Did you know that a well-maintained hard drive could last an average of 5 to 6 years? In between this lifespan, though, hard drives are prone to failure and damages due to various factors. Some of these factors include overheating, virus infections, improper drive use, power surge, moisture, bad sectors, among others.
Your computer is one of the most valuable pieces of equipment you own. Also, the hard drive has important information you can’t afford to lose, so you need to adhere to this hard drive maintenance guide. Maintaining your hard drive will prolong its life and keep your data safe.
Of course, it’s always advisable to back up data and critical files because hard drives fail. In this post, we’ll guide you through some of the most vital computer drive maintenance tips that will help you extend its lifespan.
1. Avoid Overheating and Protect It From Dust and Moisture
Overheating and exposure to dust and moisture can damage your hard drive, and you risk losing all your data. Ensure you always avoid overheating and minimize or eliminate exposure to moisture and dust. Overheating is almost always a result of prolonged use, and if you experience it, you can always go for cooling techniques.
However, it’s better to avoid prolonged use and escape the problem altogether. As for dust, the best course of action is to clean your hard drive regularly. Ensure you store your hard drive in a cool and dry place, away from moisture and dust.
2. Routinely Run a Disk Check Scan
At some point after prolonged use, your hard drive is prone to errors such as file system errors, partition tables, or software and hardware issues. If these errors are not taken care of, they could always reduce the lifespan of your hard drive. The trick here is to run a regular “chkdsk” scan on your computer, which can fix most of these errors, if not all.
After running the scan, the computer will bring you an analysis report and display the scan’s details if no errors have been found. If the drive has error such as bad sectors, the computer will fix these errors after completing the scan. This is one of the most important aspects of hard disk maintenance, as it’ll enhance the functionality of your hard drive and prolongs its life.
3. Perform Defragmentation
With time, your hard drive may also experience data fragmentation. This usually results in a slow hard drive that has to work harder to deliver performance.
You see, when you store new data in a drive, it’s stored in fragments. This increases disk spin speed and massive movement in the read head, leading to wear and tear or overheating of the drive.
It, therefore, becomes necessary for you to defragment your hard drive once in a while, or every time you run a disk check scan for errors. You can schedule a monthly hard drive maintenance routine and conduct both checks to ensure boost your drive’s longevity.
4. Use Power Surge Protectors
A sudden power surge or power outage can be hazardous for your hard drive, and your overall computer system. In most cases, a power outage happens when you force a shutdown or unplug the system while your drive is still in use and spinning. Of course, it could also occur if your system crashes because of a hardware or software failure.
An unexpected power loss may lead to file system errors or mechanical failures. This is more likely in old hard drives that could experience the actuator head getting stuck to the platter. A power surge could similarly fry any of your computer components, which include the hard drive.
Instead of risking all these issues, the best thing you can do is use an Uninterrupted Power Supply unit, which prevents unexpected shutdowns. This system will also safeguard your PC against voltage surges and fluctuations.
5. Remove the Duplicate Files From Your Hard Drive
If you have any duplicate files on your system, you need to delete them. Duplicate files tend to increase the chances of fragmentation, increase usage, and ultimately lead to performance deterioration.
You can use a duplicate file finder and remove all the duplicate files that may harm your hard disk. This is one of those things you should add to your hard disk maintenance routine.
6. Protect Your Hard Drive From Data Loss
Sometimes, even with a great hard drive maintenance routine, you still may not be able to control every situation. At one point, it’s possible to encounter data loss, and it could happen due to various reasons, such as driver damages and faulty software updates. This means that protecting yourself from data loss is vital, and you should take some preventative measures.
To begin with, if you own a Mac, you should clone your data as it creates a snapshot of your Mac, and you can preserve it as long as you want. It makes things relatively easier because you can also use your hard drive on another Mac without losing any data.
Beyond that, you can backup your data on Google Drive, OneDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive, or Dropbox. If you opt for offline backups options, you can go with portable hard drives, USB flash drives, NAS devices, Solid State Drives, among others.
7. Regularly Update Your Operating System
When you update your OS, you ensure that all necessary software updates are done on time, which helps your system run smoothly. You can automatically set your PC to update, which is also an essential part of an excellent hard drive maintenance routine.
Beyond that, you should delete any unwanted programs as they are just eating up space. Also, be very careful when installing or downloading software from the internet.
Hard Drive Maintenance Tips: Always Have a Backup Plan
Despite having a hard drive maintenance routine and keeping up with it, having a backup plan is still essential. These maintenance tips will help prolong the lifespan of your hard drive and prevent unnecessary crashes and failures, but you can never be too sure with these things. Beyond that, if you would like to read more interesting posts about everything gadgets, please check out our blog section today.