Part D: Damage to Computer Storage Media
Computer storage media all face the same hazards. However, the actual damage a hazard will cause
depends on the type of storage media:
Floppy disks: Floppies are probably the most vulnerable of all the storage media, and any of the
hazards will affect them.
Hard disks: Housed in a sealed unit, hard disks am relatively well protected from contaminants,
but are still vulnerable to static electricity, magnetism, and temperature. And, the hard disk unit is
very vulnerable to some types of user abuse; if you drop the unit on the floor, you are going to cause
some major damage!
Compact discs (CDs): Of all the storage media, CDs are probably the most durable. They can
take a lot of user abuse and are impervious to magnetism and static electricity. A fingerprint, dust, or
coffee can usually be wiped off with no harm caused. But a CD can be scratched, and that will most
likely mean lost information. Durability and large storage capacity are two masons that CDs are so
Part E: Basic Protection for Storage Media
Give your computer storage media some basic protection and they, and your information, will last for
a long time. The following are some basic measures for protecting storage media form common
Protect magnetic storage media from static electricity and magnetic fields.
Don't touch the recording surface. This goes for CDs, as well as for floppy disks.
Treat all storage media with care. For example, when you put a floppy in the disk drive, don't bend it.
A floppy disk comes in a protective envelope, and a CD comes in a plastic container. If the floppy or
CD isn't in the drive, keep it in the protective envelope or container.
Protect all storage media from contaminants and don't eat, drink, or smoke when you are handling
Protect all storage media from temperature extremes and from direct sunlight.
Part F: Backup Procedures
"It's not "if" you'll lose your data, it's when!" The basic measures for protecting computer storage
media will minimize, but cannot eliminate, the possibility that your media will be damaged and you will
lose the information you spent time and effort on. Accidents happen! If you spill a cup of coffee on
the floppy disk which contains your word processing program, that accident is as serious as the loss
of your computer; in either case, you can't do your job.