Hard Drive Failure: Symptoms and Solutions

Published on: May 21st, 2015

image of hard drive after failureHard drive failure is a serious problem that can cost you your most important files. We’ve all heard horror stories about computer hard drives failure. But what causes a hard drive to fail, and is there any way to know if yours is in trouble?

What causes hard drives to fail?

One possible cause of hard drive failure is data loss and corruption. There are a few different ways that data corruption and loss can occur. Some of the most common causes are power outages, improper ejection of storage devices, and improper shutdowns. Any of these can lead to a corrupted hard drive. Hard drives can also fail as a result of manufacturing defects, or simple wear and tear from years of use.

Is there a way to tell if I my hard drive might be failing?

Computer hard drives will often fail without any warning. However, hard drives will sometimes fail gradually, giving you time to prepare. Here are a few symptoms to watch for:

  • Issues with files or folders. If you see that files or folder names have mysteriously changed, or the letters appear scrambled, there could be an issue with your hard drive. You may also notice a longer than usual wait time after opening files or folders or that they have disappeared altogether.
  • Error messages. If you receive error messages after simple tasks, your hard drive may be the culprit.
  • Unusual noises. When the failure is near, a grinding noise can sometimes be audible when information is being retrieved. If you notice these sounds when you are moving or saving files, there might be a problem.
  • Frequent crashes. If your computer starts rebooting suddenly or you notice frequent blue-screens, a failing hard drive could be the issue.

I think my hard drive is failing. What can I do?

The most important thing to do when your computer hard drive fails is to backup your important files right away. This action ensures that you won’t lose important information in the event that your hard drive does fail. However, you shouldn’t rely on warning signs. Even when everything seems to be working properly, it’s crucial to backup your critical files regularly.

While there could be advanced warning signs that something is wrong, it’s important to be prepared. Computer Troubleshooters, Chattanooga can help diagnose any issues with your computer, replace your failed hard drive, and help you recover your data. Stop by soon!


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