One of the number main causes of hard drive failures, data loss and need for hard drive data recovery is excessive heat. When building a computer system it is important to take simple measures such as installing a secondary case fan which can help extend hard drive life helping to prevent data loss and the need for data recovery. Hard Drive cooling can be kept optimal by keeping Computer Systems clean and free of dust. Canned compressed air can be “carefully” used to clean dust buildup in Computers to keep air flowing through fans and vents, which will help maintain proper system cooling helping to prevent hard drive failure and data loss.
When choosing a 3.5″ External Hard Drive Enclosure, it is important to buy one that is well vented at a minimum, preferably with a built in Fan. External Enclosure manufacturers claim their “encapsulated metal cases” with no venting cool drives by “acting as a heatsink.” The problem is that they allow excessive heat buildup inside, which is not at all good for the Hard Drive or your data. Excessive heat can cause hard drive electronics to burn out or even worse the drive’s media (Platters) to slightly expand enough, past their tolerances and make contact with the Disk Media and could in some cases cause a Major Head Crash physically grinding the Heads into the Platters.
To help prevent Hard Drive Failure and Data Loss in Laptops / Notebooks, if spending a lot of time at idle you can set your hard drive to spin down after 5 minutes. These hard disk drives are designed to come back online quickly after system input such as Trackpad movement is detected. With External Hard Drives, especially with “vertically mounted” or “upright” drives, which have become extremely popular, it is important place them in an area where they cannot be toppled or knocked over. Perhaps even wire tie or velcro them to the computer or desk so they don’t topple over as easily.
We are noticing an epidemic of “vertically mounted / upright” external hard drives being tipped or toppled over while running causing spindle motors to completely seize or lock, which is a serious failure. Another tip would be to stick to the lowest hard drive capacity possible, even though you will see higher capacity drives which will “seem” like the better buy, where unfortunately in the long run they aren’t, as they tend to be less reliable, more sensitive and less serviceable. Say you have only 50GB or 100GB worth of Data and need an external drive, then it would be wise to avoid a 500GB or 1TB drive where instead a 250GB or 320GB Hard Drive would actually be the “smarter” buy. Then of course, there’s also that saying everybody hears “back up your data” (Backup to another External Hard Drive, CD’s, DVD etc.) to prevent the need for data recovery.