A harddrive is one of the core components of a computer. Harddrives get larger and faster but still their construction and main function remain (more or less) the same.
What Function Does Your Harddrive Has?
The major function of harddrives is to store information. If a harddrive goes bad and you don’t have a copy of the data on it, you can wave goodbye to your important files. Harddrive crashes don’t happen daily but this is not much of a comfort, when your harddrive crashes and you lose vital stuff.
Additionally, if the system partition was on the harddrive, which went bad, then you might not be able to boot into your computer at all.
Because of all this it is important to take care of your harddrive. There are many maintenance operations you can perform with a harddrive and the two most important ones are the topic of the next section.
How to Keep Your Harddrive in Top Shape
The two most important maintenance operations you can perform in order to keep your harddrive in top shape are backup and disk defragmenting.
Backup means that you create a spare copy of the data on your harddrive to another media. There are many ways to do a backup. For instance, you can choose to backup everything on your harddrive (i.e. perform a full backup), or only your work files, or your system files, etc.
In any case, when performing a backup, it is vital that you store the backup on a separate drive (so if your harddrive crashes, you won’t lose the backup together with the rest of the information). Also, make sure that you have tested the backup. If the backup is damaged and you can’t restore your system from it, then this backup is useless.
Defragmentation is the second operation you can perform now and then. Without going into too much technical details, defragmentation means to rearrange the blocks of data, so that data is rewritten into consecutive blocks rather than have it written all over the disk. The reason why you would defragment a harddrive is to make it work faster and to free disk space.
Both backup and defragmentation can be done with the appropriate programs. There are many third-party backup programs and when you choose, make sure you choose a reliable one. As for defragmentation, the built-in Windows tool (i.e. Disk Defragmenter) does a really good job, so there is no need to look for other programs.