10 Tips to Help You Maintain Your Hard Drive
Install Software That Applies Only to Business Operations
IT departments often block everyone from downloading software programs for a reason. Downloading software programs from the Internet without scanning them for viruses is a dangerous practice, and it can cripple a business in minutes.
Whether you're in the office or using your personal computer, be sure to use a reputable anti-virus program and firewall to manage incoming traffic and access to the PC. It's a good rule of thumb to only install trustworthy programs that will help business operations.
Everything else should go onto a miscellaneous computer used for testing programs. By isolating new programs on a computer off the main network, you will protect the company while still allowing your employees to test programs that may benefit the company down the road.
Update the Operating System
By updating your operating system, you are ensuring that you have critical updates to make your system run better, and eliminate issues that could ultimately cause hard drive failure. Most businesses use Microsoft Windows as their primary operating system.
Microsoft Windows allows users to update the operating system on a regular basis by accessing the “Windows Update” on their computer, and in most cases this can be updated automatically.
Remove Unnecessary Programs
Delete unwanted programs every few months as the unused and unnecessary programs waste valuable hard drive space. If the business does not plan to use them, then remove them using the “Add/Remove” feature in the Control Panel of the operating system. Removing unnecessary programs also makes your desktop easier to navigate.
Defragment the Hard Drive
The hard drive works hard to keep the computer functional. In fact, it's the hardest-working component. It's very difficult to access stored files if the hard drive crashes and usually impossible, depending on the situation. Unfortunately, the hard drive does not save files in any particular order.
It uses the first empty space available, which includes the space created after deleting files. This scatters data across the hard drive, making it harder to access stored data and slowing the computer down considerably.
As a result, it becomes necessary to defragment the hard drive on a regular basis to keep the computer running as quickly as possible. Businesses should defragment all computer hard drives on a weekly basis.
Clean in and Around the Physical Machine
Computer hardware needs two things to ensure that it lasts longer than its expected lifetime: airflow to prevent overheating, and to have its components free of dust and debris. It's important to make sure your computer is cleaned on a regular basis to keep it working properly.
Businesses who stack piles of paper in front of their air vents or place the computer under their desk will eventually cause the hard drive to overheat. Ensure that the computer runs properly by uncovering the air vents.
In addition, if your computer is filled with dust that's choking off the fans or mechanisms, it's going to overheat, and components are going to fail. Be sure to clean on and around your computer, and use compressed air to keep dust and other debris from causing a problem.
Maintain Computer Security
When it comes to computers of any kind, you need to prepare for the worst, especially for a business. Use a solid backup plan to secure important data.
Many businesses can make copies and transfer important data to a central server or external hard drive or create backups using a cloud service. The sky's the limit when it comes to security.
Keep Static at Bay
Static electricity will wreak havoc on computer components. To a computer, it's like a lightning strike. This is especially true during the winter months or in geographical regions with drier air. If even the slightest touch to metal around you produces a “shock,” then it's best to avoid handling computer components altogether.
This also applies for other surfaces that produce static electricity, including televisions, stereo speakers, and other household appliances. Static electricity can be a killer for your computer. Be sure to touch something that's metal before you touch your computer just in case.
Utilize Power Save and Sleep Modes
Businesses should configure their operating systems to power off after a specific amount of time or a period of inactivity. The less time your hard drive is running, the longer it will last over the lifetime of the drive
Adding a minute or two here or there will prolong the life of the hard drive significantly. Using Sleep mode makes it easier to return back to work without having to reboot the computer. It also prolongs the life of the hard drive.