Sparrowhawk got me thinking about the computer (yeah, that’s hard to do) and the power requirements involved. Now, my previous post was all about speeding up your computer and solving simple problems. This time I’m going to tell you how to avoid wrecking your hard-drive.
Obviously, you don’t want to abuse your hardware. Playing catch with a hard-drive is a bad idea. So is dropping it, using it for a hammer, or taking any of the screws or seals off of it. However, since everybody should have sense enough not to do those things, here is something most people don’t think of:
1. Put your system on a surge protector…the bigger the better. I worked on a system some months ago that was partially fried after a lightning strike overloaded the home’s electrical system and even burned the rug under the surge protector the computer was plugged into. It was a cheap $3.00 job and it still protected the computer well enough that I was able to fix it afterwards. Had there been no surge protection at all, the computer would have ended up a very large and unweildy paper-weight. A better S-P might have protected the computer completely.
2. Better than a surge protector is a back-up battery. My admittedly over-sized computer is plugged into a 1000 watt battery unit that will keep the computer going for several minutes after a power outage has left my house dark. On a lower-powered computer it could go half an hour or better. More than enough time to do a proper shut-down and reduce wear-and-tear on your system…specifically, the hard-drive. I also have my battery plugged into a heavy-duty surger protector, giving extra protection. Don’t daisy chain your surge protectors, though, as it will reduce the available power to your system if you take it too far. Outlet, surge-protector, back-up battery, computer is as far as I will take it. And like I said, I use a heavy-duty surge protector that runs $60 or more. A cheap protector means cheap protection. Why plug a $500 to $2000 computer into a $3.00 surge protector?
3. Do NOT overload the S-P or Battery! One high-end power drain is enough. Run your system and a few lower powered peripherals from a single protector and/or battery. Don’t run two computer on the same unit. Over-taxing the battery will shorten it’s life. Over-taxing the surger protector could result in a fire. Ever see those extension cord octopi running off of a single out-let? FWOOSH! Same goes for the surge protector. DON’T OVER-DO IT!!! I would set up a seperate battery and protector for each computer. Hell, I would even run them on seperate circuits if possible. Ever run a space heater only to have your circuit-breaker trip? Gee, I wonder what caused that? DUH!
If anybody wants to relate a horror story about power-outages and their effect on the computer, please chime in. Same goes for surge protector over-use or lack of use stories.
This has been a public service announcement from the Wolf.