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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Hard Disk Performance, Quality and Reliability | Hard Disk Quality and Reliability | Hard Disk Quality and Reliability Issues ]
Software Causes for Reliability Issues
While most reliability problems with hard disks are due to troubles with hardware, there are some reliability concerns that are actually related more to software, or to how the hard disk is used. Software can't "break" hardware, so perhaps this is a more "loose" definition of reliability--I'm certainly not suggesting that the software you use can cause your hard disk to fail. However, the way you use your system can cause you to lose data or to experience system instability, and these are what most people are trying to avoid by obtaining highly reliable hard disks in the first place. Your use of the system can also sometimes create situations where it appears that there is a hard disk reliability problem but there in fact is not.
To avoid problems with your hard disk and data, you need to take care of them. I discuss data loss prevention and related issues in this section. Also, see here for a full discussion on viruses, one of the leading causes of non-hardware data loss in the PC world.