On January 20, 2022
A hard drive is a piece of hardware that stores all your digital content. Digital content on a hard drive includes your documents, pictures, music, videos, programs, and operating system. Hard drives can be external or internal.
It is not unexpected for a growing company to have many old hard drives from previous computers, sometimes just sitting in a box or on a shelf. However, the question of whether it is safe to use aging hard drives for delicate business information remains unanswered.
Is my old hard drive still safe to use?
Nothing, including hard drives, lasts forever. A hard drive failure can be disastrous because all data is lost all at once. A hard drive has a lifespan of 3-5 years with regular use and no structural damage. It makes no difference how carefully the computer was used – if the usage time exceeds this range, it can fail in seconds.
Even if your hard drive is still operational after five years, don’t rely exclusively on it. Some hard drive failure signs may appear to suggest that it is no longer safe to use. Frequent computer freezes or crashes, missing files or files that cannot be opened, taking an excessive amount of time to access folders or files, strange sounds, and other symptoms are among these.
If you have noticed any of these signs of hard drive failure, you should consider replacing the old drive with a new one. Losing a hard drive is not the end of the line if data backup was regularly performed and the computer user has all the software required to reinstall the computer’s programs. If you haven’t noticed any hard drive failure symptoms, we recommend checking the drive’s health.
How can I check my old hard drive?
Hard drives are the minds of all computers. As previously stated, running an operating system, or storing data is impossible with a damaged hard drive. There are many tools available to check the health of your drive, ranging from built-in tools to separate software applications. Using a combination of both can assist in determining how good or bad the hard drive is, whether it is still usable, and how to repair it.
To check its health, you can use programs like Windows 10 CHKDSK Utility, HDD Manufacturer Tools, Scandisk, CrystalDisk Info, S.M.A.R.T., among others. You can monitor different drive features to detect a failing disk by running these tools. If you want a more detailed picture of the drive’s health, you can always go to the manufacturers’ official websites and look for a dedicated tool.
Consider replacing the hard drive once you notice serious drive errors that cannot be repaired and may cause serious problems.
What are the risks of using an old hard drive for business data?
Businesses frequently keep old hard drives containing confidential information and data in a locked box indefinitely. Hard drives and other electronic media are rarely incorporated into security protocols and procedures in businesses. Although locking up old hard drives is often thought to be a safe option, it is always a target for data thieves. Even though organizations and their IT departments use software to erase, wipe, format, and degauss electronic devices, confidential data can still end up in the wrong hands.
Companies can never be certain that the professional they hired to dispose of the drivers will do so properly. There are numerous instances where old hard drives end up on the market, making confidential business data accessible to anyone, even if it was previously erased. Another problem with old hard drives is that employees are not adequately trained in data destruction techniques.
The most effective method of properly disposing of old hard drives and thus protecting confidential business data is to destroy them. Compared to the potential risks, the cost of destroying hard drives is statistically insignificant. Shred-it, the world leader in secure information destruction, can permanently destroy confidential data at a low cost that fits your budget.
The mere thought of confidential data, such as employees’ private information, banking information, vital files and documents, and other types of data, falling into the wrong hands should be more than enough to cause businesses to tighten their security controls.
Computers have become an indispensable part of everyday life, and what makes them particularly useful is the ability to save virtually any digital file to it. As humans and companies, we cannot imagine working any other way. Hard drives correlate to the human brain. They are a place where everything is stored, and if damaged, repair may be unsuccessful.