Hard drives are storage devices used to store important data. Also, external hard drives are used to back up data to keep it safe and secure. But, what would you do if your hard drive suddenly stops working or fails? Like other devices, hard drive has a lifespan too. The hard drive may fail after the end of lifecycle or due to various other reasons. Therefore, you must be aware of the signs of hard drive failure so that you can take data backup to avoid complete data loss if the hard drive fails.
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Various Hard Drive Failure Signs
When a hard drive is about to fail, it shows various signs that you can notice and take remedial action. Below we have listed some common signs of hard drive failure:
|Common HDD Physical Failure Signs ||Common HDD Logical Failure Signs |
|Overheating||Frequent error messages during normal operations |
|Strange noises ||Files and folders are disappearing or corrupted |
|Blue Screen of Death errors||Irregular system crashes and disk errors |
|Stuck spindle motor||File or folder names have changed |
|Booting Issues ||Operating system won’t boot |
|Bad sectors on the drive||S.M.A.R.T. monitoring shows issue with HDD |
Usually, hard drives start to fail gradually. Thus, you have enough time to copy or transfer the data to another drive before losing it. But, are there any signs that can tell that the hard drive is about to fail? Well, here are some common signs of hard drive failure:
- The computer freezes slow down or displays a blue screen
If any of these issues take place after a fresh Windows installation or while using Windows in Safe Mode, the reason can certainly be bad hardware that can lead to hard drive failure.
- Corrupted Data and Accumulating Bad Sectors
If you come across corrupted data or bad sectors, it indicates that your hard drive is failing. Here are a few signs of corrupted data:
- Scrambled file or folder names
- Random error messages when opening or saving files
- Files fail to open
- Disappearing files or folders
- Strange sounds
If strange noises, such as clicking, grinding, or screeching is coming from your hard drive, it’s not a good sign. It is an indication that the bearings or spindle motor of the hard drive are damaged.
- Missing files
Sometimes, you lose files from your hard drive without any reason. If you aren’t able to access the files or they’re getting corrupted even when you saved them correctly, it’s a clear indicator that your hard drive is failing.
- Taking a long time to access files
This is yet another sign of hard drive failure. If it is taking a long time to access folders and files, it means there is a problem with your hard drive.
|Symptoms ||Possible Cause ||Data Protection Steps |
|System crashes (either often or under heavy use) ||CPU or memory overheating,|
bad sectors on hard disk drive
|Backup your data immediately, and run computer, memory, or hard drive diagnostic |
|System takes too long to boot ||Hardware failure|
Hard drive failure
Failing sections on the hard drive
|Make sure to backup your drive on an external drive |
Execute System Diagnostic
|Missing Files ||File System Corruption|
Hard disk drive failure
|Backup rest of the data straightway |
|File explorer is taking too long to display folder contents||File System corruption|
|Backup your data |
|SMART errors indicated by hard disk drive diagnostic ||Logical as well as physical errors ||Backup your data on a new hard drive |
|Blue Screen of Death ||Software or hardware issues ||Use Windows OS repair utility |
Remove bad device driver
|BIOS fails to detect the hard drive ||Use of unreliable power source|
Power supply is either too high or too low for UPS
|Use a branded UPS |
Switch off system when not required
How to recover data from a failing hard drive?
If you failed to back up your data and the hard drive has failed, you must straightaway look for a professional data recovery service provider, such as Stellar. Do not try any hit and trial methods as this may further damage your data and reduce the data recovery chances. At Stellar, the data recovery task is performed in a state-of-the-art lab to ensure the complete safety and security of data during recovery.
Also Read: How much does data recovery cost in India?
Hard drive failure is a critical situation and leads to data loss. Therefore, you must keep a note of the hard drive failure signs mentioned in this blog. If you notice any of the given signs, immediately take the backup of your data. In case of hard drive failure and absence of data backup, you can rely on Stellar Data Recovery Services to recover your data.