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Serial Killers: The 6 Worst Hard Drive Destroyers

Hard drive failure occurs when the hard disk drive fails to function properly and information stored on your computer can no longer be accessed. Hard disk drives fail for a number of reasons, ranging from hardware life expectancy to human error.

There are four basic types of hard drive failures. Software or firmware damage may cause the disk to become unreadable, resulting in the inability to interact properly with the computer. Problems with the controller board on the hard disk may result in electronic failure. Mechanical failure can occur when components on the disk become faulty. And logical corruption may occur when there is a problem with the information on the disk.

Hard drive serial killers are the destructive forces that threaten to destroy your hard drive. The six worst hard drive destroyers are simpler than you might think.

Serial Killer #1: Heat: The primary cause of hard drive failures is hardware overheating. Inadequate ventilation and cooling in and around your computer hardware can cause severe damage to the equipment. Overworked hardware with little or no downtime and smoke or fire damage can wreak havoc on a system.

Serial Killer #2: Physical damage to your computer: Any type of physical force, such as bumping, jarring, or dropping your computer may lead to physical damage to the hard drive. If your computer is in use at the time of the impact, the read/write heads may touch or gouge the disks, causing damage to the platter’s magnetic surfaces where the data is embedded. This is known as a head crash, and the damage can be significant. Even if your computer is powered down, the likelihood of jarring your computer’s components is still present.

Serial Killer #3: Power Surges: A power surge can be caused by lightning strikes, interference with power lines, or by any event which causes the flow of energy to be interrupted and then restarted. Power surges can result in data loss when the read/write heads fail to function properly, and in the worst case, a complete computer crash.

Serial Killer #4: Water Damage: Moisture caused by flooding or even by spilling a liquid onto your computer is almost assuredly bad news. The casing that holds the hard disk drive is not designed to be a barrier against water penetration. Water will have damaging effects on a computer’s electronic parts and disk components, possibly even causing unwanted electrical currents which can further damage your computer.

Serial Killer #5: Corrupted files: Improperly closing a program, turning of your computer before closing files, and installing new software can cause files to become corrupted. Power failures and accidental computer shut downs can contribute to corrupted files, and causing damage to the hard drive.

Serial Killer #6: Human error: The functions of the hard drive can be impaired by human tampering with the system files. Accidental deletion of files imperative to the disk drive is not uncommon. Improper installation and removal of files from your computer can cause the hard disk to malfunction. Activities conducted during a forensic investigation of a computer may also compromise the hard drive.

Hard drive serial killers can destroy your hard disk drive in an instant, and recovery of important information may be difficult. Backing up your data, and using simple preventive techniques can help to save you from the headache of a hard drive crash and prevent having to contact a data recovery company.


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