There are various factors that contribute to hard drive failure. It can happen over a period of time or in an instant. Hard drives are specifically designed and fabricated to last for many years prior starting to encounter minor malfunctions. Yet similar with any mechanical device, a hard drive will inevitably crash. The question is when.
Hard drive failures can occur because of a physical issue, such as scraped platters, faulty read/write arm, engine failure, exposure to heat or moisture, manufacturing defect, firmware compromise, poor disk segments, overuse, head crash, power surge, and so on. Although most cases of hard drive failures are reported to be caused by physical factors, there are also cases wherein hard drive failure is experienced due to logical reasons. Logical factors for hard drive failure involve faulty boot sector and master boot record, unrecognized drive in BIOS system, human sabotaging, and inappropriate shutdown.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms you will observe from a particular hard drive depends primarily on the cause of failure. If malfunctions point out to a faulty firmware or poor manufacturing, symptoms may include the hard drive not being recognized by the computer system and the system failing to boot or stay connected at the middle part of the booting phase.
If heat is identified as the main causative agent of failure, symptoms may involve non-moving or gradually moving fans, a clicking noise that emerges from the system hardware, and of course a hot surface when touched.
If technical parts and systems are affected, you will likely hear clicking noise coming from the hard drive as well as files and documents going missing from your computer. The hard drive may be too old to run or formatted more than its respective limitations. Viral attacks can damage the hard drive by deleting the information, which may progress to total mechanical malfunction.
Preparing for Hard Drive Failure
As mentioned earlier, hard drives can break at any given point in time. And considering the fact that these devices carry invaluable information in the form of work files, song lists, games, and movies that you’ve patiently downloaded for days, preparation is key to lessening the effects of hard drive failures.
The best means of preparing for hard drive failure is to guarantee that all the information is backed up through a web-based data storing service, also known as cloud computing. This avoids setbacks from loss of information contained within the failed hard drive. Using a web-based storage service not only stores your important information, but also allows you to access it from anywhere and anytime as long as there is internet connection and a computer.
Apart from preparing for failures, it is also a great idea to prevent wear from your hard drives by targeting the most common reasons why hard drives malfunction earlier than they were fabricated for. A good example is overheating. If your computer is running at too high temperatures and the climate conditions in your area are also boiling hot, consider performing regular upkeep. This helps not only your hard drive, but also other components of the computer.
Repairing a Hard Drive
If preventive measures do not work and your hard drive still suffers the same fate, you can try to recover the data by taking it to your local tech center or data recovery specialist. They will be able to diagnose the computer, and will hopefully be able to help you recover your lost files.
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This article was contributed by Data Recovery Group, specializing in hard drive data recovery services.