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Statistically speaking hard drives are the number one most common piece of hardware to experience a fault in your typical laptop computer. A hard disk drive, often referred to as just hard drive, is a digital data storage device comprising of rotating rigid platters on a motor-driven spindle.

Intricate magnetic technology is used to read and write data using heads which float on a thin cushion of air above the platters. If that sounds like a precarious arrangement, you’d be right. According to a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, the chance of a non-recoverable failure of an average 2.5″ hard drive is rated at between 2% and 4%, with rates reportedly as high as 15% in certain circumstances.

You want my advice? Don’t leave it to chance and ensure you have a stringent backup plan in place for when (not if) your hard drive fails. An external hard drive should do fine, making full use of your operating system’s auto-backup feature (Windows Backup for Windows 7+, and Time Machine for Mac). Providing you keep an up-to-date copy of your important files at hand, replacing the faulty piece of hardware and restoring data should be a breeze.

I have had to do this recently for a friend’s 2009 model MacBook, so it does happen; even to Apple products! So to summarise this very important point in case you missed it, keep everything backed up!

Daniel Crocker

Daniel Crocker

Daniel is the founder and head of development for the Nerdscoop website.

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