How to Diagnose Impending Data Failure for all Storage Media Device ?

Summary: In this blog, we will discuss the common data failure with all types of storage devices. We will also discuss the possible solutions to diagnose data failures for all media devices. If you are facing a data loss situation you can also download this demo version and scan data to get a preview of your lost data. This demo version of Windows data recovery is free to download.

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Data Failure is real, and users need to understand the predicaments of data failure and the perfect solutions to minimize data loss.  We live in a data-centric and data-driven world where information is mainly stored in digital format.


At the workplace, at home, and even when on the go, we are always accessing and creating data, which is why storage media devices have become very important today. So, what are you to do if your SD card or computer hard drive starts showing signs of failure? Well, before you learn about data loss prevention, it’s best to make yourself familiar with the basics.

Fundamentals of Storage Devices

The majority of storage devices that are commonly in use today are broadly classified into two categories:

1. Magnetic storage

The first storage type is widely used in hard disk drives (HDDs) in laptops and computers where high data capacity is required (in several terabytes). This is because it’s relatively inexpensive and offers decent read/write speeds.

In magnetic storage, the data is stored on a rotating magnetic platter with the help of read /write head. However, because there are moving parts, this storage type can be damaged easily due to physical impact or even age.

2. Flash memory storage

The second category, i.e., flash memory, is mainly based on extremely tiny transistors and semiconductors that store the data. Some good examples of this memory include thumb drives, micro SD cards, and even Solid-State Drives.

Since there are no moving parts in flash memory, it’s safer than HDDs. Since the SSD drives are expensive, thereby restricting their use in large storage systems.

Now that you know about the types of storage media devices, let’s move on to the shared data loss problem associated with the same.

Common Data Failure Issues with Every Type of Storage Media Device

causes of drive failure

1. Mechanical Failure:

Since the hard drives have moving parts, any physical impact on the hard drive can lead to damage to the internal structure.  The read/write arm inside the device is so sensitive that it can come off quickly if the HDD is dropped from a table. The read/write arm moves continuously when you use the computer, and over time, it can take a toll on it.

So, the HDD can die due to age too.  Hence, Experts recommend users to replace HDD’s after every 5-8 years. For data loss prevention i.e. sudden failure of hard drive, be sure to look for the following signs:

  • Clicking or grinding noises
  • Low read/write speeds
  • Sudden system crashes/freezes

2. Virus or Malware:

A virus or malware can attack any type of storage media device from an SD card to a computer HDD. It usually exploits the vulnerabilities of your computer security. Hence, Some common symptoms of a virus attack include:

  • System lags and sudden freezes
  • Unrecognized software/apps
  • Corrupted or disappeared files
  • Error messages
  • The system won’t boot

3. Human Error:

Failure to use a computer or portable device properly can often lead to hard drive failure. Some typical examples of such mistakes include:

  • Accidental file deletion
  • Interrupting an OS update or software installation when it’s not authorized
  • Modification of registry settings (in a computer or laptop)
  • Accidentally removing a storage device in the middle of a file transfer

However, Problems related to storage media devices are more common than you think. And although there are all kinds of data recovery solutions, you must be careful when attempting, because of a lack of awareness or poor implementation can often result in permanent data loss. That said, the table below covers all the significant problems along with the standard solutions.

Data Failure and Solutions for Media Devices

Error Type Storage Device Solutions
Mechanical Failure HDD
  • Transfer the files to a healthy HDD immediately, besides, to  Get a replacement for the original HDD afterward.
  •  If data can’t be transferred, then approach a professional hard drive recovery service provider.
Virus/Malware HDD, SD card, RAID, SSD
  • Install an antivirus and firewall program and perform a thorough system scan.
Human Error HDD, SD card, RAID, SSD
  • Use a backup to restore the system to the original healthy state
  •  For accidental file deletion, formatting cases, we recommend the use of professional data recovery software.
Device Won’t Detect HDD, SD card, RAID, SSD
  • Try to connect using a different USB port in case of an external hard drive.
  •  Enable “Legacy USB Support” in the BIOS settings for an external hard drive or SD card.
  • Turn off the computer, unplug the SATA cable and connect to another SATA port, or replace the SATA cable itself to rule out a cable problem.
  • Run CHKDSK command by launching the command prompt (cmd) and entering the command “chknfts c:” where c is the name of the drive that’s creating the problem.
Data Corruption HDD, SD card, RAID, SSD
  • Launch command prompt. Enter “chkdsk g:/f” command to verify the integrity of files and perform repairs.
  • Install and run an antivirus program if the previous solution doesn’t work.
  •  Install a specialized data recovery software such as Stellar Windows Data  Recovery Software to restore the affected files.
RAID System Failure:

  • RAID Controller Failure
  • Multiple Disks Failure
  • Missing Partitions
  • Server Crash
  • RAID Volume Rebuilding Failure
  • Shut down the array to prevent further data loss.
  • Appoint a RAID data recovery specialist that has the right tools and a Class 100 cleanroom lab to restore the data in a safe environment successfully.
SD Card is Not Recognized Error SD Card
  • Disable and Re-enable SD card
  • Restore the mobile to factory settings
  • Update the memory card reader driver and the USB driver when using the SD card on a computer.
SD Card is not Formatted Error/Shows 0 Byte Space SD Card
  • · Format the SD card (this will delete the files though)- We recommend to use a data recovery software.
  • · Connect the SD card to a computer. Run cmd and enter the command “chkdsk d: /r” (d is the drive letter of the SD card) to scan the SD card and perform repairs (this may preserve files if successful).
Cannot Format SD Card SD Card
  • Assign a new drive letter to the SD card and try again. You can do this by launching a “Disk Management” program on the computer and selecting the “Change Drive Letter and Paths” option.
  • Try formatting with another device (computer if currently trying on mobile, and mobile is currently trying on a computer)
SD Card I/O Device Error SD Card
  • Remove the SD card from the device and reinsert.
  • Update USB drivers if trying to access a computer
  •  Change drive letter of the SD card using the “Disk Management” program

So, there you have it- some of the most common data failure problems found in the storage media devices along with the solutions. If you ever encounter any of these, be sure to take action immediately. This is to ensure users facing data loss can avert damage through prompt action. If you wish to recover data upto 1 GB, then in that case Stellar offers free data recovery to its users to recover free data upto a GB.

Watch the video on “How to recover deleted files for Windows?” with the help of Stellar Recovery Software

Conclusion- Data Failure

We highly recommend that you create frequent backups of the files that are important to you. That said, if the problem has already become serious, then don’t try to extract the data by experimentation. Instead, call a reliable and professional data recovery service provider that can restore your data safely.

  1. neera June 15, 2018
    • Meenakshi Nagri June 18, 2018
  2. Kamya June 22, 2018
    • Meenakshi Nagri June 25, 2018
  3. Praveen kumar lakhara December 17, 2018

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