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Levi's PC Consulting
Why did my HDD fail?
Hard disk drives or HDDs fail for a whole variety of reasons but most failures stem from the fact that hard drives have very precise moving parts that wear out and fail over time.
Just about every other part in a computer is a solid-state device (that means they have no moving parts, they just use electricity) parts such as your CPU, GPU, sound card, RAM and USB sticks are all examples of solid-state devices. A hard drive is one of the few mechanical devices in a modern computer, other mechanical parts would be a DVD drive or a floppy drive. When was the last time you used a floppy? DVD drives are becoming less and less common, sense a trend here?
Moving parts are slow, subject to damage and wear out after a while. You can't change the oil in a hard drive and yet most hard drive platters have probably spun around a few million more times than any car tire could ever dream of. Read on to get an understanding of how a hard drive works and in doing, so you'll learn about all the ways in which they can fail.
Be warned, it is a long read top to bottom. I've tried to keep it flowing without having too many technical details but at the same time, still cover enough to make it relevant and understandable. No prior knowledge of hard drives is required.
In fact, that's exactly who this article is written for, those of you that don't know how a hard drive works or why they fail. I'll keep numbers to a minimum, there will be a few numbers thrown around here and there but most of them are only used to put things into perspective.
The examples and concepts have been simplified, forgoing some of the more technical points and omitting most exceptions to the rules to make them as understandable as possible. By the end of the article you should have plenty enough knowledge to be able to find more specific details should you want to delve even deeper into certain topics.
Grab a cup of coffee and dig in, I hope you enjoy it.
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Now that you've seen what a hard drive looks like internally, I'll explain what those labeled parts do and how they interact.
That covers the basic parts of a hard drive, I'll now explain some of the finer details.
Conclusion
We all use, depend upon or are somehow affected by a hard drive in our everyday lives, the vast majority of the data in our digital world is stored on hard drives. I hope by now you realize just how very precise hard drives are and that they can sadly fail on a whim, they don't last forever and don't forget, they will always fail at the worst time possible. I also hope you've developed a bit of respect for what hard drives have to do and why they fail.
Don't have faith in any single drive, take steps to protect yourself. Backup your data before you have a problem and back it up often.
Thanks for reading,
Levi
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© Levi's PC Consulting 2016