These tips will help prevent Hard Drive errors and failures.
Purchase a high end power surge protector which has a high joule rating of about 1200 or higher. A garden variety power bar is not a surge protector. A surge protector will say surge protector with a joule rating. Also the newer ones include 3 lights. Important! The only way the surge protector or suppressor will work properly and help protect your computer is if the surge protector is plugged into a grounded outlet. The newer surge protectors will tell you if the outlet is grounded with a grounding light indicator. A surge protector or suppressor will also help protect your computer's hardware.
Purchase a high end battery backup system. During power outages it can cause hard drive failures and errors on the disk. Also including hardware failure
No not unless you can not help it turn off your machine using the power button this also can cause errors on the disk, file system errors and corruption. If you need to shut down the system by using the power button, before powering up the machine again wait for 10-15 seconds before powering up the machine so that the hard drive platters can spin down.
If you have a laptop when it is running do not jar, bump, drop the laptop there are sensitive components in the laptop mainly the hard drive. If you move your laptop to one location to another when it is on carry the laptop like it was a bomb and it will go off any second. Even if the laptop is off do not just throw it around toss it on your bed or couch there is delicate parts in a hard drive which when shocked can damage the read & write platters in the hard drive. Think as if your laptop is a delicate infant, you wouldn't just toss a baby on a bed would you?
Defrag your hard drives on a regular bases perform low level check disk scans /F
Backup your important data on a regular bases.
Stay away from viruses etc..... they too can cause file corruption.
Partitioning: If you do not have experience and knowledge in how to partition a hard drive ask someone who may have knowledge on partitioning hard drives. This is key because not knowing the right steps, procedures, File System, logical partition, primary partition, etc... you would cause your partition or hard drive to be useless, and forth cause a partition table problem. Always backup your important data before partitioning your hard drive. After partitioning your hard drive perform a "CHKDSK"
to make sure there is no file system errors.
Here is a list of hard drive diagnostics test from hard drive manufactures:
Drive Fitness Hitachi
Ultimate Boot CD
: Linux based diagnostics, partitioning tools for pc and hard drives.