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I am in a situation where I regularly suffer brief flickers in my electricity (getting fixed soon, it's horrible) and I fear it's going to affect the health of my work desktop. The obvious solution is to get a UPS, but that isn't an option right now.

Is there any software I can use to help? Is there something I can do to slow down how often my disk writes? Are there any Windows settings I can change? Is there anything I can use that can regularly scan and correct any corrupt sectors of my HD? I'm running Windows 8.1 Pro.

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    Backup, backup, backup. Jun 11 '14 at 0:48
  • In addition to backups, another interesting topic is fault-tolerant filesystems (admittedly this is more relevant to Linux systems, but some do have Windows drivers). Jun 11 '14 at 1:34
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Disable Disk caching by opening Device Manager, right clicking on the Disk Device Drive and selecting Properties > Policies tab. Here you can uncheck Enable write caching on the device. Click Apply/OK > Exit. On removable USB devices, you may see the option as ‘Quick removal’ instead. enter image description here

Disk Write Caching is a feature that improves system performance by enabling write caching on the device. It is a feature, which is available on almost all disk drives these days. The benefit of Disk Write Caching is that it allows applications to run faster by allowing them to proceed without waiting for data write-requests to be written to the disk.

Disk Write Caching does not actually write data to the hard disk drive, It occurs after some time, But in case of a power outage or system failure, the data can get lost or corrupted. So while disk write caching may increase system performance, it can also increase the chances of data loss in case of power or system failures.

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What we have here is a risk of physical damage, no software utility would save you from that, but let's review some practices where software may actually help you reduce the colateral damage:

  1. As the comment suggests backup, backup, backup. You can use external media or cloud based storage, if you have a Google account you already have more than 15 GB of free storage online with Google Drive.
  2. Data caching on hard drives is actually enabled by default on your system. It helps the drive to increase its performance while it reduces the actual physical I/O cycles. You may lose data on a sudden power outage, but you give your disk an extra 2 years or so to be alive. I suggest that you don't disable this.
  3. In the event of data loss due to a sudden shutdown, you can run a filesystem check in case some nodes just went missing and the data wasn't completely corrupted: chkdsk /f /r C: or whatever drive you want to check on Windows or fsck -fp /dev/sdaX on Linux or similar.

As you can see, there's not much (if not anything) software can do to prevent damage by physical means, it's up to you to take the right preventive measures to reduce the total damage received.

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