“When a hard drive fails, if the data isn’t backed up, it’s gone. And it’s not a question of if your hard drive will fail, it’s when.
Many people visualize their computer as a single thing with a big part (like a toaster) when in fact it has a number of different components (like a car). Those components are: the motherboard, the processor (or CPU), the memory (or RAM), the power supply, the optical drives and the hard drive. The hard drive is the part of the computer where all your data is kept.
The hard drive is the component that has the highest likelihood of breaking unexpectedly, and it is the component that causes the most damage when it fails! If the processor fails, a new one can be switched out and the computer will be exactly the same as when you started. On the other hand, if the hard drive breaks, the data will most likely be unrecoverable, unless you’re willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money on data recovery.
There are a number of ways a hard drive can fail. A head crash is exactly what it sounds like: when the read / write head (the “needle”) crashes into the hard drive platter, ruining the drive. The actuator arm can break, so that the arm can’t move around and read data. The electrical components inside can fail, the drive could become corrupted etc.
Hard drives do break. In fact, they fail at an annual rate of 3 percent: every year, 3 percent of new hard drives fail, and this rate gets higher as the drive gets older. With a three year-old hard drive, the annual failure rate is around six percent. And remember: when a hard drive fails, if the data isn’t backed up, it’s gone.
With a three year old drive, the annual failure rate is 6 percent. Now apply that to other situations. If there were a 6 percent chance of all your tax documents going up in a cloud of smoke if you didn’t photocopy them, would you take the risk? Would you accept a 6 percent risk that your seatbelts catastrophically fail in a car accident?
Furthermore, the hard drive is the only part of the computer that can be damaged by software (without even physically touching the drive). Viruses, malware and accidental deletion can all damage the data on a hard drive. Though this data can sometimes be recovered, the easiest solution is to back up data on the drive before it becomes an issue.
And backing up data is simple, once you’ve familiarized yourself with how to do it. There are a number of different methods, depending on how much you want to back up and how long you want to keep it (we’ve listed the three most popular solutions in “How do I backup?”).
A final point: Once a year is not frequent enough for backing up data. World Backup Day was created to spread awareness and to get those who have never backed up data to start. Once you learn how easy it is, you can do it anytime you want.”
Free Backup Services:
- Download the SpiderOak client, register as a new user, click ‘buy more space’ and enter worldbackupday to receive 5 GB of free storage and 10% off yearly paid plans
- Just signup at MiMedia and use the promo code: WORLDBACKUPDAY to get 25% off all plans on March 31st.