Bergesch Computer Services, Inc.
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Hard (disk) drives (101)

First. A hard disk drive is just one part of many parts that make up a computer.

Hard drives are the device(s) where your data (files and folders) are stored.  If you are getting rid of a computer and are concerned about what data may be saved on it, remove and destroy the drive(s)

Hard drives (HDD) and the newer Solid State Drives (SSD) operate basically the same way, but two major distinctions:

Lifespan:  Everything fails sooner or later, but assuming there are no abnormal occurrences (being dropped, power outage, etc.) both type of drives will last for many, many years.  However, a maximum life is very apparent by the manufactures warranties (or lack there of).  Most have a maximum of three years but commonly just one.


UPS - power backup systems

We are a huge fan of using uninterruptable power supply (UPS) units having all of our computers AND all of our network devices (routers, switches, etc.) on individual UPS units.  Electronics and as mentioned above, hard drives do not like a sudden loss in power, e.g., power outages.

Be careful not to overload their capacity.  Never plug a laser printer into a UPS, even on the surge protection side.  Lasers initially draw a lot of power and can damage the UPS.

UPSs are rated by wattage and how many minutes they will maintain electricity to the device(s) connected.  A typical computer and monitor can be kept running for 10-15 minutes on a 350 watt unit.  Much longer if you get 1,000 or larger units.  A network modem, router and switch can get by on a 350 or so.


Most UPS devices have software available to monitor voltage drops and in a power outage situation, can safely shut down the computer when the battery is becoming low...