5 Hard drive Failure Symptoms

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5 Hard drive Failure Symptoms

5 Signs of Hard drive Failure | Bad Hard drive Symptoms

In this modern world of technology we rely on storage devices to store our important datas. Therefore
it is important to know the signs of hard drive failure or the bad hard drive symptoms. The datas can be our valuable photos, musics, collage assignments or a business project. As you can see the need for more storage capacity is increasing overtime. To overcome this Hard drives ( hdd ) are are introduced into the digital world. 

Hard drives are generally smaller devices which are capable of storing larger datas. Unlike other components of the computer, Hard disks are Electro Mechanical devices. When it says its electro mechanical it has physically moving parts inside it. Since it is mechanical it can experience more failures than other components in the computer. 

When we look at the structure of the Hard drive it has disks inside it which are moving at 5400 - 7200 rotations per minute to read / write data. When it moves at this very fast rate, the head and the motor inside it can experience more damages. That is the reason for a standard rotational drive to have a higher failure rate than a Solid State Drive (SSD). In the case of an External Hard drive it is experiencing more faults since it is portable. 

There are many physical factors which may cause such damages, therefore it is unable to predict a exact time period when a hard drive will become dead. Sometimes it can happen in a very short period of time, or it can happen other way around where you can use it for years while it fails slowly. During this time the hard drive may be showing many signs and symptoms that  it is dying. Regardless of when a hard drive will become dead it is the responsibility of the user to backup his/her important data. Because when a hard drive becomes dead, it will be difficult to retrieve back the data. 

In this post I will be listing out the 5 Hard drive Failure Symptoms. These signs and symptoms will be common to popular operating systems out there such as Windows 10 and Mac OS

Let's move to the topic,

1. Slowdown in Performance

While is it normal for a computer to experience speed issues while performing intense tasks, it is not normal if you frequently experience speed issues. Even though many point out to CPU and RAM as the reasons for this, hard drive failure may be one of the major causes for this.  When this happens the files may be taking too much time to load, too much of time to search data, too much of time to save data. The hard drive may be indicating this with a blinking LED all the time. 

Even the fastest and the reliable hard drive brands can experience slowdowns, but with the proper maintenance you will be able to boost its speed. In this case if you notice a slowdown in performance even with the Safe mode or a fresh Windows installation it is a clear sign of a hard drive failure.

[ FURTHER READING : 10 Best Ways to Speed Up a Slow Computer ]   

2. Blue Screen Of Death Warning

When your computer frequently freezes and crashes it may be experiencing the beginning stage of hard drive problems. This usually happens because of CPU and GPU overheating and the presence of bad sectors on the hard drive. When this happens your computer may become unresponsive such as not responding to clicks or keyboard typing. 

In the next step the computer may try to boot which may result a Blue Screen Of Death with the error code 0x00000024. This error has the name called NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM which means there is a hard drive data corruption. 

3. Frequent Boot Errors

In most computers the required Operating System files needed for the system to boot is provided by the hard drive. Under normal circumstances your computer will take around 1-2 minutes to boot, but if your computer takes longer time than that or it starts showing error messages such as '' Boot Device Not Found '' , '' Disk Boot Failure '' or '' Hard drive missing ''. It is clear indication of a hard drive failure or a broken hard drive

Many at times the computer may be able to detect a failing hard drive but it may cause performance hindrances.

4. Files Corrupted / Disappeared

Another possible sign of a Hard drive failure is the disappearance or corruption of files. This usually happen because of the bad sectors on the hard drive. Bad sectors are the areas of the hard drive that are defective and does not respond to read / write functions. There are 2 possible causes for this, one is from the physical damage and other is result of a software error. Physical damages include manufacturing defect and damages to the read/write heads. Software errors include damages to the sectors due to Power Outage. A bad sector caused due to a software error can be fixed but the other cannot. 

When you system identifies a bad sector, the portion will be ignored and no more the read / write functioning will be done there. This will be shown as the reallocated sectors in the S.M.A.R.T (Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology).  By any possible reasons if you have saved your files to the bad sectors it may become corrupted / disappeared. 

Windows comes with a feature known as Check Disk (chkdsk) which helps you to identify hard drive issues. Using this feature you can check the bad sectors present on your hard drive. 

To run the Check Disk,

        1. Open Computer (Double click on it) .
        2. Select the drive which you want to perform the Check Disk.
        3. Right click on it.
        4. Select Properties.
        5. Choose the Tools tab.
        6. Press Check Now.

5. Strange Sounds 

Final way of identifying a failing hard drive is from the sound that comes from it. If you are able to hear strange noises from the hard drive that usually doe not produce, you are in the final stage of hard drive failure. 

These sounds can be different from Clicking, Beeping or Grinding. Clicking Sound (also called as Click of Death) is a noise produced when the read / write head within the hard drive becomes damaged. And Beeping and Grinding sound are as a result of a failing Spindle Motor. At this stage it is already too late and you should consider backing up your data immediately.

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