Although hardware prices have dropped a great deal over the last decade, it is still important to protect your investment by extending its usability. Hard drives should be given special attention because they hold vital data necessary for everyday business activities. The following actions can prevent a premature hard disk death:

Run disk-checking utilities
As they are used, hard disks will develop errors, such as software issues, physical problems or partition table issues that could lead to boot failure and downtime for the end user. Fortunately, the Windows chkdsk program can take care of common problems like bad sectors, directory errors or cross-linked files. You can run chkdsk at next boot with the command “chkdsk Z: /f” (without the quotation marks), Z being the drive you want to check. When asked if you want to run chkdsk the next time the system restarts, select ‘Y’ to allow it.

Separate OS from user data
Separating the user’s home directories from the OS installation onto a different drive ensures there will be less reading or writing to the drive where you install the OS. This will extend the life of the drive with the data, and allow you to transfer user data easily in case the drive fails. 

Avoid heat and increase air circulation
Leaving your PC in a tiny cabinet with zero circulation will cause it to run hot and shorten the life of its internal components. Instead, always try to give your machine plenty of breathing room, and if you have to cram it into a tight space, at least give it ventilation (even add a fan) to get rid of the stale warm air the PC generates. 

Upgrade to SSD drives
Solid State Drives (SSDs) have no moving parts, so their lifespan is naturally longer than if they had read heads, bearings and platters. Although buying an SSD drive will cost you more, it will save you money in the long run because of its longer lifespan. This lowers the likelihood of drive failure and saves on the time that would otherwise be spent on data recovery and transfer.

Back Up!
Unfortunately, drive failure is very common, no matter how careful you are or how many steps you take to prevent it. Solid backups are critical in ensuring the transition from one drive to the next is painless. There are various backup solutions that even allow you to effortlessly transfer a machine image from one piece of hardware to another. 

%d bloggers like this: