How to Fix Hard Drive Overheating

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:

  • Data loss
  • File corruption
  • Drive corruption
  • Increase in bad sectors
  • System crash
  • 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
  • Poor ventilation
  • Using the laptop on surfaces such as pillow
  • Insufficient CPU cooling
  • Dust particles
  • High ambient temperature
  • Excessive disk usage by malicious or infected programs
  • Disk fragmentation
  • Mechanical problems

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 overheating.
  • Use disk-monitoring 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 desktop.
  • 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.

Video Tutorial: Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows

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.

Free download

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.

  1. Marcos Gutierrez December 17, 2018
    • Satyeshu Kumar December 18, 2018

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