5 Signs That Your Hard Drive is Failing

Opened Internal Hard Drive

Most of us don’t think about our hard drive until it suddenly starts malfunctioning. Hard drives can work perfectly for years and then fail all of a sudden, at short notice.

But there are some clear warning signs that indicate an impending failure of the hard drive – you just need to keep an eye out for them.

Older hard drives, or electro-mechanical hard drives which store data on a fast spinning disk, are prone to failure, more so than modern, solid state drives (SSDs).

Here are 5 signs that your hard drive is starting to fail…

#1: The Computer Slows Down All Too Often

There are so many signs that indicate that are the hard drive is near its end. Your computer slows down all too frequently, your hardware has been failing, there are frequent freezes, and possibly, the Blue Screen of Death – when that happens, there is little that you can do.

#2: Files Fail To Open, Data is Corrupted

You know that there is something wrong with the hard drive when files don’t open as they should and appear corrupted. Files start disappearing for no reason.

#3: Too Many Bad Sectors On The Hard Drive

Bad sectors are areas on the hard drive that lack in data integrity. Bad sectors on the hard drive are masked by the operating system and cannot be easily identified. If there are too many bad sectors on the hard drive, then you should worry.

#4: The Computer Makes a Clicking Sound

Quite often, when you hear strange sounds coming out of the computer, it’s probably because of the hard drive malfunctioning. When the hard drive makes a repetitive sound, which is called as the click of death, you know it is failing and it’s only a matter of time before you lose all data.

#5: The S.M.A.R.T. Data Indicates Hard Drive Failure

There are several tools that predict hard drive failure in advance by reading the S.M.A.R.T. data. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology. S.M.A.R.T. readings offer an early indication, but are not always reliable.

The Different Hard Drive Failure Sounds

What Can Be Done to Prevent Hard Drive Failure?

If you notice any of the signs of hardware failure described above, you should remove the drive first, purchase an enclosure and plug it into a working computer.

This way you can get the data from the drive without having to boot up the computer. It is better to have a computer technician do this for you if you lack the technical skills to do this yourself.

You can buy any one of the data recovery software programs that are available in the market that allow you to retrieve the data on the hard drive with ease, without requiring any sort of technical ability on your part.

here are many companies that offer data recovery services which you can make use of. This can cost a bit, but would be well worth it if you’ve got very important information stored on your hard drive.

Why Backup The Hard Drive?

Computer hard drive with the protective casing removed

The important thing is to backup the hard drive on a regular basis. If you are worried about a possible hard drive failure, don’t waste any time, backup the hard drive and keep backups of the data on a second hard drive. This will insulate you against hard drive failure.

Also, you should consider an online backup solution or a cloud-based solution to backup the hard drive. Back up your data on a remote server by using an online backup solution, but keep the most important data with you in a different physical location. This would protect the data from being lost in catastrophes such as fire or flood.

So while there is no way to prevent a hard drive failure, you can protect yourself against it by backing up the hard drive on a remote server using a cloud-based solution.

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