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Thinking inside the box

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Don’t get hot and bothered!

There’s no denying that summer 2022 has been hot, hot, hot! With more people working from home based offices unlikely to be blessed with air conditioning, we found an interesting blog from some data recovery specialists on how temperature affects hard drives and what you can do to keep those temperatures under control.

As most of us know hard drives are mechanical storage devices containing moving parts, and as such, they generate heat, which can limit lifespan.

It’s not a question of if your hard disk drive (HDD) will fail, it’s when. Hard drives contain moving parts, and simply won’t last forever. Because they contain lots of delicate moving parts, HDDs are more susceptible to physical damage, the most common causes being heat and trauma. The type of HDD and where it is located is also a factor. Desktops, for example, are static machines, whereas laptops and external hard drives are moved around, often frequently; in the latter’s case, they’re often thrown into the bottom of the owner’s bag.

The platters in a hard drive spin incredibly fast, leading to a lot of heat being generated. Unfortunately, temperature is one of the factors that can affect the life of a hard disk drive. A research paper entitled “Failure Trends in Large Hard Disk Drive Population” pulled data from more than 100,000 consumer hard disk drives, and came to several conclusions. Firstly, temperatures of 45°C and above lead to higher failure rates. Secondly, and perhaps confusingly, temperatures lower than 25°C also led to higher failure rates. Finally, older hard drives are more susceptible to temperature damage compared to newer ones, with failure rates starting to increase at around 40°C. The ideal temperature for most hard disk drives, then, is 25°C to 40°C.

Desktops and laptops have cooling fans installed in order to mitigate this, but you should consider upgrading them to something a bit more substantial. PC cases will often have spare fan slots at the front of the case, which can be utilised in order to cool your hard drive further. Laptops are a bit more difficult to cool due to their portable nature, but laptop cooling pads are available.

Like internal hard drives, external hard drives will also generate heat when in use. To mitigate this, make sure your drive is in an open space when in use, and not covered, to ensure air can flow freely in and around it. When the drive is not in use, keep it stored somewhere cool and out of direct sunlight, like a drawer or cupboard.

As we know, most offices are not paperless yet and caring for the hard copies of the documents and files generated by all those computer hard drives is also a task that needs careful handling, particularly in hot and humid conditions. Our document storage facilities are second to none when it comes to looking after your important papers. We operate a climate controlled secure facility linked to Police and Fire services in a discreet rural location monitored 24/7. Therefore you can always be assured that your documents are being kept in the ideal environment and with a next day delivery service as standard as well as a fast emergency request service for those crucial moments, you will never be hot and bothered when you choose Filofile! Contact us today to find out more.

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