Hey all, I've had two different hard drives (one internal, one external) die on me within 6 months. The only thing I can think that would do it would be bad power coming off the wall. That's really the only thing they have in common. I've never had a HDD die before, so this is becoming a concern. Any thoughts?
It could be just pure coincidence. Nothing exciting about hard drives dying at ANY point of time. If you are worried about the power coming off the wall then just get a PSU with line conditioning. They are a bit more expensive, but at least you will be much more safe than nothing at all.
Since you have an external hard drive as well, then it is not the PSU, as it only handles the internal hard drives.
If you want to prolong your hard drives' lives then just follow the simple rules of:
1) Do not move, vibrate or shock them while they are working
2) Keep static electricity away from them
3) Keep them at normal room temperatures (avoid excessive low or high temperatures)
It is probably coincidence, but if it is not, I don’t think that a faulty power supply would just damage the hard drive, but other components as well. I would be more concerned about the temperature that the hard drive is working at and if it had adequate air flow over it. Check to see if the bottom front air intake vents on your computers case are free of dust and any other blockage such as the carpet etc.
I wasn't thinking it was the PSU, but the power coming off the wall. The building I work in is over 100 years old. We believe there's a ground issue throughout the building (it's a music venue and we've tested the power recently). I was thinking maybe a voltage regulator might help as I assume I might be browning out with all the amps running during shows. Do you think that little $50 APC unit would help?
No it will not help for brownouts. Like i said earlier you need an "online" UPS. The $50 APC will only be good if you completely lose power - basically a battery. An online UPS is a battery+voltage regulator. They are a bit more expensive than "regular" UPSs, but in your case i think it is worth the money.