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Hard Disk Myths

How It All Started

Ever since personal computers become the daily common household items, there has been much misunderstanding about the hard disk, the place where all data is stored. Sometimes certain experiences over a computer procedure or problem can result in self-perceived conclusions. Gradually, as hearsay escalates and finds its way into discussion forums and newsgroups, false legends soon become a made-belief. This article will therefore attempt to debunk some of the most popular hard disk myths and reveal to you what's real and what's not! Take a ride!



Taking A Closer Look


Myth 1: Formatting a hard disk repair the bad sectors



The truth is, formatting a hard disk does not repair bad sectors. It simply hides the bad sectors from being accessed by marking the location of bad sectors in a new file allocation table so the operating system will not visit the bad sectors during data storage. See more bad sectors on hard disk.


Myth 2: Can Power cuts causes bad sectors ?



Typically, modern hard disk incorporates certain techniques to park the heads wherever there is a power cut. However, severe power surge or unstable power supply could cause electronic or RW head failure which in terms create platter damage or bad sectors. Generally power cuts may just cause logical data corruption.


Myth 3: Once data is deleted off your disk, it disappears forever



Technically data retains in your hard disk till the moment you overwrite it with new data. Deleted data are simply marked as deleted and is always there until new data take over its place.


Myth 4: Powering the hard disk on perpetually shortens its life



Half truth. From the time you power up your disk, the platters spins continuously till the moment you switch off your computer. Most users reckon that the perpetual spinning of the platters kills the disk. But the truth is, only excessive heat shortens the life of the disk components and adds to thermal stress problems. Hence, server computers that operate 24/7 are kept in well maintained rooms with proper conditioning to keep the machines free from dust and heat.


Myth 5: Data is not recoverable after a reformat



Disk formatting, especially in windows environment, will only delete certain system folders. All the data contents are largely untouched. In fact, format process does not destroy data and most of the time, 100% of data is still recoverable.


Myth 6: Your hard disk can lose data with a magnet near your computer



This does not hold true for domestic magnets that you use to fasten your timetable sheet on your white board. The only magnets that are strong enough to destroy data on your disk platter are those authentic degaussers found in laboratory and junkyard magnets that can distort every bit off your disk and hence your data.