How to prolong your hard drive and reduce the chances of data loss

While Dave’s Computers will always be around to recover your data, it would be better for everyone if you didn’t lose it in the first place. One easy way to do that is to treat your hard drives the right way. While designed to be reliable and robust, there are some practical things you can do to extend their working life.

Hard drives may be cheap but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to squeeze as much value as possible from them. If you’re interested in stretching the life of your drive to the max, follow some of these simple tips.

Reducing the chance of data loss

Hard drives, both HDD and SSD have an MTBF, Mean Time Before Failure, or around 100,000 hours. That sounds like a lot but the more you use them, the faster that time runs out. It isn’t a hard limit but more of a guideline of how long you can reasonably expect a hard drive to survive for.

To get the most out of that, try these longevity tips:

  • Try to not move a desktop computer whenever possible. Sudden moves can damage HDD drives irreparably. SSD less so but you still need to be careful.
  • Avoid overheating. Keep your computer clean, make sure all fans are working and use a temperature monitor to ensure nothing gets too hot. Heat is the enemy of electronics.
  • Avoid high intensity applications such as bit torrent. Bit torrent and other seed programs utilize a lot of hard drive. It has to work very hard reading and writing which can and likely will, degrade its operating life over time.
  • Turn on TRIM for SSDs. Solid State Drives do not need defragmenting as they have a built-in system called TRIM to manage that. If you install an SSD on your computer, make sure you never defragment it and that TRIM is enabled.
  • Don’t defrag HDDs too often. Windows will tell you when you need to defragment your hard drive. Listen to it and don’t defrag unnecessarily. It puts a lot of pressure on a drive so should be only be performed on a schedule.
  • Back up your important data now. Backups are only good if you plan in advance. You cannot back up a failed drive so you need to be prepared. Back your data up to the cloud and to a separate hard drive for maximum safety.

If you do suffer data loss, Dave’s Computer in New Jersey can help. Our data recovery team has vast experience in recovering data from dead drives and many other types of lost data. We would be happy to help!