The Do’s and Dont’s of Maintaining Your Computer Hard Drive
The most common phrase that we have heard from desktop and laptop computer users on countless number of occasions when their systems slow down is that it has been infected with a ton of viruses. While viruses are a source of the problem, they only account for a fraction of those you face, while the remainder of the issues that you continue to witness are because of your lack of care (as harsh as it may sound).
Here, we list down the things that you should and should not be doing in order to increase the longevity of your computer system’s hard drive and to keep the entire system running at its optimal performance.
Using Pre-loaded Maintenance Tools in Your Desktop Operating System
Before we move on with this, we want to remind you that irrespective of the fact that your system might possess the configuration of a supercomputer, if your hard drive is in terrible working condition, then your entire system will ultimately suffer because of this.
The reason? All data is read and written through the storage present in your system. If it suffers in performance, then so will your entire system. First thing first, if your system slows down over time, then there are three pre-installed free system utilities that you should take advantage of immediately. They have been listed below:
- Disk Defragmenter: This utility can be accessed from the Start Menu and by typing ‘Disk Defragmenter’. It is advised that you use the utility every 6 months because when you fire up the application, the process will read your entire hard drive from top to bottom. Using it continuously will actually do more harm than good since reading the entire storage medium will reduce its overall lifespan.
- Disk Cleanup: This utility can be accessed from the Start Menu and by typing ‘Disk Cleanup. It is advised that you use the utility every month since a lot of useless files will be accumulated over the course of these 30 days. This process will not necessarily speed up your hard drive, but freeing up space by deleting useless files will obviously help a lot.
- Disk Checking: This utility will require some manual accessing. You can follow the steps summarized below in order to access the pre-installed maintenance feature.
Right click on hard drive partition >> Tools >> Check now
Remember to check both options before you click on ‘Start’. This process might take a little longer, but it is always advantageous for you in the long run. This checkup should also be run once every 6 months.
If you going to install Windows for the very first time, then it is also advised that you form a minimum of three hard drive partitions. They can be of any storage value as you like, just as long as you have adequate amount to place your important files in either one of them. Not only does this process make it easier to manage files, but when you are defragmenting your hard drive or checking for errors, it takes a lesser amount of time to complete the entire operation.
Dust & Heat Are Enemies of Electronics
We cannot emphasize enough on how you should keep dust and heat away from your system as much as possible. The more dust accumulates in your system, the poorer the airflow, causing the temperature of individual components, including the hard drive to increase. Keep in mind that you should keep your hard drive’s temperature below 60 degrees Celsius in order to maintain its speed, otherwise its life span will be reduced over time.
In order to remove dust effectively, it is recommended that you invest in an expensive blower. Do not settle for those that carry a price in between the range 800-1000 rupees; instead, go for reliable brands such as Crown (in between 3000-4000 rupees) or even Black & Decker (the most expensive, with products going upwards of 5500 rupees, making it the most reliable).
Cleaning Your Registry Once A Month
Over time, your system files will accumulate a record, which is commonly known as a registry. The registry can sometimes become corrupted with duplicate keys, and a majority of other reasons that will result in your programs from behaving erratically.
For this reason, we strongly advise that you download CCleaner, since this is the most popular registry cleaning application out there. There is a free trial available for your computer system and if you want to experience the entire feature suite of the application, then you will be required to pay for it.
Get A Better Uninstalling Program
While Windows provides a utility for removing your programs, it does not give you a whole lot of options other than the fact that you can either add, or remove programs. We frequently use Revo Uninstaller Pro, since not only does it remove the programs, but it gives you access to other files that have to be removed manually, along with the removal of registry keys (these are features that are not present in the available free utility that you get with your operating system). As with CCleaner, the utility can be used for free but it has paid versions as well.
Set Up Auto-Recycle When Files Are Deleted
Once you delete a file, it does not automatically get removed from your storage because it is just present in your recycle bin. This causes your hard drive space to remain filled up when your primary objective is to free up space. In order to free up space completely, you should right click on your ‘Recycle Bin’, click on ‘Properties’ and select the following option:
‘Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted’
Keep in mind that if you do select this option, you will not be able to recover deleted files unless of course you use a recovery software, which we will cover step-by-step in a later topic.
These were the steps that you must take in order to keep your hard drive in its optimum running state. Of course they will come a time when your hard drive cannot keep up due to its aging, which is why you will have to invest in something with a bit more read and write firepower, an SSD or solid state drive.
While these might be expensive compared to traditional hard drives, not to mention feature smaller capacities than the latter, they will supercharge your computer system to the next level. Tell us what you thought about these tips and give us your feedback.