A Deep Insight into Firmware Problems in Hard Drive

Aside from heads, platters and actuator arm, firmware is also a vitally significant component of hard drive. Actually, it’s the drive’s operating system. If it fails, drive can stop working directly. Now, this post will probe into firmware problems of HDD.

When it comes to hard drive failures, users may firstly think of various physical damages, like head crashes, scattered drive platters and so on. As a matter of fact, in addition to these, firmware failure is also a deadly problem. Once the firmware gets corrupted, the drive components will be damaged too, thereby resulting in complete drive corruption. In that situation, before drive data recovery, like PST repair, it is more imperative to repair the drive. Now, thereinafter, we’ll delve into firmware problems further.

A Deep Insight into Firmware Problems in Hard Drive

About Hard Drive Firmware

In hard drive, firmware is exactly a set of codes located on the service area on the drive platters and in the ROM of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). Unlike the head or platters which are physical and mechanical parts of hard drive, the firmware is something invisible, not material object.

As we all know, to run a computer, apart from the hardware, you should have the operating system, drivers and software. Similar to this, the firmware’s role in the hard drive is the operating system of hard drive. Every time when a hard drive is powered up, the firmware on PCB will initiate booting the drive. To be specific, it is the firmware that sends the commands to tell all mechanical parts to work. In a nutshell, the firmware is greatly important. Therefore, as long as it fails, the drive parts cannot receive any commands, thereby leading to hard drive’s malfunction.

About Firmware problems


The firmware in hard drive can be corrupted or damaged due to multiple factors, such as viruses, improper voltage, shutdown or interruption during the firmware upgrade as well as all kinds of electrical events, like power surges and blackouts, and failure of manufacture, etc.


To identify whether firmware is failing, you need to know a bit about its signs. It usually includes drive freezing in startup, or devices’ inability to recognize drive, or drive suffering mechanical failure.


Provided that hard drive firmware is proved failure, you will experience some terrible problems. For instance, you can turn on the hard drive, but drive cannot boot up as normal. Or you would receive miscellaneous bad sector errors. In this case, if you check the hard drive information in BIOS, you’ll see that much info is inaccurate.


If confronting firmware failure, your only resort is professional hard drive repair service. DIY repair is risky and can lead further damage to the drive. It’s because that, before dealing the firmware problems, it is necessary to repair the physical components that have been damaged by firmware errors. Physical repair on hard drive demands clean room, specialized tools and expert knowledge. All in all, you cannot accomplish firmware failure on your own.

Author Introduction:

Shirley Zhang is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including corrupted sql and outlook repair software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com

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