Is your computer working slower than usual? Whether you’re using a desktop computer or laptop, several things may go wrong with your system. Of all the issues faced by your computer, one of the most common is hard drive failure. When laptops become slow, some people think about getting a new one. However, often this issue can be solved more cost-effectively.

If you’re experiencing some issues with your computer, you need to clean out the hard drive. Most of the times when computer becomes bloated or sluggish, it’s the hard drive to be blamed. All hard drives, even the best ones like Western Digital and Buffalo hard drives, have a limited life span. In addition to normal wear and tear, HDDs are also subject to various logical issues and physical damage caused by human errors, virus infection, improper drive use, power surge, moisture, overheating, bad sectors, etc. All these issues are responsible for premature hard drive failure and catastrophic data loss. But you can avoid sudden drive failure by ensuring proper hard drive maintenance.

Hard Drive Maintenance

Typically, most hard drives have a life span of 3-5 years. But sometimes it dies earlier due to some issues. If you want to prevent premature HDD failure, you need to follow proper drive maintenance routine. The first step in this direction is to follow manufacturer directions for safe device handling. You can also extend the lifespan of your hard drive by performing active disk monitoring and regular disk optimization. Read further to know the best maintenance practices for prolonging the life your drive.

1. Keep Updating the OS

Most users ignore the notification to update the computer’s operating system. However, not updating the operating system regularly can be a mistake. OS update plays a vital role in ensuring that the device runs smoothly. It helps in preventing the risk of potential HDD failure. In some computers, OS is updated automatically but if your system doesn’t have this feature then update the system by accessing the “Windows Update” feature on your computer.

2. Defragment Your Hard Drive

The optimal functioning of your computer depends on the hard drive that stores all the data. The programs you install on the computer takes up the available space first. For other files and folders, Windows allocates the spaces that become available when you delete some data. As you continue to add and delete files over time, your HDD becomes more fragmented that can slow down your computer. This is where the process of defragmentation can help in keeping your drive in good condition. When you defrag your HDD, this process rearranges the fragmented data to enhance the computer’s overall performance. The users of Windows 10 and Mac OS X 10.2 or later don’t need to defrag the HDD because these OS will automatically defrag the drive.

3. Clean the Hard Drive

You need to clean both hardware and software. Removing unwanted programs helps in optimizing your laptop. You should keep deleting programs and files that are no longer needed to free up space on your hard drive. Cleaning the drive involves removing unwanted application, as well as physically cleaning the drive to remove dust and debris. This will help in ensuring proper airflow and prevent overheating. Be careful while cleaning the drive to avoid accidental file deletion. If you delete or format the drive by mistake, retrieving the lost data can be tricky. However, an HDD expert like Buffalo Data Recovery professional can help you in recovering lost data.

4. Prevent Power Surge & Vibrations

Even the best HDDs can fail due to power surge, exposure to excessive heat, or vibration. The voltage fluctuations results in power surge. A sudden power outage and power surge that happens within a few nanoseconds could have severe consequences for your drive. Sometimes, users also shutdown the system forcibly or unplug drive while it’s spinning. This sudden power loss or surge can damage the drive and result in data loss. You can avoid this issue by using an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) unit.

5. Avoid Frequent On & Off

Most users don’t know when to put the laptop on sleep and when to turn it off. Ideally, if are not going to use the computer for a day, then switch it off. But if you are going use it again in a few hours, it is better to put it on sleep mode instead. This is because frequently shutting down and booting can take a toll on your hard drive.