The Ugly Truth About Old Hard Drives

"The Ugly Truth About Old Hard Drives" text in front of a pile of Hard Drives.Hard drives are still being used in many laptops and desktop computers, but most tech experts would tell you that these old storage systems are, at this point, obsolete. Solid-state drives (SSD) are the more popular option today, largely because they contain no moving parts. Where hard drives use actual disks, motors, and read/write heads to store and access data, SSDs use integrated circuits to store data without the moving parts. The result is that SSDs don’t wear out or fail with the speed or frequency of hard drives.

Therein lies the first ugly truth about old hard drives: sooner or later, they are going to fail. Eventually, the drive will reach a point where it is not able to boot. Your computer, in other words, will not be able to access the operating system or any of the data stored on the disk. This occurrence is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when.

The good news is that, in most cases, hard drive failures can be predicted based on early warning signs. A hard drive that is audibly grinding, scraping, or laboring is often on its last legs. A computer that freezes frequently, that loses or corrupts files with no explanation, or that takes a long, long time to save or open any files is also one that probably has a dying hard disk.

The other ugly truth with old hard drives is that most companies don’t know what to do with them once they’ve outlived their usefulness. Switching out a hard drive if you fear it is going to fail is a good idea, in that it protects your files. But the old hard drives will still have a slew of sensitive or confidential data on them, all of which can pose a problem for your business if it falls into the wrong hands.

The best option, then, is to destroy old hard drives rather than hold onto them. Even wiped drives still contain traces of your data, but a drive that has been shredded and smashed into thousands of tiny pieces cannot possibly give up a trace of data.

So what should you do with that stack of old hard drives your company’s IT department has been holding onto? CI Information Management, a Columbia Industries company, offers convenient hard drive destruction at our Kennewick, WA location. This state-of-the-art facility provides businesses of the Tri Cities, Yakima, Moses Lake, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, and Hermiston, OR safe and reliable hard drive destruction.