How To Make Your External Hard Drive Last Through The Ages

Share this article

4 Tips For Extending The Lifespan Of Your External Hard Drive

So your external hard drive probably isn’t meant to last for a thousand years—its technology will be long obsolete by then anyway—but that doesn’t meExternal Hard Diskan you shouldn’t do what you can to extend the life of your external drive. After all, whether you use it to back up important files or to store precious pictures, you don’t want your drive going bad before it has to, especially not when you’re unprepared for it. Here are a few simple tips you can use to keep your drive healthy for longer.

Remember an External Drive’s Intended Purpose

Your external hard drive isn’t meant to replace your computer’s internal drive. Rather, external drives should complement them, so don’t use external drives for primary storage. What does this mean? When you are working on a project, such as editing a photo or writing a paper, complete your work and save the changes on the internal drive before moving the finished file to an external drive for back-up and storage. Continuously saving files on your external drive while you are working on them forces the drive to complete the saving protocol multiple times—something external drives aren’t usually built to handle, which keeps them warm and the internal cooling fans running when they normally do not need to. Check out Dell.com for more information about external hard drives.

Earth, Wind, and Fire—Great for Music, Not Your External Drive

In this day and age, it’s pretty unreasonable to think that you don’t expect your tech to go the distance with you. After all, what is portable technology for if not to be taken wherever you go? However, just because your smart phone, netbook, or MP3 player is mobile doesn’t mean that it’s invincible. No, you buy covers and carriers to make sure these items stay protected no matter what your plans. The same principle applies to your external hard drive. Avoid letting it bang around in your bag, briefcase, or backpack. Keeps cords and accessories out of harm’s way, and maintain a safe distance from food and beverages. The more your shield your drive from the elements, the more likely it is that it will live longer.

The Proper Ejection Method

When you’re in a rush, it can be so tempting to just physically remove your external hard drive from your pc because let’s face it: you have done it before and no harm was done, right? Wrong. Continually detaching your external drive from your computer without going through the ejection protocols puts your data at risk and can result in damage errors popping up on the drive, making it harder and harder for you to access your data in the future. Always, always right click, control click, or whatever else your operating systems requires you to do to access the ejection menu when removing your drive so that the computer and the drive can correctly disconnect.

Proper Placement

The most common cause of drive failure is due to knocked over drives. Many drives are designed poorly and often stand up on your desk making them an easy object to tip over. Place your drive in a position that it cannot be tipped over and organize cords in a way that they will not be pulled on when getting up or maneuvering around your desk.

A Final Caution

While external drives may not be meant to last through the next millennium, saving files to your internal drive before moving them to your external hard drive, protecting the drive from physical stress, and properly removing the drive from your computer will all protect it from wearing out before its time, letting you maintain access to important data for longer. Take the time to change your habits today and get the most from your external drive.

Author Bio: Jared Jacobs has professional and personal interests in technology. As an employee of Dell, he has to stay up to date on the latest innovations in large enterprise solutions and consumer electronics buying trends. Personally, he loves making additions to his media rooms and experimenting with surround sound equipment. He’s also a big Rockets and Texans fan.