Avoiding Hard Drive Crashes

Ever since the advent of computers, users have lived in fear that whatever they have been doing with the machines can be permanently lost with one errant keystroke or a power failure. And the impact of a hard drive failure is indeed a large one.

That’s not to say that it’s the end of the world if something does happen to your hard drive. It’s not. There are hard drive data recovery techniques that can salvage a lot of your data, depending on the circumstances.

But even if you manage to recover 100% of your files and go on with things unscathed, you have still lost some time and money. It’s far better to prevent a hard drive issue than to do even a great job of recovering from it.

Avoiding Hard Drive Crashes

Keep your memory secure and safe with some basic steps, and you’ll never have to worry about recovering it.

Virtual Security

Hackers are the big fear out there today, and rightly so. Their impact is in the billions, and they leave businesses, government agencies, and individuals on edge.

So the protection of your hard drives and servers must begin here. You need to keep passwords strong and enforce regular changes in them for all employees. Virus protection, firewalls, and spyware gear must be updated as soon as patches or new versions come along, and your IT personnel need to stay absolutely on top of any such news.

Of course, good internet habits are critical too. Keep your staff up to date on how hackers try to damage you with ransomware, spyware, and malware. Emphasize the importance of avoiding links that are not reputable. Keep a strong defense up at all times.

Power Provisions

We sometimes forget that a hard drive is a physical object with power requirements and moving parts. As such, it is subject to physical damage that can cause data loss.

One of the other oversights we also make is to put all our attention on dealing with power surges and failing to pay attention to their opposite, power troughs. When a utility experiences a brownout or other low point in voltage, hard drives can be damaged.

The solution is very simple. Instead of just arming your computer or server with a surge protector (often built into power strips), get a battery backup system. These devices will not only deflect excessive power coming in from lightning strikes or other disruptions, they’ll also cover for any shortcomings in the power supply due to substation failures or other grid issues.

They’ll also keep you working in the event of a total power failure, buying you time to quickly save files and properly shut down your computer before the battery runs out.


Speaking of the physical condition of your computer equipment, don’t forget cleanliness. Two of the mortal enemies of electronics are dust and humidity, so it’s critically important to manage those properly.

While the actual hard drive itself is physically sealed from dust, an accumulation of it inside the tower, laptop, or server can cause a number of problems. Dust can gather in ventilation openings, making it more difficult for system fans to maintain safe temperature levels. Dust can also accumulate on boards and electronic connections, potentially causing short circuits.

Humidity is also trouble. It can cause corrosion or short circuits as well.

Manage these two factors. Operate a dehumidifier in all computer areas. Modern units have humidistats that allow you to set a maximum humidity level, and the unit will automatically shut off at that point. This will help prevent sinus problems for employees.

And clean your equipment. Use a vacuum to gently remove dust from the exterior of all ventilation openings on computer equipment and wipe down the surfaces as well.

If these steps had to be summarized by two words, they’d be awareness and persistence. Know what can damage your hard drives, and then stay vigilant in preventing it.

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