How Do You Extend the Life of Your External Hard Drive

Regardless of which drive you choose, it's worth regularly monitoring its work. I personally use the SMART system as well as many external programs. With their help, I will be able to check the disk temperature, any errors, bad sectors or other critical errors. In this way, I can easily realize that our disk is not going well and extend hard drive's life.

Losing data is one of the most frustrating experiences a business owner can have. From corrupted files to hard drive crashes, not being able to access important documents on your computer or portable drive is both stressful and time- consuming.

Although there are numerous ways to recover data from damaged hard drives, there are several actions users can take to prevent or delay hard drive failures in the first place.

How Long Do External Hard Drives Last?
External hard drives have many uses. Can you use it forever? Definitely, the answer is no. How long do external hard drives last? This mostly depends on how you use it and other factors like configuration, brand, size, and environment. The average external hard drive lifespan is about 3 to 5 years, provided that no physical damage occurs.

How to Protect Your External Hard Drive from Failure?
In this post, I offer some suggestions on how to prolong the external hard drive lifespan.

It is worth bearing them in your mind.

1. Power on the drive when you need to use it

This applies to both internal hard drive and external hard drive. Vertically, the more the hard drive is active and working, the more it suffers from wear and tear.

2. Not move it or power off your computer when it is working

During the operation, the flying height of the magnetic head on the surface of the disk is only a few microns. In other words, when the drive is in the read-write state, moving it may cause the head to hit the disk, resulting in damage.

Moreover, do not power off your computer when your external hard drive is working. During working, it is in high-speed rotation. If you power off your computer suddenly, the head and the platter will rub each other violently.

To avoid the damage, you should pay attention to the external hard disk indicator. Fast flashing indicates that the external hard disk is reading and writing.

3. Eject it safely before powering off your computer:

This is to prevent potential data corruption. How to safely remove it on Windows 10 computer? Here are several steps:

Click the external hard drive icon on the taskbar.
Click the option, being “Eject + external hard drive name”.
Remove it when seeing “Safe to Remove Hardware”.

Windows Is Unable to Stop the Device - You Can Stop the Error

4. Keep it away from wet, hot, or cold conditions:

The humidity should be controlled by 45~65% and the temperature by 20~25℃. Furthermore, do not place the external hard drives to strong magnetic fields, such as speakers, motors, mobile, phones, and more, so as to not to damage the data recorded on it due to magnetization.

5. Don’t overload your external hard drive:

Do not fill your external hard drive with unwanted data. Delete the unwanted files as it reduces wear and tear it receives being over full.

6. Monitor external hard drive health regularly:

To intuitively see the health condition of your external hard drive, you can try MiniTool Partition Wizard. Its feature Surface Test will scan the disk and mark the bad sectors red. Moreover, with this toolkit, you can back up your computer to an external hard disk with ease.

Step 1: Connect your external hard drive to a Windows PC.

Step 2: Your external hard drive should be loaded in the Disk Map. Highlight the disk and then choose Surface Test from the left panel.

Step 3: Click the Start Now button and the toolkit will scan the whole disk.

Step 4: Check the scan result. The toolkit will mark the good sector as green and the bad sectors as red.

Disinfect External hard drive regularly:

Hard disks are usually the first victim of virus attacks. Therefore, it is paramount to disinfect your external hard drive regularly. To disinfect your external hard disk, you can use antivirus software.

Defrag your external hard drive periodically:

Defragment can secure your external hard drive from failure. How to do that? The tutorial is below.

Step 1: Type Control Panel in the Cortana’s search bar to open Control Panel.

Step 2: Select System & Security from the Control Panel window.

Step 3: Move to the Administrative Tools section and click Defragment and optimize your devices.

Step 4: Select the partition you want to analyze and then click the Analyze button.

Step 5: You will get a report that indicates if you need to defrag your disk. If you need to defrag your disk, click the Optimize option.

To learn more about deal with unusable external hard erives, kindly check out the post.

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