Common Hard Drive Problems and Solutions

Hard drive is considered one of the core components of the computer system since without it the system can’t operate. It is capable of storing a large amount of data which can be accessed at any time. However, sometimes you risk losing the important data contained in them because of failure or corruption of the hard disk.

Hard disk can fail after accumulating bad sectors over a long period of time or crash suddenly. Gradual failure of a hard disk is hard to detect since its symptoms mimic those of other computer issues like viruses and malware. These symptoms usually are file corruption and deterioration of PC speed. Corruption of hard disk usually results from the increase in the number of bad sectors which pile up and eventually disable the hard disk. Hard disk failure can be sudden, complete, gradual or partial in nature and most times data recovery is a possibility. However, it is not always guaranteed that some if any data will be recovered.

Common Hard Drive Problems and Solutions

1. Corrupted Files

Corruption of system files usually occurs when the system is shut down suddenly, making it impossible for you to access your hard drive and thus your system. Some of the reasons for the corruption of the system files include power surges, use of malicious program, accidental closure of a running program and improper shutting down of the PC.

The solution for this problem is to make sure that you close down all programs that are running before commencing to shut down your computer. Moreover, when shutting down the computer, you must do so in the standard manner. In addition to this, you should avoid installing malicious programs on your hard drive and keep on cleaning it regularly so that no unwanted programs remain there for long.

2. Computer Viruses & Malware

Computer viruses and malware infect the system and corrupt the system files that are stored on the hard drive. These viruses and malicious software usually enter the system from an outside source for instance, the internet and an external hard drive. These viruses first tend to attack the hard disk and then spread to other computers that are linked through the same network.

computer viruses and malware

Keeping your computer’s operating system updated is one of the solutions for this problem. Moreover, another possible solution is installation and frequent updating of an antivirus software program. This antivirus is going to protect your system and your hard drive and make sure that it remains safe from their threat.

3. Manufacturing fault

Hard disks that haven’t been tested beforehand become unresponsive after a few months of use. This problem is encountered usually with new hard disks. The reason for this is more often than not a manufacturing fault which causes the hard disk to fail.

The best way to solve this problem is to be careful when purchasing a new hard disk. It is crucial to test the new hard disk before installing it in your computer system. However, if you have a hard disk with a manufacturing fault and it becomes unresponsive then the only solution available is to replace it.

4. Heat

Heating is a common problem associated with hard disks. If the system is overused, the fans of the hard disk start moving slowly and the system starts heating up immediately after being booted. Moreover, clicking noises can be heard from the hardware of the system too which is an indication that the hard disk is overheated. The reason for this is lack of proper ventilation or a faulty CPU fan which overheats the system to the point that the hard disk crashes.

computer hard drive heat

The solution for the heating issue is to ensure that the CPU fan has been installed properly and is providing sufficient cooling to the hard disk. Moreover, you can install an application that keeps you notified about the temperature of your hard disk. If it starts exceeding the maximum limit then shut down the PC for a while and let it cool down before resuming your work.

5. Computer fails to detect hard disk or BIOS

The inability of the computer to detect the BIOS or the hard disk results from disturbances in the power supply provided by the UPS. This causes the hard disk to not spin properly which causes the PC to not detect either the BIOS or the hard disk.

computer fails to detect hard disk or bios

The best possible way to solve this issue is to ensure that the power supply being used for the hardware components of the PC especially the hard disk are working properly. You can do this by changing the cable connecting the UPS to the hard disk and also by switching to a UPS of a reputable company.

6. Unexpected computer crashes

When the hard disk becomes too old it starts exhibiting all kinds of issues which can lead to unexpected computer crashes. The reason for this mostly is the accumulation of bad sectors over a large period of time. As the bad sectors pile up, the hard disk’s spindle motor malfunctions and read/write head becomes jammed. If this happens, you start hearing grinding noises from the hard disk and files and folders suddenly start disappearing.

You can solve this problem by properly maintaining your hard disk and installing anti-virus programs that keep your hard disk clean and protect it from the threat of viruses that can result in the creation of bad sectors. Moreover, replacing the hard disk after 3-4 years is also a good way to avoid this issue.

7. Human Errors:

Mistakes made by the user are also responsible for hard disk failures. For instance, improper installation of operating system, making changes to the settings of the system registry and changing the location of the system files are all human errors that can cause irreversible damage to the hard disk.

Avoid making any unnecessary changes to the system registry settings or altering the locations of the system files. Moreover, make sure that you are installing the operating system properly.

Hard disks are vital for the proper operation of a computer system. However, they are vulnerable to damage and problems which can cause them to lose the data that have been stored on them. However, by taking the necessary precautions, you can avoid the chances of hard disk failure.

The following are some tips that you need to remember if you don’t want to lose your precious data.

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