Tech Talk: The story of your storage


     For anyone that uses a computer, the part they most rely on is the hard drive. That’s where all our files, pictures, programs and documents are stored. However, hard drives don’t last forever and will fail. For the most part, drives will last between three to five years. Most of the problems are mechanical, but there is also a software side; your information could get corrupted or the drive may be unable to save information correctly anymore.

     There are many variables that play into how long your hard drive lasts. What brand it’s made by, the parts they use and how often you move and use files force the drive to work harder.

     There are some warning signs that a hard drive is failing. If your computer is slow or freezing constantly, you get warnings that you haven’t been able to save your data or files are corrupted, then it could be a software issue or you may have a virus and should take it to someone who knows how to diagnose and fix your problem.

     However, if you hear grinding, whining and clicking from your drive then you should buy a new drive to move your files to because that drive is failing physically and there’s no easy fix.

     Instead of gambling on how long your drive will last, there are ways to ensure that you won’t lose your data. The first thing to do is to have backups. Having copies of your important files either on another hard drive or on cloud storage. If you chose to save your information on another hard drive, it’s recommended using an external hard drive since it’s not always on and should last longer than a hard drive in your computer that’s always working.

     However, you’d have to physically have the hard drive with you if you need to access it. On the other hand, with cloud storage, you can save stuff from anywhere and access it anywhere. The downside though is that cloud storage services don’t give you a lot of space compared to external drives and if you want more you would need to pay for it. Files you back up here should be limited to stuff you access regularly and from different computers or personal files you would like to keep like photos.

     Finally, keep in mind that drives you use regularly, like those in laptops or personal computers,  should be backed up when you have a hard drive or a place that can move your information to every three to five years so you don’t run the risk of losing anything.

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