The hard drive is one of the most important components of your computer. The hard drive is where your operating system is stored, along with all of your apps, and all of your files. For that reason, it is imperative that it remains healthy – because if you experience a hard drive failure, you may face losing a lot of your important data. We spoke to a business tech support company about what measures can be taken with hard drives. The IT support services London provider TechQuarters has been giving to businesses over the years has helped many people maintain their hard drives, and we asked them about the types of tools one can use to look after them.
- Disk Defragmenter
Think of a messy bedroom, where all available surface space and storage is covered in stuff, and everything is very badly organised. Now, imagine you go into the bedroom and reorganise everything; you don’t throw anything out, you simply arrange everything so that it can be packed away more neatly. The volume of stuff in the bedroom hasn’t changed, but because you reorganized it, you have created more available space, and made it easier to find things because everything is neatly stored.
This is precisely what defragmenting a hard drive does. Hard drives generally use random-access read/write protocols, which means that the individual blocks of data that make up a file don’t need to be read – or even stored – in any particular order; because of this, data gets jumbled and spread across a hard drive, which reduces the amount of usable space, and makes it harder to access data.
Using a Disk Defragmenter regularly to ensure the data on your hard drive is well-organized will help it perform better.
- Disk Analyzer Tool
Have you ever been in a situation where your hard drive seems to have been filled to capacity, resulting in poor performance, and potentially even failure to perform basic functions – such as copying and/or moving files to different locations?
The trouble with file management is that we use so many different file paths locations to store different things. Every app seems to have a different place that it saves files, and often apps create and amass vast caches of data without you even realizing it – until suddenly you’ve only a few gigabytes of space left on your hard drive.
A Disk Analyzer tool is what you need in that situation. They scan your whole hard drive, and compile a detailed report on what is taking up disk space, and where it is all located. Things like save files, videos, software installation files, etc. Having a detailed report on this can help you assess what you need to keep, and what can be deleted. Some Disk Analyzer tools even allow you to delete files directly from their interface.
- Disk Monitoring Tool
If you ask any IT support company, they will tell you that a hard drive failure is one of the most common types of IT issues that businesses experience. Therefore, it’s important to be able to anticipate hard drive failures as often as possible.
Every hard drive has firmware that is installed on them by the manufacturer; and the manufacturers of hard drives know very well how their products should be performing in normal conditions. They have values such as spin-up time, seek error rate, and rear error rate that they use to quantify how well (or more accurately, how unwell) a hard drive is performing. A Disk Monitoring Tool is a piece of software that is able to monitor these types of values. If the tool detects that the number of errors being recorded by the hard drive are exceeding the so-called ‘acceptable’ margin, then the hard drive may be in danger of imminent failure.
Being able to predict a hard disk failure can help users mitigate the damage that the failure might cause, because one can take action ahead of time.