Hard drive overheating is more severe than you might think. Every hard drive has a minimum and maximum operating temperature. Any change in the internal or external (ambient) temperature significantly affects the drive performance and life.
As per the University of Virginia, a study on 10,000 hard drives in a Microsoft data center in 2013 revealed a steady increase in the hard drive failure rate from 4% at 27 °C to 10% at 44 °C annually.
While the average operating temperature of a hard drive is around 5-50 degree Celsius (°C), the ideal temperature is presumed to be 25 °C to 40°C. Also, temperature anywhere around 41 °C to 50 °C is considered acceptable.
Anything below the ideal and the acceptable temperature for an extended period can have a severe impact on the hard drive and the system, which can ultimately lead to the following issues:
Increase in bad sectors
Frequent system freeze
Unexpected system shutdown
Constant screeching, clicking or
whirring sound— signs of a Mechanical failure
Hard drive failure
How to Fix Overheating Hard Drive
Before we head to the fixes, here are a few reasons as to why a hard drive may overheat:
A significant number of bad sectors
Using the laptop on surfaces such as
Insufficient CPU cooling
High ambient temperature
Excessive disk usage by malicious or
Tips for Hard Drive Overheating Fix
Follow these quick tips to fix an overheating hard drive before it gets corrupt or fails:
Open ‘Task manager’
and check the disk usage. Ideally, it should be between 0 and 50% during normal
system usage. Stop the processes that have excess disk utilization.
Run antivirus or anti-malware scan
to remove any malicious program that may exist on your system.
Defragment the drive with ‘Defragment and Optimize Drive’ utility in Windows. Excessive fragmentation
affects system performance and increases disk usage, which leads to drive
software to check bad sectors on the
drive. More bad sectors indicate bad disk health and more disk usage. A disk
monitoring tool also helps you avoid any data loss situation due to drive
corruption and failure.
Clean the laptop or the desktop from
inside. Remove dust and zip tie the cables to make way for proper airflow.
Keep the vents
clean and clear. Ensure that the air intake and
outflow vents are not clogged or obstructed by surrounding components or parts.
Check the cooling
fan(s). Replace with new if it’s slow or
air flow is insufficient. Install additional fans (if necessary).
Keep sufficient distance or gap between multiple hard drives.
Place the desktop in a well
ventilated, cool, and dry place.
Remove the casing if necessary to keep internals – including
hard drive – cool.
Use laptops at flat and hard surfaces to ensure proper ventilation and air flow. Using
laptop on surfaces such as pillow or other soft materials blocks the vents.
This results in overheating which can lead to system crash and hard drive
corruption or failure.
Use a laptop cooler (if required) or a hard drive cooler in
Install water cooling system in desktop.
The Hard Drive Still Overheats – What Next?
In case these tips don’t fix the hard drive overheating, backup and replace the drive before it fails. Also, it’s recommended to use a data recovery software immediately if your drive gets corrupt or becomes inaccessible due to overheating or any other reason, and restore data promptly.
Additionally, a data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional (available for Windows & Mac) comes with Drive Monitor tool to clone the affected drive. This not only saves the data but also keeps the Windows OS intact.
After cloning, replace the older affected drive with the newly cloned drive in your Windows PC or the laptop. After that, you can continue using your system, as you were earlier.
Moreover, the software monitors and keeps you informed about your hard drive health status on the go. Besides, you can always check SMART data and scan your hard disk for bad sectors with the software.
Steps to Overheated Hard Drive Recovery
Follow the below 5-Step data recovery process to restore your data from a corrupt hard drive or partition.
1. Download, install and run the Stellar Data Recovery Professional software.
2. Select ‘All Data’ and click ‘Next’.
3. Choose the drive or volume under ‘Connected Drives’ or use ‘Can’t Find Drive’ recovery wizard.
4. Turn on ‘Deep Scan’ toggle switch and click ‘Scan’.
5. Select files and click ‘Recover’.
That’s it! Choose a save location and click ‘Start Saving’ to save recovered data at your desired location.
Hard drive overheating is a serious issue and thus should be handled promptly. Take adequate measures as discussed in this blog post to ensure data integrity. When the problem persists even after taking accurate measures, consider replacing the drive.
However, in case of drive corruption, immediately use a data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional. The software facilitates a quick 5-Step data recovery process as described in the post. Besides, it proactively monitors the hard drive and helps safeguard the data from impending drive failure.
Satyeshu is a Windows blogger and data recovery expert. He is having good technical knowledge and experience in Windows data recovery. He writes about latest technical tips, Windows issues and tutorials.