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The Truth About Hard Drives

When first invented in 1956 by IBM, hard drives were a major innovation that moved the needle when it came to data storage and capabilities. Now over 60 years later, hard drives can still be found in use in many businesses and homes. Many folks trust and rely on hard drives to store their critical information and backups. What you might not know about your hard drive is that it’s designed to fail. 

That’s right. It’s not a matter of if — but when a hard drive fails. Let’s break it down. 

Why hard drives fail

Just like any other piece of technology, hard drives aren’t guaranteed and made to function forever. It’s why many folks choose to have not only one drive but several drives to back up the back-ups on. 

Hard drives can fail because of several reasons ranging from physical shock such as being dropped resulting in body damage to circuit board failures leading to data corruption. If you’re not using it often and leaving it static or in an environment not suitable for storage, that could also lead to a hard drive’s demise. Even if you did everything right, some things can still lead to drive failure. 

If hard drives are destined for failure then why do so many people still use them? Well, the answer lies in their accessibility. Hard drives come in many forms, usually always portable in nature, and can be purchased at a relatively budget-friendly price depending on the storage space needed. 

Hard drive vs. solid state drive

Another piece of technology you might often hear in tandem with a hard drive is a solid state drive. The traditional spinning hard drive is the basic non-volatile storage on a computer or separate hardware. It stores information on it that doesn’t “delete” when you turn off the system, unlike data stored in RAM. A hard drive is essentially a metal platter with a magnetic coating that stores your data. 

Solid state drives look very similar to hard drives and come in smaller variations. A solid state drive performs the same basic function as a hard drive, but data is instead stored on interconnected flash memory chips that retain the data even when there’s no power flowing through them. These flash chips are of a different type than the kind used in USB thumb drives and are typically faster and more reliable. This difference is why solid state drives tend to cost more but are obviously more dependable. 

Here’s what you can do about it

If you’re worried about your hard drive performance, then it’s time to adopt a cloud storage system. Storing your data on a cloud or “cloud computing” means that your data is stored somewhere outside of your local computer, but can still be accessed easily through a web browser, application or device with an internet connection.

Transitioning towards a cloud system model is the best solution because you’ll be able to access your information from anywhere and not have to worry about future equipment failures and malfunctions. You can even use cloud storage in combination with your hard drive for extra protection!

For almost two decades, Friendly PC has helped Omaha families and businesses level up their data and technology solutions. Learn more about our services here