The hard drive – normally designated as the “C” drive – is the main form of information storage in a computer. The computer’s operating and system files are generally stored here, as are any saved files exclusive to the computer’s user. These drives can corrupt and eventually become unusable. There comes a time when a replacement might be the route to take.
As long as the computer’s motherboard is not damaged, a new hard drive should fix the problem. Once the new one is installed, the question becomes, should the user save the old hard drive?
Before You Decide: Basics – Storage & Use
The hard drive is a rectangular-shaped piece of hardware that is installed internally in both laptops and desktops. All computers have at least one; however, additional drives may be installed internally or externally depending on the user’s storage needs.
They are used to store information, but should not be confused with a computer’s memory. The computer’s memory is its RAM. The drive stores the information and the processor processes it.
The reason it might be confused with the computer’s memory is because it, too, has a certain amount of space designed to store the information. The larger the mega or gigabytes, the more space for storage.
Aside from its initial function of storing the computer’s operating, system and user files, hard drives are often also employed to back up the computer’s files.
Users have the option of installing a second one internally, if the mother board can support the extra hardware, or attaching an external drive via a USB port.
Once installed, it will need to be formatted for use. After formatting, the extra drive serves well to regularly back up the computer’s files.
Hard Drive Damage
As with any electronic component, the computer’s drive can suffer damage or eventually wear out. There are numerous reasons why it might become compromised.
If the computer unit suffers trauma, such as physical or water damage, it might cease to operate. Electrical surges can also cause permanent damage, as can computer viruses and worms.
Once it’s compromised, it might not be repairable and new one must be installed into the computer to restore operation.
Data on the Old Drive
If the data on the old drive was backed up on a regular basis, and the computer user has all the software needed to reinstall the computer’s programs, losing a hard drive is not the end of the world.
If the data was not backed up, restoring the data becomes critical, and employing an expert to extract the data will most likely be necessary from a damaged hard drive.
The key is to get all data off of the old hard drive to save it onto the new one.
Is it Worth Keeping?
It is not necessary to keep an old drive. In fact, it’s most likely not even worth it. Along with the rest of computer technology, hard drive technology advances very quickly on a daily basis.
Anything from two to three years ago are outdated now and considered too slow for newer motherboards and processors.
Eventually the old hardware will not be functional in a newer machine; in fact, the newer machine might damage the older one.
Once the contents have been moved to the new one, the old one should be wiped for user protection and recycled per EPA standards.
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