In a recent blog post, Irvine, Southern California's Hard Drive Recovery Group discusses tips and tricks to keep one's computer - whether desktop or laptop - well cared for and maintained to ensure the longest life possible. One of the long term killers of many computer systems - particularly desktop computers, which can last for extremely long periods of time - is poor maintenance. Poor computer maintenance can also contribute to the possibility of physical hard drive crash and full hard drives, which can typically only be addressed by professional hard drive data recovery specialists with access to a clean room.
In the post, "Are You Destroying Your Computer", HDRG talks about how it is quite easy to keep a computer clean with the correct tools. One of those tools, a computer technician's best friend, is a can of compressed air. While people tend to use these to blow out the interior cabinet of desktop computers, one of the tricks that many people do not know is that compressed air can also help a lot when it comes to laptops.
"Most people do not consider that compressed air can be critical for laptop maintenance, mainly because the heat driven by these devices has a higher potential of hurting the electronics within the system than with a desktop," said Maureen Davies, spokesperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. "Additionally, laptop computers have a variety of ports that are continually exposed to the elements, including dust and dirt which can easily hurt connectivity. Users are encouraged to not only blow out vents with compressed air, but also ports such as USB and HDMI, which can also get clogged up."
Another point the blog post stresses is the fact that laptop computers are often extremely fragile over time, particularly when the system uses a classic spindle and platter HDD drive. The issue here is that these drives were not really initially constructed to handle a mobile computer's daily movements, and they do have a high potential of failure, even with what seems like careful use.
"Older laptop hard drives are something that HDRG sees a lot of, whereas there tends to be a lot fewer requests for SSD data recovery," said Davies. "The best advice we really can provide is to try to keep the system cool whenever possible, and if the disk light indicator is flashing, ensure the system is in a stationary place."
On the desktop side, compressed air plus a good vacuuming once in a while can do wonders, particularly as many desktops are on the floor or hidden away where dust can gather at high levels. Desktops run hotter than laptops, but most store bought computers have enough fans to properly move air through even a partially clogged system. Meanwhile, self built systems should always have at least one case fan added in order to move air.
Fortunately when it comes to desktop computers, it is rare for all major components to fail, which is different than laptops. The power supply, as an example, tends to be a common failure for desktop computers. These units can additionally be subject to power surges, which can not only weaken, but destroy them.
"With a desktop, by far the most common failure computer repair companies and data recovery services see is power supply failure," said Davies. "Fortunately, these repairs are usually easy enough that almost anyone with a screwdriver can perform them."
In the end, today's computer systems are built to last a lot longer than those even 10 years ago, but maintenance should never be neglected. Part of a smart computer maintenance program also includes, of course, backing up important files. When backups are available, failures won't be so stressful.
from Hard Drive Recovery Group