Having analysed failure reasons of modern hard disks during repair, we want to give you some recommendations on what can be done, if you are just a simple computer user, to lower probability of hard drive failure and to keep information from loss.
MODERN STORAGE DISC
IS NOT AN INFORMATION STORAGE PLACE.
IF YOUR STORAGE HAS NOT FAILED YET,
IT IS YET TO COME.
In no circumstances you should open a storage, especially its hermetical unit containing disks. Never unscrew any screws or cripple protective bands. Only an expert on storage repair can do that, and only in special cases.
If something is wrong with your computer, for example, you hear unwanted sounds, or it has simply ceased to work, - urgently switch your computer off and take it to the repair expert. He will determine a malfunction, and if it concerns storage, it is quite possible to repair this storage or at least take information off. Very often just one more switch on and off can just lead to its "death" with irreversible consequences.
Use a good power unit (PU) which normally works with components installed in your computer, without any power losses or voltage floating, having acceptable impulse output level. I am tired of speaking about it, but in most cases computers simply cannot operate normally with that stuff which computer companies name PU and foist off on trustful buyers. Practically every PU needs inspection and, more often, (especially a cheap one) revision. One should remember, that revision does not allow to increase a PU capacity but just gets it into shape. You shouldn't trust inscriptions indicating PU capacity and provided current given at majority of power units. We did not have problems only with "Power Man" (original) and DELTA PU. But take into account, that excess of a PU supported loading can just destroy it, no matter how good it is.
Don't take your storage to your friends' computers. Don't install your friends'storage in your computer if you are not sure of your power unit capacity, otherwise both your storage and the friend's one will fail. If all the same you have to carry it, necessarily put your storage into a special antistatic package and then put it in any box or in a factory plastic packing. If not, you risk to break parts off the storage plate or just hit it. If you have to carry the storage in a cold season, do not run it immediately, warm it up for 2 or 3 hours without taking it out of the package not to allow condensate be sucked in. You should carry it in a breast pocket not to freeze and hit it.
When installing an operational system, first of all, install IDE drivers of your motherboard chipset manufacturer. For chipsets Intel start with TÕ, for other chipsets - on everything. Only then install drivers to other devices.
We do not recommend to use storage operating modes UDMA100 and UDMA133. Some storage manufacturers have made mistakes in the microprograms managing storage work in these modes, some storage dsiscs work with operational systems in the given modes incorrectly. All that can lead to your data loss and storage failure. Therefore switch your storage to mode UDMA33 or UDMA66. You will not lose speed practically, and reliability will be increased. Switching is carried out with the help of special programs written by storage manufacturers. You can load such a program at the site of your storage manufacturer. Motherboards, produced a long time ago, do not support high-speed operating modes of modern storage, therefore it is senseless to connect storage to them in modes UDMA66, UDMA100 and UDMA133. Switch them to a mode supported by your motherboard.
If your power unit is ÀÒÕ, and your storage internal cache is over 512 KB, when installing Windows operational system necessarily put a fix which corrects a system mistake, consisting in switching a power unit off earlier, than information temporarily laying in storage internal memory (cache) can be saved at the storage. At the Internet connected there is a line "Windows update" on the "Start-up" button. For Windows 98 the file refers to 273017rus8.exe.
Many of modern storage disks are overheated, irrespective of a spindle rotation speed. Therefore it is better to install cooling fans on all modern storage discs.
There should not be any other devices connected to the storage power tail. It is strictly forbidden to connect cooling fans in parallel to the same tail. We advise to connect cooling fans to the motherboard corresponding sockets.
When connecting power tail to the storage (and to other devices as well) check up connection socket tightness and, if necessary, bend contacts up before connection to exclude power contact chatter. Do it with UTMOST CARE!
If there is ATX power unit in your computer, before storage connection or disconnection it is necessary to disconnect a network cord from the power unit.
If mobile-rack is used, install the store only at the computer plug pulled out of electric main. Avoid using a mobile-rack with 80-contact sockets as it often comes to pulling legs out in the storage IDE socket. And using it do not pull a mobile-rack out too often, i.e. let the installed storage be there. And do not use a mobile-rack without a cooling fan.
When connecting a portable storage to the motherboard which does not accept big capacity storage, switch off the storage auto detection in BIOS and define it by means of operational system. It is very unpleasant to look at section which instead of FAT32 suddenly turns into FAT16. Cost of information recovery can turn out to be equal or even higher of the new storage cost.
When using an IDE-cable to connect storage to the motherboard one should remember, that only outer sockets of the cable can be used. If you connect only one storage, a middle cable socket should be open. Connecting 2 storage discs switch them to different IDE-channels with separate IDE cables and install storage crosspieces as MASTER. Many storage discs work incorrectly or do not work at all in SLAVE mode, especially at absence of another storage in MASTER mode at the given IDE-channel.
The storage should not be installed into the case closely to its bottom as it worsens heat exchange and some motherboard exposed parts can contact the case and be closed with consequent storage failure. For the same reason never put storage discs on current-carrying surfaces without insulating lining.
Constantly make backup copies of valuable information and not only on the same storage. For this purpose you can use floppy disks, magnetic tapes, other storage discs, CD-R or CD-RW disks, other computers in the local area network+
Be sure to disconnect all "green" functions in power management. The storage permanent work is more useful, than periodic sleeping-waking mode. You know, that bulbs fuse at the moment of switching on or off. Thereupon try to switch off a computer less often. Constant work all day long is a better mode. Round-the-clock operation is the best mode. If you switch a computer off, disconnect it from electric main and pull a power cord out of the socket. You should buy the electric main filter with a switch and use it to disconnect your computer.
On a regular basis carry out a storage defragmentation and preventive maintenance (for Windows). Defragmented data are recovered easier and more complete.
Do not forget about regular check of your storage on viruses.