Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Hard Drive Health: What Damages Hard Drives?

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals

In the previous articles in this series, we discussed how the humble hard drive is generally neglected when it comes to monitoring PC health, how they work, and how much damage can be done when your hard drive dies. But the question still remains; how does a hard drive die, anyway?

Like many machines with moving parts, sometimes a hard drive will simply die from usage. But what about the other ways it can die – the more preventable ones?


Here’s a few ways that hard drives can suffer damage:


Given that a hard drive has an arm hovering above a spinning disk that can be running anywhere above five-thousand rotations a minute, you can easily imagine that having things touch or slam on the disk can cause some major damage. Moving the hard drive while it’s in operation runs the risk of the read-write arm hitting against the platter, which can cause damage. Damage on the platter can mean that a whole section can be rendered unusable, which will mean the loss and corruption of a lot of data, if not the hard drive.

In order to keep your hard drive healthy,  move your PC, laptop, or external hard drive cautiously while the power is on. For laptops, this rings especially true for actions such as throwing or dropping the system somewhere. A lot of technology has gone into preventing the arm from slamming into the disk due to movement, such as accelerometers that try to detect if the system is in freefall and adjusts the arm accordingly, but it’s best to do your part to not tempt fate.


The arm on the hard drive is designed so that it can change the magnetism of areas on the platter of the hard drive. This creates a complex series of magnetized and demagnetized sections on your hard drive that translates into binary – the language all computers talk. Therefore, if you get a magnet close or on the hard drive itself, the magnetic fields from your magnet can disrupt the carefully-arranged areas on your hard drive platter and corrupt the data on it.

Keep magnets away from the hard drive to ensure that the neatly-arranged magnetized sectors are kept the way they should be. Many a hard drive have seen some nasty data losses because the person wanted to screw something into their PC, and opted to use a screwdriver with a magnetized head. Don’t let this be you!

We’ve covered two culprits, but there are still more things waiting to hurt your hard drive. We’ll check those out in part 2 of this article tomorrow.

~ Simon

Tags: , , , , ,

One Response to “Hard Drive Health: What Damages Hard Drives?”

  1. […] In part 1 of this article, we looked at two things that can damage your hard drive: Sudden movement and magnets. But your drive is vulnerable to other things as well. Today we’ll look at two other things that can hasten the death of your drive. […]

Leave a Reply

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.

Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive