Hard Drives Need Care Too: Look After Them Carefully!
What are the deadly sins to avoid as a user or administrator? The first has nothing to do with hard drives as such: Don't forget to back up your data! For home use, a copy of important data on CD or DVD suffices since a Windows system can be easily put to rights on a quiet evening. In the corporate environment, sophisticated backup and restore strategies are called for. These in turn are based on regular backups and/or technically complex systems.
In order to prevent the meltdown of a hard-drive demise, the drive should be run within its operating parameters. With ATA hard drives, for example, suitability for permanent operation should be assured. Fast-spinning SCSI models such as the five test candidates, on the other hand, first and foremost need plenty of cooling.
Avoid vibrations, especially when the drive is running, wide temperature fluctuations, magnetic fields, humidity and, above all, overheating. Inexperienced users tend to forget to cool their jam-packed computer systems. Sometimes, they even put hard drives directly on top of each other. That's not something you'll want to do and your drive will thank you with a longer life.
It's unlikely you'll ever see anything like this in professional scenarios: There, hard drives are mounted in 19" racks where they are kept cool by a number of powerful fans. Airconditioning in computer rooms is also standard equipment. That is actually a decisive factor to contributing to a suitably operated hard drive's longevity. A RAID system, based on numerous Athlon systems viewed by us and IDE RAID arrays prove this.