Maximize the life of your hard drive

After putting together ‘Can you repair a broken hard drive?’ last week, I began wondering if there are some practical things you can do to maximize the life of a working drive. Data recovery is a big part of what we do here at Dave’s Computers in New Jersey but we really wish it wasn’t. Hopefully, if you take regular backups and follow these tips, you should never experience data loss.

There isn’t a whole lot you can do to maximize the life of your hard drive but there are some things we can suggest that can help you get the most out of it. The good news is that these tips will maximize life of all your other components too!

Live long and prosper

Most computer components have an MTBF, Mean Time Before Failure. That essentially means the length of time the manufacturer things you can reasonably expect before that piece of hardware begins erroring or failing. Different hardware is rated with different MTBF. You can maximize that with some simple tips.

Take regular backups

While I am offering tips of getting the most out of your hard drive, we equally have to plan for the worst. Taking regular backups of your critical files means that when the end does come, it won’t be as devastating as it could be.

Be gentle with it

If you’re using a desktop, once you have it set up, try to not move it wherever possible Certainly don’t knock or jar it, bash into it or place it where you might trip or kick it. Sharp motions are the enemy of electronics so try to minimize them where at all possible.

If you’re a laptop user, try to avoid knocking or dropping it. They are made to withstand harsher treatment than desktops but aren’t invulnerable.

Keep it clean

Heat is the biggest killer of computer components and dirty and dust can cause components to quickly overheat. This is especially true if you’re a gamer and run your computer at higher temperatures. Keep your computer as clean as you can and perform regular dusting and cleaning on the internals and dust filters. Make sure fans are free of dust and that you keep your computer as clean as you can.

Don’t defragment SSDs

You don’t need to run defrag on Solid State Drives. In Windows ,Trim does that for you. Running defragmentation can significantly lower the operating life of an SSD drive so don’t do it. If you use HDDs, then defragmentation is still useful but never perform it on an SSD.

Watch for SMART alerts

If you have a SMART-enabled hard drive, you may see an alert telling you something is wrong with that drive. It’s a useful early warning that allows you to take remedial action and a backup just in case something happens. Not all hard drives use SMART, but if yours does, keep an eye on it.

If you do suffer hard drive failure, bring it straight to Dave’s Computers in New Jersey. Our data recovery experts can potentially save your data.