Signs Your Hard Disk Is Failing
By Matt Brennan
Data loss comes in a variety of different packages. Sometimes it occurs out of the blue, and there were no signs of impending doom that could have been headed. Other times, temperamental equipment may be trying to tell you something in advance. What appears as a narrow escape could really be a sign of worse events to come.
Below are some of the common signs of hard drive failure that should not be ignored. Sometimes they can be confused with the effects of malware, but whatever the case, it’s time to address the issue.
A Clicking Sound
Sometimes there is an audible clicking sound made by the head of the hard drive. This can be caused by an inconsistent power supply to the drive, or physical damage.
Access Denied Prompts
If the computer gives you pop ups denying access to various partitions on the drive, it may be a sign that the drive is failing. This can be a sign of loose connections in the drive, or corrupted storage. Either way, the hard drive may be failing at this point.
The hard drive may simply crash more frequently on an older computer. But those increased crashes can also be a sign that the hard drive is about to fail. When you get to this point, the disk may completely stop working altogether at any point.
Sector Not Found Prompts
When your computer is warning you that sectors of the hard drive are unavailable or not able to be found, it’s time to have it repaired.
It’s Time to Bring Your Computer to a Professional
Computers are similar to any other major appliances, or to your health. If you are consistently experiencing concerning symptoms, it may be signs of a larger problem. When you ignore these symptoms long enough, something worse, such as a hard drive failure resulting in data loss, can occur.
There are other common issues that can happen with your hard drive that are less serious and aren’t necessarily a threat to the data that you’ve accumulated. If you are tech savvy and understand how to perform basic hard drive maintenance, you may be able to take care of some of these issues internally before involving a computer repair expert or a data recovery specialist.
Reformatting the Drive
If an external hard drive’s format isn’t compatible with the computer, you may need to reformat the drive. It’s helpful to back up any information being stored on the disk somewhere else, and then follow the prompts under the “My Computer” icon to reformat.
A hard drive may malfunction because of the drivers. Resetting the drivers can help. On a PC, you can go to the device manager, and right click on the device to find the “update drives” option.
The Disk is Full
If you’ve accumulated a lot of data over the years, this is a real possibility. Your system may run slow at this point, and it can cause the drive to malfunction. All that needs to be done to fix this problem is to delete old, unnecessary content. Keep in mind that photos, videos, music, and large graphics will take up the most file space.
When a disk is routinely partitioned, it becomes fragmented. PCs have an option under the system tools to defragment the drive to restore some usable space to the computer.
Don’t Ignore Computer Problems
When you ignore routine computer problems, it’s a sign that something more serious is wrong. If you’ve tried any of the above fixes and they didn’t work, it may be time to bring your computer in to have the hard drive repaired.