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billis777

Power surge killed my hdd horribly. How can i avoid it from happening again?

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There was a lot of lighting strikes recently and soon after found my computer not booting to windows and a loud clicking noise coming from the hdd.

I took it out opened it and found the head to have scratched the platter circuraly in 2 different areas. The hdd was a seagate 1tb.

How a power surge or power going off due to lighting strikes can make the hdd head crash on the platter?

Also how can i avoid this from happening again, is a upc battery good enough?

Is it also possible to use two hard drives at the same time so if one dies i wont lose all my files and wont have to reinstall windows?

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Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that!  That really sucks!

 

If you have a UPS/battery backup, it may help.   

However, I've heard of it not being enough.   Which is not surprising, based on the amount of power that lighting brings down (well, really, up).  

The best bet is to unplug everything during a storm. 

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Well, on all the time or not, if you live in somewhere where there are possible issues (like this) with power, a UPS is still a very good idea.  That or disconnecting everything from the computer, during a storm. 

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On 8/15/2019 at 3:31 PM, billis777 said:

There was a lot of lighting strikes recently and soon after found my computer not booting to windows and a loud clicking noise coming from the hdd.

I took it out opened it and found the head to have scratched the platter circuraly in 2 different areas. The hdd was a seagate 1tb.

How a power surge or power going off due to lighting strikes can make the hdd head crash on the platter?

Also how can i avoid this from happening again, is a upc battery good enough?

Is it also possible to use two hard drives at the same time so if one dies i wont lose all my files and wont have to reinstall windows?

Lots of modern drives have protections built in to automatically move drive heads to safe zones in the event of power loss. That said, power fluctuations, which a UPS would also normally handle (power conditioning features) probably could causes something weird to happen which could cause a head crash.

Frankly, it sounds like you're pretty lucky your electronics didn't fry. Even if your power is reliable, you should have computer equipment you really care about not losing, on UPSes. UPSes are more then just providing power when power goes out. They often/always(?) on the protected outlets, disconnect your equipment from direct line power. Line power charges the batteries and the batteries power the gear. Think of them as an electrical buffer.

But as Drashna says, the only way to be completely safe in questionable circumstances is to disconnect from line power.

You can put everything on 2 disks, there are numerous ways to do this, in software, you could just have programs that makes sure your disk is duplicated to another disk all the time. Drivepool itself supports doing this. You can create a  RAID array(, RAID 1 specifically, mirrored disks), literally everything that happens to one disk happens to another. You can do this right inside Windows, or use specialized hardware. NAS gear usually supports this configuration if you so desire). But of course it's not cheap, you are buying twice the disks for the same capacity. Businesses do this when uptime is the most important thing, and the budget is there. But ultimately, you want backups that are not connected to the hardware all the time, and ideally, are stored in a physically different location. The easiest way to do this for most people is cloud backups, but it may take a long time to get backed up if you don't have a fast upload on your Internet connection. Historically, IT did this with tape backups that are rotated offsite. Most people aren't going to go to this trouble, and it's much simpler and cheaper, but usually slower, to pay for cloud backups. Good tape backup gear is in the realm of pretty expensive to stupidly expensive.

 

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