While most data from our devices is automatically backed up in the cloud these days, chances are you’ve got one or two external hard drives kicking around that are crammed with family memories.

Here are five tips on how to keep these precious treasure troves in good working order:

1. Be aware of environmental factors
Temperature, condensation, vibration and sudden motion can all affect an HDD. Use power surge protection for all your electrical devices.

hard drive

2. Monitor!
There are many programs available that can be used to monitor the health of your HDD (Windows has a feature called CHKDSK built-in for this). These will give you a heads-up on any developing problems.

3. Don’t cram your HDD full of data.
If it nears its storage capacity, remove any unwanted data or compress any data that you can’t remove.

hard drive

4. Treat your HDD with care
Leaving it loose in a bag that gets dropped or thrown onto an office floor is asking for trouble.

5. Never pull the cable out of the back of the HDD while connected.
Eject the HDD through your computer using the ‘Safely Remove’ icon on Windows devices or drag the drive icon to the Trash Bin if you’re using Mac OS.

Hard drives at JB Hi-Fi.