Monday, 31 October 2011

Why Did My Hard Drive Crash?

Why Did My Hard Drive Crash?

As a Field Service Tech I'm often asked "what caused my hard drive to fail?" To add to the confusion, when we think of the word "hard drive" we think: durable consumer items like our cars and washing machines that can last a very long time. So naturally something called a hard drive should, in our minds also last a very long time and you should never experience a hard drive crash! What's really unreasonable is replacing a fairly new unit that has failed. But the number one question from customers often sadly is: "what about all my photos and my information?" And when I ask whether they've backed up their hard drive, too often I get a blank, ghastly stare down. Everything gone and it could have been prevented with a back up plan.

What causes failure? Can it be prevented?
It's the old saying: there are two kinds of hard drives, those that haven't failed and those that have.
It nearly goes without saying that viruses and malware can attack and ultimately doom your hard drive so be sure you have a good anti-virus, anti-malware software on your computer to recognize threats in advance and work toward keeping you safe on the net. Look for products that can advise you of when upgrades/updates are available so you can always have the latest threat deterrents.
In the process of handling literally billions of bits of information electronically every second it's turned on, it's easy for a hard drive to become disrupted by even the smallest outside electrical influences such as your cell phone, some loud speakers, magnets and also fluctuations in the power supply from your utility but of course sudden power spikes and complete outages. USB's, computer jargon for Un-interruptable Power Supplies provide a continuous and "clean" power supply for your computer. Even the very smallest can begin shut down procedures for your computer in a power failure to help prevent hard drive and other power outage issues that computers can have.

Finally one of the many ways your hard drive can be damaged is simply old fashioned wear and tear, fatigue and accidents! Liquids introduced into the drive, dropping a computer accidentally and so on can damage your hard drive. The fix for this is simple, be careful with your machine when moving it and setting it up, and make yourself a rule about drinks near it - try not to! At least have a lid on your drink and when using a laptop keep the drink as far away as possible to avoid oopsies!
Most of these are really common sense easy maintenance for these tiny metal discs spinning upwards of seven thousand five hundred times every second! And storing virtually all the knowledge of mankind in the palm of your hand! However sometimes they fail for no particular reason at all so be sure you have some sort of a Hard Disc Drive Back Up Preparation sooner.
George Ferris is an A+ Certified Computer Technician with over 20 years experience in the field

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