How long does a hard drive last?
We heavily rely on hard disk drives to keep our electronical items running smoothly both for work and leisure.
A hard drive is a storage device contained inside electronic items such as PC’s, laptops and photocopiers that acts as secondary storage, continuously sending and receiving messages. A computer cannot work without it. We expect this intricate piece of equipment to work, but never think to ourselves ‘how long does a hard drive last?’ Or what to do when it fails.
So exactly how long does a hard drive last? As with all electrical items, hard drives have a finite shelf life, and their lifespan can be very unpredictable. Performing regular backups to a separate device or onto cloud storage will safeguard you against loss of data from a physical hard drive failure. Many hard drives last 3 years or more, or some may unfortunately have factory defects that mean they fail earlier.
Here are a few simple tips you can follow to preserve the longevity of your hard drive:
Ensure your computer does not get too hot.
Periodically make sure the fans inside your device are working, have not been blocked and can cool the computer or laptop efficiently.
Make sure you power down when your computer is not in use. An unexpected electronic failure or a power surge can damage the delicate interior of a hard drive.
Keep your antivirus software up to date by installing all recommended updates when prompted. This simple action prevents hackers from gaining access to your computer and damaging your hard drive data.
Replace your hard drive regularly. They usually last around 3-4 years. You could be at risk of mechanical failure if the hard drive is old and worn out.
Ensure you only install recommended software and updates to programs. Downloading bogus updates can maliciously attack your machine and your hard drive.
Be aware of unusual noises
If the hard drive makes a scraping, clicking or whirring sound, ensure you shut down your PC immediately. The noise may be due to the read/write heads scraping which causes irreparable damage to the disk.
If you suspect the valuable data stored on your hard drive has been damaged or lost, then contact an IT professional to try and extract it. Hard drives are very delicate. Do not try and disassemble yourself as you could make the damage worse.
Keep a backup
It’s recommended by experts that you always keep an off-site copy of the data, either on remote servers or via cloud storage. At the end of each day, ask yourself if your data has been saved and protected.
When my hard drive needs to be replaced, how do I dispose of the original?
Always contact a professional data destruction company to handle and destroy your old hard drives. This not only protects your data security but prevents the precious materials inside a hard drive ending up in landfill. Even if the disk has been wiped, hackers could still gain access to the data on the disk. The only way to eradicate the data is to degauss (wipe the disk with magnetic force) and then shred the disk securely. The metal parts such as aluminium, glass and ceramics are then separated and recycled, and any plastic sorted and recycled wherever possible.
You’ll be pleased to hear that the Shredding Alliance can shred all your hard drives securely, protecting your data integrity and helping to preserve the environment. Simply call us today with your requirements.