Most people live with the assumption that their computer will last forever. The truth is that computers only have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years. After this time, they begin to show signs of needing an upgrade to increase the storage capacity, a replacement or repairs to the hard drive in order to continue to perform to their full potential.

The difference between an HDD and an SSD 

Computers and mobile devices such as the tablet, iPad, Notebook PC and laptops generally have a hard drive or an SSD (solid state drive). The hard drive is the lifeline of your computer. It’s where all the files get stored.

These can include your pictures, music, videos, files for the operating system and installed software programs. It uses one or more platters to write the data using a magnetic head and remains contained safely inside an airtight casing inside your computer.

The SSD is comprised of a series of flash memory chips acts as a single storage device with no moving parts. This helps to improve the reliability and performance, especially in mobile devices. Since there are virtually no moving components to break, it generally lasts longer than an HDD.

The option of using an SSD became available in the late 1980’s but, because of the hefty price tag many people opted for the HDD instead. In recent years, however, the price has come down to where the consumer can afford it, making it another real option.

How does an SSD fail

While the SSD takes a different approach to storing files without connecting components that can wear over time and break, it still can develop both physical and electronic damage to its components. A bad sector, memory wear, a virus, corrupt files and human error like an accidental deletion of a file, can all cause your SSD to malfunction.

SSD data recovery is also hard to restore, so unless you have a good understanding of your computer’s internal parts, if a failure occurs, it’s best to use a professional data recovery service.

What should I do if my computer or mobile device demonstrates that there might be a problem?

When a typical HDD begins to falter the immediate reaction is to turn the computer off and then restart it. When you have an SSD the last thing you want to do is to turn it off and then on again. Every time that you do this more files become overwritten with no way to recover them.

And, unfortunately, while the SSD does last longer than an HDD, it still has electronic components that will wear and eventually cause your computer to stop working. There’s also no noise like many people hear when an HDD is on its way out, to give you a heads up that’s there’s a problem.

Back up your files often

Since there is literally no way of telling when an SSD driver is going to fail, your best line of defense is offense. Make sure that regardless of your workload you take the time to back up your system once or twice a week. This way when a failure occurs you will have most of your files preserved.

As your reliance on computers and other electronic devices continues to grow, you need to take pro-active steps to make sure that your cherished memories and work remain intact. While you can’t predict when a failure or malfunction might occur, you can do everything in your power to preserve your files by performing regular maintenance and weekly backups. When you run a business having employees with too much downtime is simply not beneficial to your bottom line.