Almost everyone has had to deal with the pains of a dying hard drive, but not everyone knows what the causes of hard disk failure are. If you are still unaware of what you may be doing to shorten the life of your drive, you will be destined to scramble to backup your data when that ticking noise starts again. It is never pleasant to have to deal with a dying hard drive, so make sure you know what causes it and what you can do to prevent it.
Probably the single biggest cause of hard drive failure is physical trauma. Hard drives are extremely delicate, the pieces inside are built with only a micron of space between them. It doesn't take much to cause a scratch or other damage. Some computers are under the desk where they are constantly bumped and kicked. Others sit right next to loud subwoofers which may cause vibrations. Still others, and almost everyone has done this, get smacked a few times by frustrated users. Make sure your computer is kept in a safe place where it doesn't have to endure these physical abuses. And remember that hitting your computer will only make problems worse.
Among the causes of hard disk failure, overheating is a big one. Computers today are capable of incredible things, but they put out a large amount of heat in exchange. While the problem can usually be solved by turning down your settings or turning up your fans, sometimes there are layout issues inside the computer. Most pre-built computers are laid out just fine, but if you want to save money by building your own, there are a couple things to be aware of. You have to install the fans so that the airflow inside is maximized. Make sure you install the fans so they let out hot air at the top and force in cool air at the bottom. Heat poses a risk to the hard drive as well as almost every other facet of the computer.
One easily prevented problem is an electrical surge. Getting a surge protector for all of your computer's plugs is crucial. It cannot be stressed enough that you should never plug your computer directly into the wall. Even a small electrical surge can cause a computer to short out entirely. Not only could it kill the hard drive, but every other component is at risk. And make sure that your surge protector is tough enough to protect against a big surge. If it can't protect your computer adequately, it serves no purpose.
There are countless reasons that a hard drive can fail. These are just three of those reasons, but they are among the most common. If you take care of your drive, you shouldn't have to worry about that strange noise that you get when your hard drive plays its death knell. By listening to your hard drive and taking care of it properly, you can extend its life indefinitely.