What Are The Signs Of A Failing Hard Drive?

Anthony Glover is Tech Expert’s network engineer.

As a network engineer by day, I can say that have seen a lot of hard drive problems and, if they’re not taken care of properly, they can cause a severe technical headache. It is important to notice the signs that are present to you and, fortunately, there’s several to note.

Sluggish performance of your workstation is one of the main issues. This can occur without warning and it can even seem like a virus or cause a blue screen of death (BSOD).

Another sign is your PC or workstation making clicking or grinding noises. This can cause a read failure to occur and cause the drive to be inaccessible, which in turn causes data loss.

Read failures/physical hard drive failures like this should be handled by an IT professional.

Some users can experience disappearing files and folders. This happens when sectors on the hard drive are bad or corrupted. Even if the data was created previously, it will act as if the data never existed.

Two Types of Hard Drive Failures

There are two types of hard drive failure: one is physical and the other is logical. The difference between the two are that physical failure is when the actual mechanical components in the hard drive have failed. This only applies to standard hard drives with moving parts. With logical failure, this involves the circuitry on the hard drive and this failure can happen to any hard drive, standard or solid-state drives (SSDs). Also, the end user can experience freezing during operation causing frequent reboots or halts during operation.

So what do you do if you’re experiencing these hard drive issues?

The best solution would be to bring your workstation to a professional such as Tech Experts and they can decide what the best options are going forward. Frequently, we recommend replacing whatever drive isn’t behaving the way it should. It’s likely to act up again, so to avoid any sudden irrecoverable failures or data loss, we simply replace the drive. If there’s still some “life” left to the drive and accessible, we can make a backup of your important data to copy to the new drive or a device such as a USB.

If your drive is already in a permanently failed state, it would need to be replaced to make the computer functional again. Your files would be lost as a result, if you only stored them on the drive and didn’t use a backup solution. If you have data you absolutely need from a failed drive, there are services that use intense methods of data recovery to attempt to retrieve it, however success isn’t guaranteed. These services are expensive, but depending on the data in question, it may be worth the cost to you.

When it comes to hard drive issues, it’s much better to be proactive and repair or replace the part at the first signs of trouble rather than waiting until it’s nonfunctional. A failed hard drive can mean losing important files like family photos or business-dependent data. If a failed drive is in a server, it can bring an entire business to a grinding halt until the issue is resolved, meaning lost productivity on top of the total cost of repair.

Questions about failing hard drives? Worried about that grinding noise you’ve been hearing from your computer? You can reach Tech Experts at (734) 457-5000 and we’ll be happy to offer some advice.