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How Do I Maintain Hard Drive Health?

Hard drive.
Hard disk drive with case removed to show the platters and the read-write head.
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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 March 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are a number of different ways to maintain hard drive health with your computer, and using a combination of them can help improve the lifespan of your hard drive and better protect the data you save on it. One of the simplest ways to keep your hard drive healthy is to run regular or frequent defragmentation programs to keep the data on the drive as tidy and easy to access as possible. You can also ensure hard drive health through maintaining a good environment for your hard drive within your computer, by opening your computer case to spray dust off of your drive and by keeping the fans on your computer case free of dirt buildup.

The hard drive of your computer is the long-term memory of your computer, where all of the data is stored for future access and use. This includes any files you may have, folders that organize your data, and the programs and applications you run on your computer. As long as you try to maintain hard drive health through a few different methods, you can better keep your files secure and ensure the longevity of your computer’s hard drive.

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One of the easiest things you can do to ensure hard drive health is defrag your hard drive regularly. When data is stored onto your hard drive, it is typically saved in a way that utilizes the available space on the hard drive in the simplest way possible. Initially this keeps data together fairly well, but with multiple deletions and new data being saved, the different parts of a piece of data on the hard drive can become scattered. Defragmentation of a hard drive ensures hard drive health by putting these pieces of data together in contiguous order so that it is easier for your computer to access the data you have on the drive.

You should defrag your hard drive fairly regularly, usually about once each month, or even more frequently if you use your computer extensively. There are a number of defragmentation programs you can use to maintain hard drive health, or you can simply defrag your hard drive through the properties menu of the drive. You should also keep the fans on your computer tower or case clean and free from dirt, as built up dirt can possibly lead to overheating and damage your hard drive.

It can also be a good idea to occasionally open your computer case, depending on the type of desktop computer you have, and use compressed air to blow dust out of your computer. This can improve hard drive health by reducing the amount of dust that can gather on your hard drive. You may also want to wipe off the connectors between your hard drive and motherboard as well. If you are using a laptop or a type of desktop computer that is not easily opened, however, you may not want to do this.

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Discuss this Article

Viranty
Post 3

It's funny how the article mentions dust gathering around the PC, as I have a very bad habit of not keeping up with that, ha ha. This even reminds me of a funny story. During my junior year of college, I bought my own laptop. For the first few months, everything worked fine, or so I thought. For some reason, my PC was speeding up really fast. However, I just shrugged it off, and went about my business.

A few months later, my PC crashed. It wasn't until I took it to Best Buy that I found out what the issue was. Failure to clean my PC led to a build-up of dust, which caused my laptop to overheat. I had to pay $300 to get it fixed. Sometimes, it's the simplest mistakes and solutions that can cause the most trouble, ha ha. I'm definitely more careful about that from now on.

Chmander
Post 2

The article doesn't mention this, but one of the best ways to maintain hard drive health is by taking your PC to the store you bought, every now and then. While your hardware is still under warranty, it's a good idea to keep up with your materials.

RoyalSpyder
Post 1

As the articles states, maintaining hard drive health is one of the most important things you can do you for your computer. After all, it is the heart and soul of your computer, right? In fact, think of it this way. In the same way in which whatever we eat can affect our health and heart, whatever we put onto our computer can affect it as well, for the better and worse. Though the article doesn't mention this, one of the best ways to maintain the health of your PC is through anti-virus software. Trojans and worms are one of the few things that can wear down your PC very quickly. Having protection keeps these nasty viruses from wearing out your hard drive.

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