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Your data today presents itself as a valuable resource. Whether the data stored on your computer impacts your business or is for personal use, it carries real-life value. This is why it’s extremely important to protect it.

Suppose in case of any unwanted event, your data is lost. It could be due to a software issue in your computer’s operating system or because of physical damage. In any case, your important data will be lost forever. This is why it’s important to plan out the worst-case scenario and know how to respond to it. In terms of data stored on your computer’s hard drive, corruption occurs because of a number of reasons.

Murphy’s Law and Hard Drive Failure

“Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”, states the famous epigram. In terms of your computer usage, this can have dire consequences. The law implies that things can take a turn for the worst if you give them a chance. The remedy tied to this law involves preparing yourself for the worst-case scenario.

The hard drive attached to your computer is the primary source where your data is preserved. A number of issues can arise on this device that can cause serious data loss, such as media damage, PCB damage or stiction. The way to prepare for such a scenario is explained here below. For now, it’s important for you to realize how important it is to prepare for any such event.

Causes of Data Corruption and Hard Drive Failure

Data corruption originates at the hard drive. Most 3.5” hard drives made today have significant storage capacity. But, if you’re keeping all of your data in one hard drive, the probability of a major threat to your data is present. Let’s look at the most common causes of failing hard drive before coming to the solutions.

Media Damage

The most common threat to your hard drive presents itself as media damage. Around 70% of the time, the cause of data corruption in the hard drive is due to media damage. To understand the problem, we first need to know the basic structure of the modern 3.5” hard drive. In simple words, the ‘platters’ attached to the hard drive act as moving parts and are spinning at an extremely fast pace. These platters, along with other similar parts within the hard drive, are tightly packed to reduce the size of the hard drive.

This means that the hard drive can be extremely sensitive to any external force. If the CPU or the hard drive itself suffers any shock or related physical force, media damage can occur. This media damage can be in the form of ‘bad sectors’ in the drive. This is why it’s extremely important to protect the hard drive against any shock or force that can cause data corruption.

Circuit Board Failure

The second most common cause of failure to the hard drive is a failure of the PCB. Every electronic device today usually has a PCB board attached to it, where the basic logic of the circuit along with its wiring is maintained.

In case of any exposure of the hard drive to any liquid or moisture, the PCB board can suffer damage. A static discharge can also damage the PCB board. If this happens, the chances of data recovery can be very low.

Stiction

The third most common reason of hard drive failure is stiction. A mix of friction and sticking, this process usually occurs when the hard drive has not been used for a long period of time. Such mechanical failures originate at the armatures of the hard drive and are caused when they get stuck and cannot move.

While stiction is a very uncommon and specific issue, it can be very common if the hard drive has not been used for a long period of time. In case you’re keeping a backup of important data on a hard drive, it’s important to keep this in mind.

Solutions of Data Corruption and Hard Drive Failure

A number of solutions to data corruption are present. While these might not stop specifically stop hard drive failure or recovers lost data, they can still prevent data loss (or parts of it) which is the major issue behind the failure of the hard drive.

Here are some steps that can be taken to stay prepared for hard drive failure and any lost data.

Routine Backups

Backing up your data is a viable strategy to save yourself from data loss. A number of methods exist that can help you achieve this goal. To start, first figure out your requirements and which method best suits you. The most efficient strategy would be to keep your data backed up on the cloud. If you’re running a business, a cloud backup service can greatly solve this problem. For personal backups, cloud storage services can help. Users can also opt for an external hard drive or clone for backing up data.

Having a method in place is also not enough, as users need to routinely back up their data. Backing up your data regularly ensures a minimal risk of any data being lost. Using a method that can automate the backup process is even better.

Spreading Data among Multiple Drives

If the cost of a backup method such as a cloud backup service outruns your budget, you can always store this data among multiple hard drives. This helps ensure that in case of any damage to one hard drive, the chances of a greater data loss is reduced. Users can expand upon the number of hard drives they have depending upon the storage capacity required.

Protecting the Hard Drive

If the above two solutions still present a problem to the average user, another method can be protecting the hard drive. This means taking proper steps to ensure that the hard drive is not exposed to any external force or shock that can damage the data. It also means protecting the hard drive from any liquid, wet surface or moisture that can damage the circuit board.

Basically, users saving all of their data on a single hard drive must keep all the causes mentioned above. This will help maintain a handling plan for your hard drive.

Data Recovery Service

Data recovery software can help with the recovery of any corrupted data. Although such software might not be able to recover all of the data lost, some data can still be recovered. The software recovers the data by analyzing any bad sectors and tries to put them back in their original form. A number of professional data recovery software are present in the market that can help achieve this.