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Why Heat and Hard Drives Don’t Mix

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The summer months are upon us bringing with them heat, lightning storms and sever weather conditions that can wreak havoc upon the sensitive electronics of computers and other devices.

It’s no secret that heat buildup, inside computers and external storage enclosures, can cause a total information meltdown if not properly controlled. And although small fans inside these units help keep things cool, the nature of a hard drive’s design can sometimes contribute to its early demise.

Inside a hard drive mechanism, platters spin at high speeds and generate heat that is transferred to the drive’s housing and electronics – the printed circuit board (PCB). Solder joints, controller chips and other circuitry can all become extremely hot, leading to loose or broken connections.

But heat isn’t the only source for summer hard drive failures. Power problems at local substations, triggered by greater demands for electricity to drive air-conditioners, can cause spikes, surges and blackouts. Without some protection from heat and power fluctuations, data loss is bound to happen as data storage systems are affected.

To help prevent data loss during the hot summer months, DriveSavers recommends the following:

· Avoid installing servers in small enclosed areas where heat cannot be dissipated.
· Use adequate ventilation, fans and/or air conditioning to keep servers at the proper operating temperature.
· Install an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) instead of low-cost surge protection strips which may not provide an adequate defense against all kinds of power problems.
· Choose a UPS with battery backup and automatic shutdown software which can gracefully shutdown a computer during a blackout.
· Don’t combine the use of surge-protectors with a UPS. Doing so may overload the UPS device.

From Drive Savers…

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