Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Signs & Symptoms Of A Hard Disk Starting To Fail

Like all mechanical devices, a computer's hard drive can fail for a variety of reasons. Once a hard drive has failed, it's not possible to write or store data on that disk, which means all of the data on it is probably lost. Fortunately, signs and symptoms provide a warning of imminent hard drive failure. This gives a computer owner a chance to rescue his most important files - such as photos, documents and videos - before the disk crashes.


A computer drive somewhat resembles a mechanical component in an automobile that can wear down and stop working over time. Most hard drive crashes are the result of mechanical failures, according to the website Stepcase Lifehack. Some of these include the hard drive motor burning out, bearings becoming stuck or the drive overheating. Sometimes, a head failure will occur, which is when the read/write head malfunctions. A media failure occurs when the drive has been handled improperly or the magnetic components are scratched. A logical failure happens when there is a problem with the electronics of the drive or the firmware.


One of the easiest-to-spot symptoms of an imminent hard drive failure is that the computer crashes multiple times. For Windows computer users, a blue screen appears and the computer suddenly reboots on its own. Many times this happens while the operating system is booting up. A computer freezing up - the mouse cursor doesn't move and nothing happens when you type - may also be a symptom of a hard drive starting to fail, according to the website PCMech.

File Access

When a hard drive is beginning to fail, you will notice unusual activities when opening folders and accessing files. For instance, if you are trying to open a folder in Windows Explorer and it takes a long time for the folder to open, this is a telltale sign that the hard drive is failing. If it takes longer than a few moments to empty the "trash," or if files are vanishing, or if it takes an unusually long time to save a file, there is a good chance of a bad hard drive.


If you suspect your PC's hard drive might be failing, listen for unusual sounds coming from inside the computer. Grinding sounds signal that the hard drive's bearings may be out of position and that the drive most likely can't be repaired. In this case, take quick action to rescue important files.

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