Hard disk drives are one of the most common parts to fail in today’s computers – but why?
What is a Hard Disk Drive?
It is where your computer saves all its data – from documents, pictures, music and software to the all-important Windows files that are required to make your computer work.
Hard Disk Drive, don’t survive
It’s not a matter of if but a matter of when…
Hard disks are mechanical devices and not designed to last forever. Some fail because of worn out parts; others fail prematurely because of knocks and environmental conditions, e.g. magnetic fields, and all can fail at any time.
Signs of a dying hard drive
Sometimes Windows or third party software will warn you about hard drive problems – sometimes you can hear a clicking sound and sometimes, they just die without any warning.
Other tell-tale signs are the slowing down of the system, Blue Screen errors and unscheduled Windows disk checks at start-up.
The health of your hard drive can be tested with tools like the Western Data Lifeguard Diagnostic – but unfortunately, not all failure is predictable. Always make a back-up before using any hard disk diagnostic tools.
So, what’s the solution?
Back-up, back-up, back-up – yes, I am sounding like a broken record, but it’s the only way to fix a broken record situation!
We probably all know we should be doing it, yet most of us either don’t do it at all, do it infrequently or are unsure if our backup system really works – until disaster strikes!
If a failing hard drive is caught on time, we are able to take an image back-up and restore it to a new hard drive so you do not have to re-install anything, but leave it too late and you risk losing everything.
We can still replace the hard drive – but it will be completely empty with no Windows and all software and drivers will need hunting down and re-installing – a time-consuming and costly exercise.
Solid State Drive thrive alternatives
There is a new kid on the block: The Solid State Drive.
With no moving parts, this means no mechanics to break, even when a machine is knocked or dropped.
Solid State Drives are natively more resilient than hard disk drives – and a lot faster – the difference in performance and improvement in just about every common computing task, including start-up and shutdown, is quite astounding.
And then she goes and spoils it all…
However, as you might expect, Solid State Drives are a lot more expensive – and regrettably, they also fail – although for different reasons, e.g. failing electronics, capacitors, firmware issues etc.
So, the only way to go is to …. yes, you guessed it…
Back-up, back-up, back-up!
Have PC Harmony,
So you can concentrate on the more important things in life…