How to Care for an External Hard Drive

How to Look After Your External Hard Drive?

Care for an external hard drive is really quite simple as you will see from the information provided below.  Given that it is simple and easy to take care of your portable hard drive and the potential disasterious consequences of not doing so, we highly recommend that you follow the advice provided and avoid having to come to Affordable Computer Repairs and Service for a data recovery job.

Storage of the Hard Drive Itself

Keep in a Secure, Safe Location

Care for an external hard drive in terms of storage of the device itself includes the following:-

  • The portable hard drive needs to be placed flat on a sturdy surface.
  • Make sure the device is not placed anywhere where it could be accidentally dropped or knocked off say the desk.
  • Keep the drive away from the area where you might place your cup of coffee or soft drink, you really, really don’t want to spill liquid on your external hard drive.

Hard drives also need to be kept away from any magnets including your PC speakers.  Hard drives also doing like extremes of temperature, nor do they like moisture.  If your HD is active a lot of the time a small fan can be used to keep the temperature of the device down.  A fan is also a solution if the work area is hot and humid such as a particularly unpleasant Brisbane summers day if you don’t have air conditioning.  Also you should not keep your external HD on a surface that retains heat such as a towel or other cloth items, or even paper.  When you are not using your external hard drive it is recommended that the drive be stored in a cool place.

Portable drives also do not like vibrations so this is a second reason why storing next to speakers is not recommended.

Hard Drives and Airflow

It is important that there is sufficient air flow area around the air vents of your portable HD.  The air vents themselves also should be regularly cleaned to remove dust.  You can use an air can to do this.

Ejecting your Portable HD

One simple way to care for an external hard drive is to never just pull out your drive from the USB port.  Doing so can damage your HD.  Always use the option to eject the drive.  This also has the added benefit that a power surge which can occur without using the eject option will not occur this will protect not only your data but the device itself.  Finally when removing the connection from your USB port you should hold it by the cable connector not the cable itself.

Use of your External HD

An important fact not known about regarding the care of an external drive is to not use the drive for frequent casual saves.  To extend the life of your device it is best to put all the files you wish to back up in a single folder and then transfer the folder itself.

Cable Maintenance

It is not only the hard drive that you need to care for but the cable as well.  This includes such simple things as ensuring that the cable connection has not come loose.  If the device cable is not securely plugged into your PC it can result in interruptions of your file transfers which you may not be aware of and which can in fact damage your external hard drive over time.

A tip for you… Whilst longer cables are often more versatile, in actual fact your data transfer will be faster with a shorter cable…

Additional Methods of Storage

As stated before using a single external HD as your only means of storage is not sufficient if you want to be really sure that you are not going to lose data.  One solution is to back up onto another external drive, taking care of that drive too.  Another solution is to use a cloud back up service.  A second partition on your internal hard drive is a further option.  Whatever you do, don’t rely on just one storage solution, use at least two.

How to Care for an External Hard Drive

This article on How to Care for an External Hard Drive has been written by Affordable Computer Repairs and Service a Brisbane based computer repairs business located in Coorparoo on the southside of Brisbane.  There are plenty more articles on our website which you may also wish to read.  It goes without saying that if you live in Brisbane and have a problem with your portable hard drive, you laptop, PC, notebook or Mac we are more than happy to assist you.

care for an external hard drive