’s article, I am going to share with you the top 10 tips that will ensure your hard disk stays safe for many years.
1. Check the hard disk’s health at least once a week
The health of the hard disk refers to the percentage of the healthy sectors of the drive. This simply means a hard disk that has a health of 100% has only healthy sectors that can be used to store data. And if it has a health of 0%, it means all the sectors of the drive are dead and such a drive can’t store any data.
The software I would recommend for measuring the health of your drive is hard disk sentinel. This software will show you the health of the drive, its performance level, the number of days it has worked, and much more information. Knowing the health of the drive will help you know its status so that you plan accordingly when its health starts to reduce. If the health of your drive goes below 60%, it is recommended you don’t use that drive to run your operating system or store any sensitive data
2. Don’t overload the hard disk
Overloading your hard disk fills up all its sectors with data which increases its wear and tear over time. If there are some useless files on the disk, you may delete them to creates some free space. Besides wear and tear, a hard disk that is overloaded tends to get slow as well.
3. Keep the external drives in rubber casings
One of the major causes of hard disk failure is physical damage. When your drive accidentally falls, the read/write arm and the plates become misaligned. When such misalignments occur, the hard disk may not be able to work again. Hard Drive Data Recovery services is quite hard to choose – You need to make sure that prices are affordable, the experts have high success rate, and they can maintain privacy among others. The cheaper thing to do is putting your external drive in a rubber casing that will absorb the shock in case the hard disk falls accidentally.
4. Always eject external hard disks from the pc safely before disconnecting the USB
Ejecting the drive safely ensures that all the necessary processes that the drive is doing are safely stopped before it is disconnected from the pc. Stopping these processes abruptly may affect the performance and health of the hard disk in the long run.
5. Take advantage of the sleep and hibernation modes
Hard disks are mechanical devices which means the more they run, the more they experience wear and tear internally. So whenever possible, always makes sure your pc is turned off if it is not doing any work. This will save your hard disk a couple of hours of getting unnecessary stress.
6. Make sure your computer is always safe from any form of malware
A malware attack can also damage the hard disk or destroy the data it is storing. To avoid all this, you should make sure you have anti-malware software installed on your computer. Also, make sure you update it frequently so that it gets the capacity of dealing with newer threats. Besides having antimalware software, also make sure you avoid downloading stuff from suspicious websites and connecting your pc to unsecured Wifi networks.
7. Always make sure your operating system is updated
Updating your operating system will ensure your hard disk has all the necessary programs that will make it perform better and run more efficiently. All operating systems like Windows and macOS get regular updates that are meant to make your computer hardware components perform better. The hard disk is also part of these hardware components
8. Make sure your hard disk is defragmented regularly
When you copy data to your hard disk, it is always stored in the nearest space available. In some cases, parts of the same file are stored on different hard disk sections. Accessing such a file that has fragmented data takes more time than a file that was stored in one section of the disk. That is why it is important to defragment the hard disk whenever there is some free space created to bring together the scattered parts of the various files.
The good news is both Windows and macOS do this automatically after a certain period. Your job is not to alter with the default settings of hard disk defragmentation.
9. Keep the hard disk in dry and cool environments
Extremely cold and hot temperatures can also alter the alignment of some internal parts of the hard disk that in the end leads to total failure. So, to avoid this, always make sure your hard disk is kept in places that are within room temperature.
10. Don’t forget to back up your data
No matter how much you care for the drive, you also need to plan for the worst-case scenarios. That is why it is important to backup all your important data on any cloud storage platform to avoid losing the data in case the hard disk fails.
Taking good care of your disk will not only increase its lifetime, but it will also ensure the hard disk performs at the highest level all the time. The cost of following the tips we have shared above is way too small compared to the loss you would make in case the hard disk fails. So, always do whatever is needed to protect your hard disk against failure.