A hard drive crash can spoil your whole day, or week!
Why will it happen? Typically you are dependent upon glass platters spinning at 7,500 rpm. Metal heads float microns above thin layers of magnetic oxide. This stuff is delicate! It doesn't last forever. Give yourself about three years, plus or minus two years, before something bad happens.
Traumatic causes of hard drive failures include:
- Electric motor failure due to bad bearings
- Clogged air intake causing heat build-up
- Hot environment leading to a circuit board failure
- A power spike or outage while the drive is writing
- Dust that infiltrates the drive
- Bumping or dropping a running computer
- Old age - moving parts wear out
Your best defenses against dying hard drives are reliable, frequent backups.