Originally posted by MrCoffee
a surge protector is always a must for any computer, no excuse really they're cheap enough.
Just a blackout shouldn't damage the hard drive, probably a surge when the power comes back on or if the outage was caused by lightning then when it went down.
"Head crashes can be caused by electronic failure, a sudden power failure, physical shock, wear and tear, or poorly manufactured disks. Normally, when powering down, a hard disk moves its heads to a safe area of the disk, where no data is ever kept (the landing zone). However, especially in old models, sudden power interruptions or a power supply failure can result in the drive shutting down with the heads in the data zone, which increases the risk of data loss".
The whole article can be read here.