One of the most things that would upset the computer users is the hard disk failure. I have been working with PCs since ten years and always get panic with hard drive crash. Recently, the HDD of my lappi gone down which made me to understand the worst reasons for hard disk failure and thus I’ve learned some effective tips to put off the malfunction of hard drive.
I’m gonna share my knowledge on protecting hard drive of PC which would assist you to increase the life span of your computer hard disk. Let me start from the basics!
What is Hard Disk?
Hard disk is a magnetic disk in computer to store a large amount of data (in GB). Unlike RAM, it is a non- volatile memory to save the files and applications of the computer user. It contains a number of platters along with the read/write heads to transmit the data forth and back to the processor.
What Causes Hard Disk Failure?
You can no longer access your computer if the hard disk fails. You might be baffling with the questions, “What are the reasons for hard drive failure”? “Why Hard disk crashes?” “and so on. If so, you may check the reasons below for hard disk breakdown.
1. Power Problems
Power problems like power surge or sudden power breakdown can result in data loss which further leads to the malfunction of Read/Write heads. This would cause hard disk failure.
2. Over Heat
Heat is the major cause of hard disk crash. If the hardware of your PC overworked with low or no downtime, it can produce excessive heat. Environmental conditions, faulty CPU fan and insufficient ventilation can make your hard disk to get worse.
3. File Corruption
When installing fresh software, shut downing your PC with improper closing programs or forced system restart can call your hard disk to crash. Specifically, removable devices should be properly ejected out from your PC, otherwise it would damage the hard disk.
4. User Mistakes
Inappropriate installing and removing the software applications or any other program would end in hard drive fault. Moreover, if you interfere with the system files to alter the registry settings or file attribute and location, you should be very careful. If not, you will face system crash.
5. Manufacturer Faults
After few days of purchasing the new PC, its hard disk may not work properly due the delivery of hard disk with defects by the manufacturer. They might not properly test the hard disk before releasing the product.
6. Other Troubles
Hard disk failure can also be caused due to the internal failures like improper function of spindle motor, rigid read/write heads, PCB board damage etc. Furthermore, if you drop your PC or spilling a liquid would make your hard disk inaccessible at all.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hard Disk Crash?
Here are the signs that alert you about hard disk fault!
1. Files/Folder disappearing that says “The file/folder cannot be opened”.
2. Automatic running of “Chkdsk” command while system booting.
3. Noise at regular intervals might be the indication of inability of hard drives’s write head.
4. Diminished system performance.
5. Mysterious error messages and unusual heat when working with your PC.
6. Scrambled file/folder names.
How To Avoid Hard Disk Failure?
Every electronic product fails after some point of period and thus it would be good to backup your data in cloud free services like Google Drive or to an external hard disk. Let’s discuss some helpful ways to extend the life of a hard drive.
1. Handle with care
All electronic gadgets should be handled with care and always carry your laptop computer in a soft pouch/bag. Make sure that you’re working with your PC in a non-slippery surface and keep static electricity at bay as it is strong enough to wipe out the hard drive.
Run defragmentation process on regular basis to save some space on hard disk. This not only protects the hard dive, but also helps to increase your system speed. Also get rid of unnecessary/bad files. Most of the premium Antivirus software contains defragmenter.
3. Consider buying SSD
Solid State Drives (SSD) are flash drives and has no or less moving parts. Even though it costs more, its life period is longer when compared to other hard disks. It is the consistent drive with good safety features.
4. Get a tool to watch
Few useful tools like Acronis, HDSentinel, HDDScan, Scandisk and CrystalDiskInfo exist to watch the health and temperature of the hard drive. Some tools send email alert if something goes wrong in your hard drive. So, you may consider any of these hard disk monitoring tool to prevent the hard disk from failure.
5. Execute Chkdsk
To handle cross-linked files, bad sectors and directory errors, it would be good to run “Chkdsk” command. If you leave these problems untreated, it wouldn’t let your hard drive to boot.
6. Stay away from physical faults
Bad Environmental factors like dust, over hot, fire and sudden power failure/fluctuation can physically damage your hard drive. I agree that these factors can’t be forecasted in prior, but you should keep an eye to stay away from physical faults.
7. Utilize Windows power save
Windows operating system has default powers savings feature which will automatically turn off your hard drive after 20 mins of your idleness. If you often take break, you can change it to 15 mins to improve the life of your hard disk. Also, don’t use hibernate much.
8. Unplug USB properly
While unplugging USB from your PC, always use the “Eject or Remove” option. If you abruptly take away the USB from PC, it will not remove the power from the drive and can cause damage to the drive as you’re suddenly unplugging it in the middle of a read/write occasion. Also check the USB is free from dust and corrosion.
Hard disk is the key element of a computer which stores the data permanently and it may fail at anytime due to the above discussed reasons. Recently manufactured hard drive has ability to warn about the problems before they happen as they are incorporated with S.M.A.R.T (self monitoring analysis and report technology). Anyway, it would be good to follow some handy tips which I’ve listed in the post to avoid hard disk crash.
Do you know any other ways to extend the life of a hard drive? Have you experienced hard disk failure? Discuss with me in comment section.