In this age of advancement in technology, modern gadgets such as computers, mobiles and tablets have become an indispensable part of our day-to-day life. Among these modern marvels, computers are perhaps the single most important gadget in our world today. Almost every office and home in the world today has a computer which is used for work as well as for fun.
A very vital part of a computer is its hard disk drive. It is the chief storage device of the computer which stores all the data that is present in our computers. This data ranges from system files, application data, and user information to music, photos, and videos.
It is thus imperative that we take good care of our computer’s hard disk or we risk losing all of our valuable data. We should also keep a separate backup of our most important data on the computer. However since it is not possible to make a backup of all our data thus it is crucial that we maintain our hard disk drives.
Hard disks generally have quite a long lifetime of around four to five years however according to the second law of thermodynamics all systems will degrade over time. But don’t worry here are some simple steps which will help you increase the life span of your hard disk drive.
1. Defrag your hard disk
Over time your hard disk gets fragmented with data which causes it to work harder and less competently. To reduce damage to your hard disk it should be able to work in the most efficient and safe state possible. Thus it is important that you defragment your hard disk regularly.
You can set your computer to automatically defragment the hard disk once in every week or month which will help keep your hard disk in the best possible state. This in turn increases the life expectancy of the hard disk as the data is stored in a more compact manner which causes less movement of the read head which reduces wear and tear.
2. Use chkdsk
Your hard disk will inevitably contain errors after a period of use. These errors can be of many types such as partition table problems, physical issues or software errors.
However there is a program which has been designed with the very intention of tackling these problems- the windows chkdsk. Apart from these problems the windows chkdsk also solves other hard disk malfunctions such as cross-linked files, hard disk bad sectors, directory errors and lost clusters.
To get the best out of windows chkdsk one should use it when the computer boots up by typing the command chkdsk X where ‘X’ pertains to the drive that the user wants to check, this command will inform the user that the selected drive has been locked and will ask for the user’s permission to run chkdsk at the next reboot. To allow this action you need to press Y.
3. Protect your hard disk from dust and overheating
Dust is one of the main reasons of hard disk malfunctions. Dust accumulation leads to overheating of the hard disk which can have serious repercussions if not looked at.
To tackle this problem one should regularly clean the interiors of their computer components to remove the dust that may have accumulated. Apart from this you can also prevent your computer from overheating by using one of several efficient cooling techniques that are available in d market.
4. Make static your enemy
Static another major enemy of your hard disk and you should always take measures to protect your computer from it. To save your computer from the harmful effects of static electricity the first thing that you should do is ground your system properly. Apart from that you should also be extra careful of where you place your hard disks as well.
5. Protect your computer by using surge protectors
Surge protectors help protect your computer from power surges which can damage several critical computer especially the hard disk. The device works by acting as a shield and diverts the excess voltage through the ground channel present in your computer. Thus, surge protectors are a basic and efficient way of protecting the data present in your computer.
6. Use a program to monitor your hard disk
There are several programs in the market which can monitor the critical details of your hard disk drive. These details range from the amount of free space in your hard disk to the core temperature of your drive. Among the vast number of monitor programs available Acronis drive monitor is one of the best helps you to prevent your hard disk from failure
7. Install your OS away from the other data
Installing your OS directories away from the user data ensure that the drive in which it is stored undergoes less reading or writing. This will increase the drive’s lifespan as a result of which it can be used as the backup drive.
8. Properly install the hard disk
It’s not very hard to install a hard disk; however, if your hard disk is making a lot of noise then you should check its mounting and mount it properly. You should also check the mounting screws as loose mounting screws can result in excess vibrations which can damage the platters of your hard disk.
9. Back up your data regularly
No matter how many precautions you take to protect your hard disk it will fail eventually. Thus it is of vital importance that you backup your data. There are several programs which help you backup the data in your hard disk systematically. Acronis Universal Restore is one such program which helps the user to transition seamlessly from one drive to another.
10. Upgrade your hard disk
Over time your old hard disk will degrade therefore it is essential that you upgrade your hard disk after a period of time. You can also install the new hard disk while your old one is still present in the computer. That way you won’t lose any data saved in your computer.
Follow the above mentioned tips and you can extend the life of your hard disk and also keep your data safe in case it fails.
2 thoughts on “10 Tips to Maintain Your Hard Drive and Increase Its Life Span”
I’m big on frequent defrags Jane, to preserve my drive and to speed up my system. Thanks!
Yup defrag works great. I used to do it regularly on my PC 🙂