Whenever you experience a system crash, there’s no doubt that it is horribly inconvenient as you’ll probably lose progress and unsaved data. However, when a hard drive (HDD) is what’s failing you, it can seem like the end of the world. Why? Well, it means all your files, software, photos, videos, and essential documents that you’ve saved in your computer would likely disappear – forever.
Having a complete data wipe because of hard drive failure can be one of the worst experiences ever. What makes it even more dreadful is that it can happen to anyone, at any time. There are loads of causes why your storage fails, but the most common ones are due to an unstable power supply, corrupted operating systems, sudden power outages, and computer viruses.
What Can You Do When Your HDD Fails?
There are a lot of options, but the first thing we’d recommend before attempting to fix it yourself is to consider if the data in your HDD is imperative. If the files in your drive are a necessity and have tremendous value to you or your business, there is no doubt that you should call a professional to repair it and try to recover your data.
If the data in your drive is non-vital, you have the option to consider tweaking it manually. Nonetheless, you should know that the chances of successfully repairing a broken hard drive without the right tools and know-how are exceptionally low – almost impossible. To successfully restore an HDD, you need to have a thorough understanding of its anatomy, and you need to have the patience to spend a lot of time and effort.
So, Does That Mean DIY Is a Bad Idea?
In most cases, Yes. Do you know that broken hard drives that are being tweaked by the average Joe ends up irreparable and gets denied by most computer shops? Here are some pseudo solutions spread on YouTube, computer forums, and blogs:
- Put your hard drive in the freezer for a couple of hours – some even swear doing it overnight.
- Cook it in the oven for about 5 minutes.
- Hammer it a few times and run it again.
Believe it or not, these solutions, for some people, are very real. Yes, you can do it, but you should also say goodbye to your drive at the same time. Methods like the these make possibly recoverable data, irrecoverable.
The only correct solution is prevention, but if the damage has been done, you can either take courses in properly repairing hard drives yourself or take it to a professional repair centre to save you the time.
Our Recommended Solutions
The best way to solve this issue is by preventing it from ever happening. Here are the best ways to make sure that your data is safe and secure:
Perhaps, there is nothing more secure than backing up your data. You have numerous ways to do that, and here they are:
- External Storage Devices – This is the fastest, easiest, and, maybe the cheapest way to backup your data. It can be as crude as burning the data to a CD or saving it to a flash drive. For bigger chunks of information, using an external hard disk is the best and most practical approach, especially if the size is more than a few hundred gigabytes. As long as you consistently save the data to any external storage device, you won’t be having problems even after an HDD failure. Furthermore, it saves you hundreds of dollars as you only have to buy a new drive to replace the old one rather than spend hundreds of dollars on repairs that still can’t guarantee a complete recovery.
- Cloud Storage – This is a more convenient and on-the-go option, opting for cloud storage is your best bet. Today, there are a lot of providers, and a couple noteworthy to mention are Google Drive and Dropbox. Though it does come at a price if you want to avail more than 15 gigabytes of storage, it allows you to access all your data anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
Install an Antivirus and Keep It Updated
One of the biggest reasons why your hard drive fails and causes data corruption is due to a virus. Keeping an updated antivirus protection is more than beneficial for your computer and your hard disk’s lifespan.
Avoid Power Surges and Outages
Another typical reason why your HDD dies is due to power surges and outages. Sudden bursts or stoppage of electricity can cause its disk to crash – possibly causing irreversible damages. Though modern drives are designed to withstand this, there’s no telling when this safety feature would fail. That is why it is recommended to invest in an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to stabilise the flow of electricity. Installing a UPS, in turn, gives you time to save your work and shut down your computer appropriately if the power goes out.
Always Practice Correct Handling Procedures
Some people are too confident when it comes to their computer’s durability. Thus, most of them would just turn the computer off by unplugging it right away instead of shutting it down using the correct manner. Another practice that’s fairly common among laptop users is their carelessness when handling their device. Moving a laptop when it’s transferring data or running a program can also cause disk crashes. Refrain from doing any of these practices to prolong your drive’s life.
The best means to extend your hard drive’s life is to take care of it and avoid poor computer-handling techniques. Additionally, even if you do your best to prevent HDD failure, it’s still best to have a backup of all your crucial data – nothing can beat preparation. The thing you need to understand about hard drives is that it has no guarantees when it fails and is incredibly difficult to restore. That is why if you haven’t been doing any of these precautionary measures and your drive has unfortunately failed, don’t waste your time repairing it yourself. Always go to a professional to assist you in recovering your data before possibly losing it forever.