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The hard disk is one of the most important components in a PC. The moment a PC or laptop is switched on, the internal parts inside hard disk starts spinning immediately. All the operating system files, other files, and instructions to proceed further is carried by these platters. Because of this, virtually the hard disk is always working the moment computer is turned on. This leads to constant wear and tear. Even though they are a hardy device, it gets worn out after some time.
You have to be extra careful when you buy a second-hand hard disk. The hard disk might be old and might be nearing to completely becoming worn out. It might be just moments from crashing.
Here are some facts to remember before buying a second-hand hard drive
Second-hand hard disks are less reliable than first-hand ones
You can never trust a second-hand hard disk to store data for a long time. Second-hand disks are ideal for those who want to use it for not so important purpose or experimenting where data loss is acceptable.
Even if you are planning to use a second-hand hard disk for important work, it is recommended to carry an external drive to back up data and backup should be taken frequently to keep it updated.
Find its age and what was it used for
The more a hard disk is used and older it is more the chances that you have a hard disk that might crash on you anytime. Try getting details on how old is the hard disk and if possible, for what purpose it was used for as it will give an idea if the hard disk was constantly used. For e.g., if this is a home computer, chances are that it might have been used less. But if this was previously used in offices, chances are that it might have taken enough beating and on the verge of crashing.
Watch the sound that hard disk makes while running
Hard disks are very silent while operating, especially the latest ones. These are the most common sound that may come out of a hard disk – A whining noise louder than normal when it spins and a clicking or tapping sound are the usual sounds that may come out of a hard disk.
The whining noise can happen when the hard disk is too busy. Maybe there are too many files scattered around inside hard disk. A scan disk and disk defragmentation should take care of the problem. It may also be a sign of hard disk that might fail soon.
The clicking or tapping sound is definitely the sound of a dying hard disk.
Check for bad sectors
Every hard disk develops bad sector even the new ones. But as it gets older, more of them develop inside a hard disk. When a bad sector develops in an area where data is stored, it leads to file corruption or missing files because of computers inability to read data from that sector. Normally, a computer is capable of recovering data when there is less number of bad sectors. But if there is too many, they may not be able to recover files.
Run tools like EaseUS Partition Master which can run a surface scan to find the extent of damage to the old hard disk.
Hard disks cannot be refurbished
Technically, it is possible to refurbish a hard disk, but it is not worth the cost. The process is going to cost more than buying a first-hand one. Refurbishing of a hard disk is mainly done for a forensic purpose.
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