As every tech enthusiast knows, a gadget’s hard drive is an essential component and any damage caused to this particularly important computer part can lead to the inconvenience of downtime and cause dreaded data loss. As suppliers of rugged technology, we know the importance of keeping the inner workings of our favourite devices working correctly and there are a number of steps you can take to extend the life of your hard drive…
Run the Window Chkdsk Program
With general use, a laptop or PCs’ hard disk is bound to build up a few errors but to prevent physical damage, software problems and partition issues, the chkdsk program from Windows can be run to detect and solve anything that is a potential threat to your hard disk.
Maintain Surrounding Conditions
It’s not just the inner workings of your hard disk that need maintaining to prevent failure, the conditions in which you store or use your computing system in can also cause damage. Ensure your computer is stored in a place with good circulation avoiding the tight confines of a cabinet. Laptops and PCs that cannot cool sufficiently in unventilated spaces will have a shorter lifespan. Keep your laptop or desktop out in the open, and if you do wish to store it in a smaller compartment add a vent or fan to encourage good air circulation.
Defragmenting Your Hard Drive
All hard disks need regular defragmenting to achieve optimum performance and many computing systems have the option for automatic defragmenting on a weekly basis. A fragmented hard drive works even harder and will cause excess wear and tear if it isn’t resolved so improve the health your drive with a regular defragment. As well as defragmenting your drive, make sure you invest in an external hard drive or USB and use this to back up your files on a regular basis, this will prevent downtime and minimise the risk of data loss.
Minimise Static Electricity
Static electricity is the cause of major damage for computer components, especially during the cooler months or in places with particularly dry air. If you regularly get shocked every time you handle your laptop or PC then there is likely to be a problem with static electricity, always ground the device before use and take extra care.
Invest in a Power Saving Plan
Power save is an excellent function for heavily used operating systems and use of this feature can extend the lifespan of your drive dramatically. The power save function switches off your hard drive after a certain period of inactivity, use this wisely though, you don’t want your laptop or PC going to sleep several times throughout the day, instead reduce the average sleep time after 20 minutes of inactivity by just a few minutes to improve the functionality and health of your hard disk.
Brittany Thorley is a technology and gadget enthusiast, as well as sharing her expertise through the art of blogging, she works for Steatite Rugged Systems, a leading manufacturer and supplier of rugged mobile and laptop devices.