Warning signs of a computer breakdown
The terrifying reality of computer failures is that there are few, if any, warning signs, and even when you know what to look for, these signs can be very difficult to spot.
For this reason, computer backup is necessary every day, because it is almost impossible to know if, or when, your hard drive is at risk of imminent failure.
I often hear prospective customers dismissively say, “Well, I just bought this computer not long ago, it’s pretty much new, so I don’t have to worry about backup just yet.”
And that’s when I tell you about Google, the world’s largest owner of computer hard drives.
In February 2007, Google Inc. published a study they conducted on their own computers titled Failure trends in a large population of disk drives. According to this study, which was the most extensive of its kind ever completed, hard drives are more likely to fail if they are less than 3 months old or more than 2 years old. Basically, if you think that computer backup is unnecessary because your computer is brand new, you might be in terrible shock.
But if you still intend to delay all precautionary measures until you can personally perceive a problem with your computer, there are some signs that, if you are lucky enough to notice, may indicate that your computer is in imminent danger. of a critical shock. However, I want to emphasize that these warnings may, or may NOT, be apparent. The absence of any or all of these signs does not mean that your hard drive is clean.
Remember: a hard drive failure can happen unexpectedly at any time, and the chance that you will see it coming is ridiculously small and certainly not worth the risk. Operating your business on a computer without daily automatic off-site backup is a recipe for bankruptcy, as more than 70% of businesses that experience major data loss go out of business within a year.
With that said, here are several warning signs that may indicate that your computer is at risk of hard drive failure:
1. Your computer takes time to start up (turn on).
If you notice that your computer does not start as fast as it normally does, and this decrease in speed cannot be attributed to the installation of new antivirus software, your hard drive may be suffering from bad blocks / sectors.
Your hard drive contains magnetically coated metal discs that rotate at a speed of approximately 5400 times per minute. If these discs (or their coating) are damaged in any way, catastrophic failure is likely to occur within 6 months.
2. Your computer begins to hum and / or make noise.
A change in the way your computer sounds could indicate that the disks inside your hard drive are having a difficult time completing their rotation. Remember: your computer has moving parts, and these parts are located very close to each other. Dust specks, not visible to the human eye, can damage these discs and impede their movement, not to mention the metal fingers that hold these discs.
3. Your computer experiences a read / write error or indicates that a disc has not responded.
According to the Google Inc. study mentioned above, hard drives are 30 times more likely to fail within 60 days of experiencing an initial scan error than drives that have not yet received such errors.
So how can you protect your computer from a crash?
1. Number one BETTER The way to protect your computer (and your business) is not to try to protect it against an accident, but to plan for data recovery after an accident.
The reason is that there is no safe way to avoid a computer crash. Simply search for “automatic computer backup” and the name of your city, province, or state, to sign up for one of the many secure online storage services available.
2. Enlist the services of a reputable IT service company that offers monthly service contracts, and have your hard drive cleaned and tested regularly.
Regular cleaning of your hard drive will not only extend the life of your computer, it will reduce the risk of data loss.
3. Ask your computer to look for errors and bad blocks.
Your computer may not be kind enough to automatically alert you when sectors of your hard drive are damaged, but it may ask you to check for problems. To do so, follow these steps:
o Right click on My Computer.
o Select Manage, which opens the Computer Management screen that is divided between the left and right side.
o On the left side, find Event Viewer and click the plus sign to its left. A list will appear below.
o Click System. A list will appear on the right side of the screen.
o Scroll down the list to find any error entries with a red “X”. These entries indicate an existing problem.
o Double-click on the red “X” entries to bring up the Event Properties screen, which will inform you more about the error.
In closing, I highly recommend that you commit, right now, to backing up your computer via an external secure storage service. Waiting one more day to protect your business can be too much.