I have a strong engineering background and I think about components and how I can with a bit of simple engineering extend their life span. Fans blowing cool air over the computer’s actual physical hard disk is a must have component.

I do worry about Laptops having 2.5 inch hard disks that run very hot it seems to me. The platters in hard disks run on bearings that need to be kept lubricated. Hard disks have aluminium disks with a special coating that run at a minimum of 5400rpm with many running at 7200 in normal desktop computers. 3 times your normal car engine speeds….!!! Some high end servers can have hard disks that run at 15000revs per minute. RPM is the abbreviation for Revolutions per minute.

Having slower larger diameter fans reduces noise. Blocking off some case apertures can help cooling air flow “through” a computer case taking heat away off the motherboard components as well.

Note: Many of my clients refer to their whole computer box as the “hard disk”. Yes it contains the hard disk or mulitiple hard disks that are about the size of a mans hand in length and thickness. The computer box also contains the motherboard the power supply the DVD writer and all the cabling to connect everything to the one or in my case multiple hard disks. Hard disks are now so cheap and multiples are good insurance. Read about my system below.

My own work computer is totally a “must never stop” machine for me to operate with. I do this for my main computer.

1) I keep all my data files I create on a separate hard disk. Nothing else gets stored here. This hard disk I call “DATA only”.

2) I am now running Windows 7 Ultimate and this is run on a separate hard disk. I have configured this disk to only write files I create to the “DATA only” hard disk.

3) I also have a 3rd hard disk that allows me to make a total bootable clone of my W7 hard disk. In short I have my data separate and I have a full bootable copy of my normally operating W7 hard disk waiting in the wings but turned off so it can never be infected in anyway whatsoever. This system works a treat for me.

4) You may now be asking how to manage a system like this and it is really simple.
Servers can have a hard drive caddy that fits into the front of a normal desktop computer box. I have a caddy that holds 4 separate pluggable SATA hard disks with a switch to turn each one off and on. Lights show which disk is active and the others are not going at all. In my case the 4th disk is a fully functional XP computer that I can boot up and it still reads my DATA only files on that separate hard disk. Best of all worlds for me.

5) I also have a wonderful programme called SyncbackSE (I use the Pro Version) that allows me to have my main computer’s DATA only hard disk replicated to another computer every morning at 8am. That way I have a full copy of my precious files in a totally separate location. Syncback replication is done automatically each day for me it never fails.

6) Preserving your data is everything. I even carry a 500gig laptop hard disk in my shoulder bag that contains a full copy of my “DATA only” Hard disks contents. There are wonderful small hard disk carriers “in mesh gloves” for this system that allows me to plug into any computer via a USB cable and I have all my files with me for reference on a job. More importantly my files are in the directory structure I am familiar with so I can find things.

Email me at if you would like more clarity on these issues.