You must bear in mind one thing, and that is that some of the advice that we are going to give you below would be more recommended for a hard disk that you have as additional storage and not for system storage, since it will imply loss of performance in some situations (In any case, we explain what benefits and disadvantages each of the actions will bring, and it is up to you to decide whether or not it is worth doing it).
Tips and Actions to Avoid Disk Problems
Next we are going to list the actions you can take that will increase the useful life of your hard drive; As you will see, they are all simple to carry out and do not require knowledge that you cannot acquire in this article, so we go directly to it.
Run CHKDSK regularly
CHKDSK (check disk) is a tool built into Windows that automatically detects and repairs any errors that may be on the hard drive. It is especially useful for mechanical drives but it is also useful for organizing SSD indexes, so it is equally useful in both cases.
To do this, simply open a Command Prompt window as administrator (right click on the Start button and select “Command Prompt (administrator)” and run the following command (type it as is and press ENTER):
chkdsk x: / r / f -> where X is the letter of the drive you want to use, for example C for the system disk
Defragment the hard drive to avoid problems
This should only be done with a mechanical disk and not with an SSD, although in the latest versions of Windows 10 the operating system itself no longer allows you to do it on an SSD, but instead offers to optimize it. In any case, this tool, which is also integrated into Windows, is used to reorganize the files to join them in the first tracks of the disk, which serves to accelerate performance and reduce their use since you will not have to search all the tracks for the information it will always be at the beginning of the unit.
To run it, click on the Start button and as it is, type “defragment”. The tool will appear first; When it opens, select your hard drive and click on Analyze, then select Optimize. In SSDs you can do the same even if the process is different (nothing is reorganized, only indexes are checked and purging processes are carried out).
Turn off content indexing
We only recommend doing this on hard drives that you have connected as secondary and on SSDs. By default, Windows has a service that is dedicated to indexing the content, writing in a temporary file where each piece of data is; this dramatically improves performance on a mechanical drive, but since SSDs have no moving parts and data access latency is the same wherever they are, it makes no sense to have it turned on.
As for mechanical disks, it is advisable to have it activated on system disks that need to have performance, but if it is a secondary disk only for data storage it does not make sense either, firstly because you are not using it constantly and secondly because this creates a lot of reads and writes (in addition to taking up space on the disk itself) that force the unit to be constantly working.
To disable it, simply open Computer in Windows, find the drive, right-click on it, and select Properties.
In the first tab (General), you must deactivate the last option: «Allow files on this unit to have indexed content in addition to file properties».
Don’t install programs on a secondary hard drive
Many people, especially those who have an SSD and a mechanical disk connected as secondary, think that it is best to install on the SSD only the operating system or at most the programs that you use the most to speed up its execution, installing everything else on the disk secondary. This is an error, because you will still be forcing the secondary disk to be running constantly and more than necessary (with its loss of performance).
Therefore, if you have a secondary disk, we recommend that you use it only for mass storage and that you do not install programs on it. Of course, you can install games on it for example from Steam, since it allows you to modify and even change the location even with the game already installed.
Things to keep in mind at the hardware level
There are also some other things that you should keep in mind to keep the hard drive in good condition and extend its useful life that are related to the hardware, so we are going to see them one by one and, of course, explain them.
Do not let dust accumulate, and be careful with the temperature
Both overheating and exposure to dust can cause your hard drive to malfunction and shorten its lifespan in the form of breakdowns or other problems, and therefore you must adopt ways to avoid overheating (having active cooling in the PC case ) and reduce exposure to dust and moisture.
To get rid of dust, simply routinely clean the inside of your PC including any disk or disks you have.
Beware of static electricity
The internal components and peripherals of a PC are very sensitive to static electricity, and this is especially true of mechanical hard drives as they work with electromagnetism, and therefore it is vitally important that the plug you connect your PC to has a socket. of Earth. You can see if the plug is grounded with the naked eye, simply by checking that it has those metal pins at the top and bottom.
In addition, it is also advisable never to touch a hard drive (or any other internal hardware) when it is operating, among other things because the human body tends to accumulate some static electricity.
A UPS also serves to avoid disk problems
A sudden blackout or power surge can be extremely damaging to the hard disk, especially if it is mechanical since its head could get in the middle of a platter or with data half written, causing a good failure or at least corrupt data. Therefore, having an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) undoubtedly helps to avoid these types of problems, since if there is a blackout it will give you time to perform a controller shutdown of the PC and, in addition, it will also protect the equipment against voltage surges and fluctuations in current.
If you follow all these tips, you will reduce the chances that your disk will suffer some kind of problem or failure, but remember that sometimes these things happen and whatever you do, they are inevitable.