All hard drives are transitory products, and there will come a time when they stop working. In the meantime, there are several care tips you can use to improve the lifespan of your hard drive. Think of it as making the most out of the hard-earned bucks you used to buy your storage unit. Ideally, that’s what most people want, and no one will hesitate when given the opportunity to extend the use of their units. So, if you want to avoid the consequences of a failed hard drive, you’ll find the tips herein quite helpful.
1. Always Partition Your Hard Drive
This an essential yet basic step to start optimizing your hard drive. Partitioning helps to separate the OS files from other computer data and files. People who love using multiple operating systems will find the use of additional partitions quite effective. It helps to increase the reliability of your unit since file system corruption errors will not affect all your computer files.
Partitioning also keeps you organized and makes it easier for you to locate files on your computer. Backing up your data and systems files will also be easy when you partition.
2. Keep Your Hard Drive Clean
When your drive is packed with files, a lot of reading and writing occurs, and it’s forced to run constantly to meet the specific demands of a different file. A simple disk cleanup can help to curb this. Be sure to clean unwanted files at least every month. Unused and unimportant files and programs take up space for no good reason.
Operating systems usually come with cleanup tools that can actually help you free up disk space. Some people claim that built-in tools are usually not effective. So, you might want to download and install a cleaning program, which can analyze your drives and recommend possible deletions. Others will also show you duplicate files on your drive.
3. Keep Your OS and Programs Updated
This might seem a simple and basic task; you’ll be surprised to know how many people overlook it. Updates to your OS and programs are important to ensure better system health. This, in turn, helps to eliminate issues that could lead to hard drive failure.
In most cases, you’ll get notifications when updates are available. Some people will just snub them or keep postponing the updates, and this is an ill-health action to your hard drive and computer.
4. Defragmentation Is Important
Also, it helps to consolidate free space, giving you more space to write, create, or save new files. You’ll get a defragger that features a sophisticated algorithm for smart file placement, which analyzes the drive to identify slower and faster zones for improved file access. Typically, defragmentation helps to consolidate all small free spaces together, and this helps to prevent fragmentation and enhances your disk.
5. Keep Your Physical Machine Clean
Dust tends to accumulate in your machine over time and covers your components and builds up in your fan. When this happens, airflow is inhibited, and your machine overheats. Of course, your hard drive becomes a victim, too. Overheating of the drive affects its performance, and you might need to call in a tech guy to remedy the situation.
When the drive overheats, its components sustain damage in minutes and this ruins your computer. In some cases, you might need to replace it. As such, regular machine cleaning is important to keep the components free of debris and dust. Make sure to use compressed air to clean in and around your machines to prevent accumulation of dust.
6. Some Resting Time Helps
Even though they’re machines, letting your machine rest could go a long way in enhancing the condition of your hard drive. First, you want to use power save to prevent excessive use of power, which contributes to heightening your machine’s temperature levels.
You can configure your machine to go into a sleep mode after particular minutes of inactivity. The less time your hard drive is running, the more bonus points it will get on its lifespan. Plus, using sleep mode allows you to return to work without having to reboot the computer, which usually uses a lot of processing power.
7. Always Use a Backup Plan
You don’t need to store everything on your hard drive. With cloud storage systems, you can relieve your drive some of the storage duties, allowing it store only what you use regularly. Tools, such as OneDrive, DropBox, and Google Drive, offer free storage that you can actually use to store some of your files.
Some people will also have a secondary hard drive to store their backup. Keep in mind that backing up your hard drive will also be quite helpful in the event of a disaster. Data and files stored in cloud usually take just a few minutes to restore, and you don’t need to maintain anything as compared to on-site solutions. If you didn’t back up your files, you could use a hard drive recovery service to restore or recover them.
8. Be Wary of Static Electricity
A discharge of static electricity can cause damage to the components of your computer, including the hard drive. You want to look at it as a bolt of lightning strike directly to your computer. So, when you’re opening your computer, you want to take cautious steps to prevent an electrostatic discharge (ESD) from harming your hard drive.
Avoid touching any circuitry in your computer and try to hold parts by the section that is insulated. It’s advisable to use an antistatic mat or wrist strap to prevent the discharge. Avoid standing on a rug or carpet when opening your computer as they increase the buildup of ESD.
9. Only Install What You Need
In most cases, it’s possible to be cajoled into installing different software programs for just about anything. While it may seem convenient for some people, that will only be straining your hard drive. Each installation requires hard drive space, and some installations can change the performance and behavior of your machine.
Also, downloading anything from the internet without precaution puts your computer at risk of malware and virus. Typically, the more programs you install, the less computer space you have, and the longer it takes for your computer to boot up. Some programs will also take minutes just to open. For business owners, having a second computer to test programs can really help.
10. Regular Maintenance Helps
All machines have a breaking point, and the last thing you want is losing your work or data because of a sudden shutdown or blue screen errors. During your free time, consider carrying out computer maintenance to ensure optimal performance and operation. For example, cleaning your Recycle Bin can help to create more space in your drive.
Don’t forget to delete temporary files and other cached folders that pile up on your computer over time. While temporary files help to improve browsing speed, they can take up MBs or even a GB of your space. Using cleaning programs, such as CCleaner, can help to automate the entire process.
11. Create Space for Pagefile
If you’re using Windows, you have something known as Pagefile, which is typically a virtual memory that the OS uses to store data. In this case, any idle application or program uses this memory, leaving the system’s RAM to other active and running applications. So, you want to leave the Pagefile on by creating its own hard drive partition.
You need to move Pagefile away from your boot drive. This is because Pagefile requires many read and write operations, and this can affect your drive’s lifespan. You can move it to an old HD, and this will help to boost the life of your SSD.
12. Disable Unnecessary Features
You can disable features, such as hibernation, SuperFetch & Prefetch, drive indexing, and system restore. Experts say that system restore can slow down the performance of your drive and interfere with other internal operations. You can turn it off, but keep in mind that it will make it hard for you to recover from problems, such as driver failure.
Drive indexing cause a lot of small write operations, which affect the lifespan of your hard drive. So, it’s also something that you might want to turn off. That applies to SuperFetch and Prefetch, which also cause numerous and unnecessary write operations.
Some of these tips are simple, and you can start trying them now to improve the performance of your computer. Your hard drive is important, and replacing it can be quite costly, especially when it gets damaged unexpectedly. Keeping your hard drive at its optimal performance helps to run your computer well. Of course, how you use your computer and what you use it for are also important considerations.
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