Hard Drive Failure
Hard drive failure occurs when you cannot access the information on your hard drive because it is not functioning properly any longer for some reason, while your computer is correctly configured and all the devices are properly connected.
#1 RULE in case of hard drive failure:
Never try to recover the data on your own if you really want to get your files back! Hard drives should be handled only by data recovery services. Power off the hard drive immediately and check what different data recovery services offer. This is the safest way.
Signs of Hard Drive Failure
Your computer may be still running normally but you may experience any of the following:
- Your computer “freezes” regularly (the picture on the screen becomes still and does not react to mouse or keyboard manipulations)
- Regular booting problems. That may be a sign of bad sectors on the disk with corrupted booting data.
- You computer is terribly slow while accessing, saving and opening files.
- The common sound produced by your hard drive is louder than before
- 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.
All these sings mean that hard drive failure is not far ahead. Even if you haven’t backed up your files yet, these signs give you a chance and some time to copy the data before the drive crashes.
Far more ominous signs of hard drive failure are:
- Your computer is still running normally, but you can hear unusual metallic sounds (grinding, clicking, whirring, scratching, buzzing). That’s a very bad sign that may imply mechanical damage.
- You cannot hear any hard drive sounds at all. When the information is written to or read from the disk, it spins and produces sounds, you must be accustomed to these normal sounds. For example, hard drive becomes silent when it’s inside components expand and get stuck because of overheating.
- Your hard drive is clicking or producing grinding metallic sounds and your computer does not recognize the hard disk.
The latter means that hard drive failure have happened. The only way to recover the data now is to use the services of data file recovery experts. The only way to get prepared to hard drive crash is to regularly back up all critical information.
If hard drive failure occurs, shut down immediately and contact a disk recovery service! If you keep your computer running the platters may be damaged and your files will be unrecoverable. Also, if your hard drive has undergone mechanical damage or was exposed to water, fire, smoke or high temperatures, don’t try to power it up. Contact a disk recovery service.
Data recovery experts classify hard drive failure into 2 groups: logical hard drive failure and physical hard drive failure. In case of logical hard drive failure data or file recovery requires advanced computer skills and knowledge or computer data structuring. In case of physical hard drive failure don’t attempt to recover the data from the damaged hard drive on your own, even if you are an advanced user. Recovering data from a damaged hard drive requires specialized facilities, for example cleanrooms or expensive hard disk recovery software. Don’t open the cover of your hard drive, only data recovery experts can do that!
Logical Hard Drive Failure
In case of logical hard drive failure you cannot access your data because data structure on the disk is damaged. It can happen as a result of an accidental deletion of important system files, partitions/volumes, accidental hard drive formatting or deletion of hard drive, application conflicts, operating system corruption or virus attack) But the mechanically the hard drive is intact and working properly. Often, the drive still gets recognized by the BIOS, but would not boot. In this case, quality hard drive recovery software can resolve the problem.
Physical Hard Drive Failure
If you’ve had a mechanical or electrical hard drive failure, recovery software won’t help. Only data / file recovery experts can retrieve back the information and even repair the hard drive. However, for all cases of data loss there are certain actions you should avoid to maximize the chance of data file recovery.
Physical hard drive failure is unavoidable, sooner or later. As a rule, hard drives either crash at the beginning of their life or may last for years. However, mechanical hard drive failure is something you can expect at any moment, especially if the warranty period is over.
Also, there are typical warning signs that inform you with a high degree of probability about the upcoming hard drive failure. They require immediate reaction.
What can I do with my hard drive if it’s no longer usable?
Cheer up! If you can’t store data on your hard drive any longer, it doesn’t really mean the end of your hard drive. It still can be used in many peculiar ways. You can play music on it, like Imperial March in the example below. (ATTENTION: Don’t try to do this with a hard drive where important data is stored, which your are planning to use in future, repair or recover data from! The actions shown in the video make the hard drive unusable as data storage device!)
Tips: Hard Drive Failure
Always backup important information. If you don’t have time to backup manually, use backup software to organize and schedule regular backups. Assume that hard drive failure may happen today.