- Shake/move while in use
- Open the drive unless you have the tools to put it back on right.
- Submerge in oil (SSD's are fine for this though)
- Defrag it on a schedule (wont extend its lifespan, but will keep it performing well)
- Enable Hibernation
- Mount it in such a way that vibrations are at a minimum
- Keep it somewhat cool (not that important though)
- Use a good PSU, and don't run multiple drives off a daisy chain of connectors.
Though rule of thumb is that a HDD will break in the first 3 months or never. I have some drives that are quite old (4yrs+) that still work.
Put it in your PC an use it. It will either die in a few weeks, or last 10 years. In any event, Windows, programs, games and apps can all be reinstalled painlessly in only a few minutes with modern hardware. However, only a complete fool does not back up his/her data.