A damaged hard drive is bad news. You want to avoid that as much as possible. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll lose your data when that happens.
Your data is very important. You’d want to protect it all times. That’s the reason why it’s a must to install a powerful anti-virus and a reliable backup service. Unfortunately, those aren’t enough to really protect your data. When it comes to securing your data, you need to do more than that.
However, security is a much broader category than just that, and it includes both the availability of and the integrity of your information, and a part of that is physical protection. These days, the latest risks we often hear about are things like breaches of data stored in the cloud, or compromised IoT devices. However, it is important to remember that these sorts of risks are in addition to—not instead of—other older and less “sexy” risks, such as hard drive crashes.
The hard drive of your computer is probably the last thing you’ll ever think of. To start with, you can’t even see it. So, why bother? Well, you should because your hard drive is where all your precious data go. Your hard drive works very hard to store all your valuable data.
Conventional hard disk drives work by spinning a series of aluminum or glass platters on a spindle driven by an electric motor. And when spun up, they are going pretty fast and with incredibly fine tolerances: hard disk drives used in servers spin their platters at up to 15,000 revolutions per minute (RPM), which works out to around 150 mph (or about 240 kph, for the metrically minded). Just barely above and below these platters float minuscule read-write heads, each less than a millimeter wide, at the end of an actuator arm. How far apart do the actuator arms place the heads from the platters? As little as 3 nanometers, or about 1/25,000th the thickness of a human hair. Read-write heads themselves are so small that they are manufactured using similar technologies to those used to make CPUs. All of these parts come together