Hard drive failure can be a fact of life. Unfortunately, almost all hard drives will ultimately fail at some point. Sometimes they fail without any warning, you simply turn on your computer and it will not boot or you get the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death” that signals a catastrophic problem with your hard drive. But often, your computer will give you subtle and not so subtle signs that your hard drive is nearly the end of the line. Some of the mechanical components in your hard drive can fail gradually, and during this process there will be indications that all is not well with your computer. If you can recognize these signs early on, you may be able to back up your data and transfer it to a new drive before your system fails completely. Here are some of the most common signs that you’re about to have a serious data loss problem.
Unusual Clicking and Grinding Noises.
This is a common sign of a mechanical failure, usually involving the drive’s read/write heads. If you’re familiar with the inner workings of your computer, you could turn off the computer, remove the hard drive, then turn the computer back on and listen to find out if it’s making the same sounds. If you’re still getting the same sounds with your hard drive disengaged, then the hard drive is not the problem. You’ll need a computer technician to diagnose your computer and find the real problem. Unfortunately, the most likely scenario is that the sound is coming from your hard drive, in which case you should immediately back up your data and replace the drive. This is a problem that is only going to quickly get worse with time and there is no practical way to repair the drive once it’s in this condition.Get the facts about How To Tell Your Computer Is Ready For A Tune Up see this.
Files Suddenly Go Missing From Your Drive.
If you start mysteriously losing files, or your files show a bunch of “gibberish” interspersed with readable text, that is usually a sign that there are gradually failing areas of the drive that require a number of attempts to properly access the data. This can be caused by virus problems such as malware.
Your Computer Slows to a Snail’s Pace.
Another common sign of a failing drive is that the computer starts to run at a very slow pace. Accessing your files takes forever. As when you start losing files, this is a sign that your computer requires many attempts before it can successfully retrieve any data. This is a clear sign that drive failure is imminent. Your Computer Frequently “Locks Up” During the Booting Process. All computers exhibit this problem once in a while, and if it’s a rare occurrence, there’s no need for concern. The real problem is when this begins to happen on an increasingly frequent basis. If you begin to notice that your computer often locks up during booting, this is usually a sign that complete failure is not far away.
BIOS doesn’t recognize your hard drive when booting.
This is a common sign that your hard drive has completely failed, but it may also simply be a problem with the system configuration. When you try to boot the computer, you’ll get an error message saying that BIOS (basic input/output system) cannot find or read from your drive. You’ll likely need a computer technician to fully diagnose this problem, but most often it’s the result of a failed hard drive.
The Blue Screen of Death.
This rather dramatic term is also known as a stop error screen, a bug check screen, or simply a bluescreen. It causes your computer to display a screen with a dark blue background with a series of error messages written on the screen. It usually signals a critical, unrecoverable error with your computer’s operating system. When this happens, your computer will hang and can only be recovered by a manual restart.
If you see the signs of hard drive failure, you should immediately back up your files (saving your most important files first) if possible, and then shut down your computer. The more you try to use your computer in this state, the more likely you are to overwrite your data – which will cause it to be permanently lost. If you are unable to retrieve important data, all is not lost. In many cases, a data recovery specialist can recover lost data from your failed hard drive. This is often able to be done fairly quickly but data recovery is not inexpensive, therefore, making sure your data is properly backed up is your the safest and most economical bet!