Do You Know How Your Hard Drive Saves Data?

A lot of people never stop and consider how their data is saved. It’s something we all have, from old photos of our family vacations to the files kept on the server back at the office, but not many people know the actual mechanics behind it. Understanding your backup processes, the kind of backup you are using, and what would happen if there was a data disaster is important. Today, we wanted to go over these specifics, and hopefully make it clear why we always advocate for backup practices.

How Does a Hard Drive Work?

The traditional hard disk drive, often shortened to HDD, works a little bit like a phonograph or gramophone did. Platters inside the drive store your data, layered on top of one another and magnetized. A small mechanical arm sits over them to read and write data to the drive, just as a record player had its needle to coax out the sound.

Much as a record would on a record player, these platters spin. However, rather than having a rate of 33 or 78 rotations per minute, the platters on a hard drive generally reach 7200 RPM. This speed creates a cushion of air that holds up the arm and keeps it from making contact, which would destroy the data the drive contains.

There are actually a lot of reasons that data could be lost if it is stored on a hard drive. As a mechanical system, plenty of issues could arise and cause the drive to fail entirely. The motor that spins the platters could burn out, the arm could catch, or the platters themselves could even break if not handled with care. Whatever the reason, once the drive is rendered inaccessible, the data stored on it is as good as gone. If your hard drive is older, this could lead to more issues and make it more prone to a crash.

Once you think about it for a moment and consider how much you rely on your hard drive to do (like opening, editing, and saving files, surfing the web, and countless other general utilities) the importance of the data on your hard drive is only too clear.

(To be clear, we are not referring to SSD drives right now. As they don’t rely on any moving parts, they are a little sturdier, but certainly not impervious.)

Despite this clear vulnerability, we put our trust in these devices each and every day. Your laptop or computer will have at least one or two, while a business server will use many more. Some of us carry our data around in external hard drives.

Do you really feel comfortable putting all that trust in some fragile moving parts and a tiny cushion of air? And, assuming the answer is no…

Why Would You Ever Only Have Your Data in One Place?

Seriously. If you only have one copy of your data stored on a single one of these hard drives, it is at a higher-than-you’d-expect risk of data loss. At Symmetric IT Group, we do not recommend this method.

Thankfully, this is very simple to mitigate, especially with our help. We’ve helped many businesses generate backup solutions that are tested to be trustworthy, ensuring that their data isn’t going to be lost if some circumstance were to strike. By storing a second copy of their data on another device in the office, as well as a third (and fourth, and fifth, if possible) offsite in the cloud, we allow these businesses the confidence that comes with knowing that their data isn’t going to be completely lost to them.

If this sounds like something you aren’t super informed about or may not be able to implement yourself, Symmetric IT Group is here to help. To learn more about how we accomplish this, reach out to us directly at PHONENUMBER!

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