Hard disks are often containing the bundle of important information and a huge capacity to store valuable data. But no one would be interest to backup their data or important files so that it can be recovered easily after hard disk failure or corruption. Hard disk failure can happen anytime due to bad power supply, virus attack, damaged block and sectors, corrupted operating system files e.g., NTLDR, boot.ini, msdos.sys etc.
Here, are the list of top 6 reasons of hard disk failure with its solutions which will surely help’s the user to recover data from the conditions easily and without affecting or modifying any data. If in any conditions, the solutions mentioned below would unable to resolve issue, then switch to any hard disk recovery software immediately to avoid any further damages to the system or to the data.
Firmware or Manufacturer Faults:
- The hard disk is undetectable or not recognized at all by the System.
- The system fails to boot or hang in mid of the booting process.
This problem could occur mainly with the brand new hard disk which prevents hard disk to work properly. It can happen even just after few days of purchasing and the may have high probability that manufacturers had delivered the fault disk. These types of hard disks are delivered to customer without testing.
Users can contact hard disk manufacturer and ask for RA (Return Authorization) as the disk is still in warranty. Therefore, this type of problems can be addressedwithout inquiring any further and paying any extra amount. However, user may lose important data thatis stored on the hard disk in between before corruption actually took place. Manufacturer won’t offers any guarantee of the safety of your data and to recover them from the problem hard disk, recommended hard disk recovery software is advised if the problem is not severe and damages are logical.
- Fans are moving too slowly or not at all
- Clicking sounds or noise is arising from the system hardware
- Desktop or Laptop gets heated soon after starting
This is the most common problem among all the hard disk failure causes and occurs too frequently. Due to off improper ventilation or faulty CPU fan, system would heat to the peak point and leads to sudden hard disk crash or severe damage to the computer hardware which is irreversible.Environment also may have severe impact which can prevent system to dispense heat properly sometime.
Ensure that the CPU fans are working fine and double check that sufficient cooling is delivered to the processor and their peripherals. You can use thermal paste and employ them between the heat sinks of CPU fan to make them run smoothly for upcoming time.
Using S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) tools will notify the user about the hard disk conditions and any future risks associated with the hardware.It also helps user about developing bad sectors on the hard disk platter which can cause sudden system freeze or complete system breakdown.
Electronic Failure or Power Surges
- System BIOS will unable to detect the hard drive
- Hard drive couldn’t be able to spin up
- Sudden startup failure
The UPS may not be able to deliver the required power supply, either too high too low. It can also happen due to of using unreliable power source that delivers interrupted power supply.
Make sure that the system hardware is getting only the required power supply. By using UPS of any well-known brand could troubleshoot this. Also, consider making your system switched off when not in use or away from your reach.
Mechanical or Internal failure:
This error happens internally into the hard disk due to of bad sectors and blocks, spindle motor stops functioning, PCB board itself is damaged and read/write head may become immovable.
- Clicking or grinding sounds from the hard drive
- Files & Folders become invisible by the time.Files and folders can also become corrupt and prevents you to access it.
- Complete system freezes
- Black screen after the booting screen which keeps resisting you from starting the system.
The hard drive carries moving parts which may degrades over time and ultimately results in mechanically damaged hard disk. Virus attack can erase hard disk data, alter hard disk operation or make the system files corrupt etc. which ultimately contributes to mechanical failure. Many rootkits virus were introduced earlier which becomes active as soon as you start the system and corrupt system functioning at BIOS level. Though, latest Windows operating system such as Windows 8/ Windows 8.1 have the capability to detect those malware and remove it using UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) technology.
Updating the system regularly or weekly, running latest copy of antivirus program, replacing the hard drive after 3-4 years of use etc. are the common measures that can make your hard disk life little longer and gives you enough time to copy or move data to another system.
- Important system files may become damaged or corrupt and prevent user to access their system.
- Sudden system shutdown due to power failure or force restart can cause files to become corrupt and make your hard disk inaccessible whatsoever.
Unethical way to shut down the PC, accidentally closing any running programs, use of malicious or faulty applications, power surges etc. are the factors which contributes towards system file corruption and make the hard disk unstable or stops functioning properly.
Always use the standard way to shut down your PC. Which can help your computer to close everything properly and then command kernel to stops powering remaining CPU equipment. It is also recommended to close any or all the running programs before closing the system. Avoid installing malicious or faulty software into your PC will also keep the hard disk going for longer.
This error happens mainly due to of human mistakes and may cause serious damages to system. For ex, modifying the system registry settings, altering system files attribute and location, wrong installation of OS etc. These types of errors were hard to repair and require the most powerful recovery software to scan deeply and recover seriously damaged data.
Updated: 21 August 2014
What if the hard disk is dead already?
In some situations, hard disk may eventually become dead and without giving any grinding or screeching sound. In worst situations, you may have missed the chance to backup your data to another device. Just don’t give up and try the methods explained below to correct any problems of your hard disk drive as well as smoothly recover data.
Warning: Read all the advises carefully and perform operation with care. Any wrong action could make your drive permanently irreparable and your data will be gone forever.
- Avoid using the drive or the problem computer immediately after the issue occurred
- Remove or unplug the drive from the CPU case and place it to highly cleaned environment.
- Ensure that the hard disk have any marks or ‘hot spots’ on the external controller board.
- You can also look and confirm yourself that not any drive parts are broken or damaged.
Steps #1. First of all, replace or change the SATA/USB cable as well as power adapter. Sometimes the problems are very common and can be easily removed by just following the basic actions.
Step #2. If the hard drive is of your Laptop and you’re trying to connect it externally when this problem surfaces, consider buying a new hard disk case or swap the USB ports. You can also try connecting the same to another computer and see if the system may able to detect it this time.
Step #3. If none of above seems helpful, now turn to check your drive controller board. Remember, any traditional hard disk drive use to carry controller board mounted externally and need to be replaced carefully. It can damage the hard drive platters and make the stored data beyond your reach.
Make sure the controller board you are going to replace with older hard disk controller board is of same make and model. You can also find a descriptive tutorial on how to replace or repair hard disk controller board over here.
Ensure you’ve enough equipment and professional hand (if needed) to successfully complete the operation. Once you’ve changed everything, connect it to your computer and see if it working properly. Immediately copy and move all the data to another hard drive.
Step #4. Sometime, Windows itself may not be able to detect the drive because of file system corruption. However, Live CD of any Linux Distros (Ubuntu works best) can still detect it and allows users to recover data exactly in the form it was before deletion. Then go and grab an Ubuntu Live CD and boot the system using it. Once you’re all set, navigate through the hard disk partitions and safely restore all the data that you never wanted to lose.