How to Extend Your Hard Drive’s Life to Make it Last Longer

Nobody likes data loss, whether it’s business documents or personal data. But no matter how hard you try, you’re likely to lose your valuable files at some point. Data loss can happen due to a variety of reasons like accidental file deletion, hardware failure or malware. One of the biggest causes of data loss is hard drive failure.

Hard drives are an essential component of computers and a sudden drive crash can be a big nuisance. Hard drive stores all the data and when it fails, you can’t access important documents on your computer or laptop. Although it’s possible to recover data from damaged hard drives, it’s better to take measures to prevent hard drive failures in the first place.

The average life expectancy of hard drives is 6-7 years. But either to manufacturing defect or human error, a hard drive may fail before completing its lifespan. In most cases, the cause of drive failure is mishandling or no maintenance. So, extending the life of your hard drive largely depends on you. By following the manufacturer’s directions on safe handling and keeping tabs on external threats, you can prolong the life of your hard drive. To extend your drive’s life and prevent data loss, here are some effective tips.

Avoid Vibration

Your hard drive can fail either due to physical or logical error. As far as physical damage is concerned, a knock, hit, bump or shock can destroy the hard drive. HDDs comprise several moving parts which makes it vulnerable to damage. If your drive is subjected to vibration, particularly when the heads are trying to read and write data on the platter, it can suffer damage. So, make sure to avoid knocks or jostles and remove cautiously, only if necessary.

Prevent Overheating

Another major cause of drive failure is overheating. Your system can overheat due to multiple reasons like inadequate ventilation, extreme weather or overheated environment. When heat builds up, the components of the hard drive expand which may lead to crashing of heads and platters. So, to prolong your drive’s life, you need to ensure optimal temperatures. To control heat, there must be sufficient ventilation for your computer. Also, as a part of a maintenance routine, keep cleaning the dust buildup to ensure the proper working of fans.

Perform Defragmentation

When the hard drive gets filled up, it starts to split files into different parts. Although this file fragmentation doesn’t lead to direct drive corruption, it exerts pressure on the drive. The hard drive will need to work harder to seek out data which in turn impacts its lifespan. So, to reduce your drive’s workload, it’s best to perform defragmentation. You don’t need to do this too frequently. But once in a while, defragmentation can be quite helpful.

Avoid Frequent Shut Down

Are you turning on and off your system too frequently? The users who frequently boot up and shut down the hard drive are more likely to experience drive failure. While turning off your computer can extend your drive’s life, it doesn’t mean to this frequently. If you want to take a small break, using sleep mode is a better option. This will not only save your time in returning back to work but also extends your drive’s life. However, make sure to shut it down if you don’t want to use the system for days.