Hard Drive Failure Symptoms

Hard drive failure will happen, it’s just a matter of time. In some cases a matter of years, in some cases a matter of a few days. There are 3 major hard drive failure symptoms:

  • Hard drive is not recognized by BIOS. This implies a problem with hard drive’s electronics. However, in some cases this is the problem of the motherboard or cables.
  • Hard drive produces unusual metallic sounds, not typical for a normally working hard drive (grinding, clicking, whirring, scratching, buzzing). This sound is produces by the dangling hard drive’s head that is no longer able to locate itself on the right disk sector and read off the data. In such a state the head may damage the surface of platters that store your data.
  • Your hard drives produces no sounds at all (for example, it expanded because of overheating and got stuck) and you cannot access any files

If you see any of these hard drive failure symptoms, power off your computer immediately. Continuing using this hard drive may totally corrupt the platters and your data will never be recovered. Don’t open the cover of your hard drive, this is the worst mistake one can make! All manipulations on a crashed hard drive should be done by data / file recovery experts at special cleanrooms.

The following hard drive failure symptoms may occur when your computer is still working normally, buy hard drive failure is about to occur:

  • BIOS sees you hard drive but displays wrong information about it (like wrong disk size)
  • Your computer “freezes” regularly (the picture on the screen does not respond to mouse or keyboard actions)
  • Regular appearance of BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), “Operating system not found or Missing Operating System” or “your hard drive is not formatted” messages at startup.
  • Repeated booting problems point to corrupted sectors on the disk with booting data.
  • You computer is extremely slow while opening or saving files.

These symptoms give you some time to backup all important data.

If you experience any of the following:

If the common sound produced by your hard drive is much louder than before or you can hear metallic sounds, not typical for a normally working hard drive (grinding, clicking, whirring, scratching, buzzing) backup all the important IMMEDIATELY! You have little time to save your data.

Summing Up Hard Drive Failure Symptoms

Always backup important information if you notice any symptoms of the upcoming hard drive failure. Never try to repair the hard drive on your own if hard drive failure occurred!