Computers have become a point of convergence for critical business information, discussions about the things that matter in life and memories to cherish for a lifetime. Unfortunately, as much of the technologies used in modern computers are still in their infancy, the information stored as digital data may not always last as long as paper documents or photographs. If your computer is no longer working, consider a few dangers that could make your data inaccessible by standard means.
Hard Drive Failure From Wear And Tear
Hard drives have moving parts, an unfortunately limited situation that leads to eventual failure. Data is stored by creating a magnetic charge and writing information on a rapidly spinning platter made out of a glass-like material. Even though the data is written by a precision needle with a softened material on the head, the platter can eventually become worn out--an issue that can happen even faster if the hard drive is stropped, jarred or otherwise hit hard enough to cause the needle to scratch the platters.
When the hard drive is scratched or worn out, the reading head is unable to reach the platter to gather information. This results in a physical loss of information, although some information can be pieced together by finding duplicate data areas (sectors) on other parts of the platters, or by building a copy of the information with just a bit of data missing.
Solid State Data Is Better, But Won't Last Forever
SSD technology can physically fail as well, but the long-term survival potential is increasing as the technology advances. Information is stored by trapping or releasing gasses with a signal created by a spark. This offers less of a damage-over-time issue when compared to the scratching needle of a hard drive, but the spark can lead to damage as well.
Although the durability will continue to change with new versions of SSD systems, storing important information on an SSD can lead to information loss within a few years--even shorter if you aren't an expert at reducing how often the drive is used.
As the current selection of SSDs for personal computer use haven't been on the market for more than a decade, it can be difficult to guess how long the newer drives can last. Be sure to keep an eye on consumer reports and independent research to find out how likely your newer storage drives are to fail within a few years.
Whether you're using a new SSD, a sturdy hard drive with better platter preservation techniques or an old hard drive with scratches, contact a data recovery specialist if the drive stops working and you need your valuable information back.