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How Heat Affects Storage Media

How Heat Affects Storage Media

As the residents of Hawaii grapple with evacuations and the damaging effects from the erupting volcano, it’s timely to explore the connections between heat and hard drive damage. First, it seems obvious that some forms of extreme heat, like contact with lava, will most certainly result in technological decimation. But what about move moderate forms of daily exposure to heat? A few studies summarized by Backblaze report no strong connection between drive temperature and hard drive failure rates. Despite this conclusion, it usually doesn’t hurt to ensure that hard drives aren’t unnecessarily overheating. Move them from direct sunlight placement by a window and ventilate tight spaces, like tower cabinets in desks.

While heat might not be the primary cause of hard drive failure, it is implicated in slowing down drives, which results in sub-par performance. Heat speeds up the aging of mechanical and electronic components. It doesn’t seem to be a direct cause of failure for newer drives but may pose more of a risk for data loss as the drive ages.

Not Just Heat

While heat might not be as significant of a concern as assumed, humidity is a major factor in maintaining the life of your hard drive and the data it holds. Humidity can be harder than the temperature to control. This lack of control might be why it’s often overlooked as a safety precaution to preserve data. Disk controller and connectivity failures are particularly associated with high humidity environments.

Smoke damage can also sometimes accompany heat. Smoke is soot traveling via heat. The soot is acidic in nature and once settled on its target, can degrade even metal over time. Smoke is also magnetically charged so it may be driven to attach to circuits and insulators within a device, making damage from overuse and excessive heat even more likely. When a hard drive is exposed to smoke, it’s usually not something that the user could have prevented. As long as platters are intact (and our techs can let you know how to find out), we have a high success rate of recovery for drives damaged by fire and smoke.

Help in Time of Need

The devastation from the Hawaii volcano eruption and the threat of fire, smoke, and water damage from associated earthquakes will be an unfortunate reality for thousands in the weeks and months to come. Facing the loss of data from damaged devices adds to tragedy. Photos, essential files, and the ability to get back to work are often lost when a hard drive is damaged beyond repair. We want to help you preserve memories and get back to work and back to life. At Secure Data, we’re extending a 20% discount on recovery for those affected by these disasters and natural events. Submit a help ticket today to get started.

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