My Computers Keep Dying — Is It Me?

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Being absolutely serious here, do you know if certain people have something (possibly just static) in or around them that can cause computers to crash? I used to joke that I was so “electromagnetic” that I caused computers to crash. Not so funny actually, because I have had several new computers each crash in turn. This happened as early as two days new to six months new. I’ve had a motherboard die, a monitor die, a notebook that had a fatal crash and never turned on again and another notebook that had critical errors causing running problems 36 days into use. Most recently, my beloved HP Pavilion’s hard drive went bad after only four months!

As I wait for a new hard drive to be shipped, I am very discouraged. I do not believe it’s computer error causing these problems. I keep everything up to date. Have you ever heard of anyone else with such bad luck? All of this happened within the last 1-2 years. I can’t afford to have another one die.

Wow. You certainly have had a string of bad luck, to be sure.

I know there are days I feel cursed — days when it feels like everything I touch turns to garbage. Thankfully, those tend to pass.

While I’m not aware of anything that would be specifically related to you, there are some things I would look into.

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If Shutting Down Windows Cleanly Is So Important, What Happens When the Power Just Goes Out?

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I am aware that not going through the proper Windows shutdown can possibly have negative effects on a computer. But my question is if a computer loses power (due to a household power outage, not anything wrong with the power supply), are these negative effects strictly software related (meaning a format and reinstall would fix them), or might it cause hardware problems as well?

Shutting down Windows properly before turning off the power to your computer is important.

Not doing so can result in data loss and corruption as files are left only partially written to disk. But just turning off the switch is unlikely to actually harm your hardware.

Surprisingly, a household or other area-wide power outage turns out to be a completely different, riskier issue.

Read moreIf Shutting Down Windows Cleanly Is So Important, What Happens When the Power Just Goes Out?

Will a power loss cause data loss on SSDs?

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If I buy an SSD hard drive to replace my dead mechanical hard drive, what are the drawbacks? I have no UPS. If the electricity goes out during writing, will the data be gone like a USB flash drive?

I’ll admit that the phrase “like a USB flash drive” in your question bothers me. It kind of implies that flash drives always lose their data on power loss and that simply is not true.

Sudden power loss will actually affect all three of the different devices (physical hard drives, a Solid State Drive, or a flash drive) in pretty much the same way.

There are three things that can happen when power is suddenly removed from your computer while you’re using your hard drive.

Read moreWill a power loss cause data loss on SSDs?