Hard Disk Drive Death

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You might not have heard of it or perhaps you might have. The fact that your hard drive that your computer currently runs on, can, one day, unexpectedly, cease to function ever again. Most hard drives are expected to for about 3 to 5 years; they will wear out eventually if used continuously. This is the same for CD’s as well, contrary to many beliefs; CD’s will last for about 20 years, unless they have a special coating that allows for longer storage. Then again, almost every mechanical object with parts is bound to fail at some point, if the parts are not replaced. But worry not! For you may elongate the life of your hard drive. Here are a couple of steps you may take to do so:

1.) Partition your hard drive

Partitioning your hard drive relives stress on your hard drive; it allows for faster data retrieval or decreases your “seek time”. Also partitions are almost necessary for some drives such as ATA drives with capacities of 250 gigabytes and SATA drives of 500 gigabytes or more require at least two partitions. This is because it would take too long for the hard drive to search through memory on one end and travel to the other end immediately afterwards. By partitioning your hard drive into smaller sections, it allows for less time to be used in searching through for data. It also decreases the risk of losing data while doing tasks, because if you are using data from one partition and something suddenly malfunctions, the other partitions will not be effected. It also allows for you to back up your computer more effectively: if the partition carrying your OS were to fail unexpectedly, all other partitions will be not being effected, allowing for the reformatting of that specific partition.

2.) Enclosing your hard drive in a case

For almost any electronic appliance, heat can kill them. To combat this, you can place your hard drive in a case to keep them cool. Some cases made of aluminum can dissipate heat exerted from your hard drive. This solution also decreases or maybe even negates all sound coming from your computer depending on the case. Most cases also come with a fan inside of it as well to help dissipate heat.

3.) Installing a fan (Or just putting an actual fan next to your computer could work…sort of)+ Heatsink

Using a fan can also control heat exerted by your hard drive. Just like your CPU, the fan can do the same. You will have to read up on how to install it of course (With CAUTION). There isn’t much to say about this method, as it is the same way your CPU is cooled. A big plus to this would be to add a heat sink in addition to the fan; this would be the exact same setup your CPU is most likely in.

4.) Submerging your computer in oil or some other liquid solution

This is would be the best solution for almost every heat associated problem in a computer. It would dissipate ALL heat exerted from any part of your computer without the need of a fan. Of course this solution would be expensive and not many people have this sort of set-up. Who knows, one day, maybe all computers will be submerged in a liquid solution.

Signs your hard drive is failing

– If it produces a repetitive “grinding” sound: as if two parts are grinding against each other. Or any other unnatural sounds.

– If one of your drives are unusually hot while your others are just warm. However this might just be your hard drive going through many tasks.

Make sure your hard drive is not overheating by downloading the HDD thermometer at http://www.rsdsoft.com/hdd-thermometer/

– If your hard drive takes too long to boot or if it does not boot at all occasionally. This is a sign your hard drive is struggling do work and going to fail soon.

– If your hard drive cannot locate its Windows Master File Table (MFT) or it is corrupted, in cases such as after an unexpected crash.

– If CHKDISK fails to repair a corrupted MFT, then the drive is most likely going to fail.

– If CHKDISK finds multiple bad sectors in your hard drive. This shows bad sectors are gradually building up in your hard drive and most likely going to fail soon.

– Also if Windows constantly runs CHKDISK before startup, that is a sign of inconsistency in your hard drive along with bad sectors. In this case the hard drive, without a doubt, will fail very soon.

– If the hard drive has been dropped, beaten, banged on, it might fail or its lifespan might be considerably reduced.

What to do if your Hard Drive is about to fail

– Back up your files as soon as possible. If you believe your hard drive is about to fail, it could happen at any moment.

– Get a new one or make sure you have a hard drive you can back up to.

– Roll back all your files onto your new hard drive.

– Either sit back and watch your hard drive spiral into death or you can donate it, sell it (Not very nice!), give it to recycle, or recycle it yourself in whatever way you want (You can use it as a coaster)

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