Why Does a Hard Drive Fail and How Can I Prevent Data Loss Because of It?

Hard drive failure is a common reason for data loss. It can occur due to physical damage to your computer or laptop or due to gradual deterioration of the hard drive itself. Be aware of the ways that your hard drive can be damaged and make sure that you create backups.

When your hard drive malfunctions, you may find that you are unable to access your files or folders which can be a hassle and cost you time and money.

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Unfortunately, hard drive failure is a common occurrence. Because of this, it’s important to understand why a hard drive fails and how you can detect the signs of a failing hard drive.

1. Physical Damage to the Hard Drive

One of the most obvious reasons for hard drive failure is actual physical damage. This may be cause by human error or even natural disasters.

If your computer or laptop suffers a fall from a height or on a hard surface, this could damage the hard drive. If it gets very wet or submerged in liquid, this will damage the hard drive. If a heavy object drops or is placed on it for an extended period of time – such as debris from an earthquake – the hard drive will be damaged. Fire, electrical surges, and being placed too close to a magnetic device can also damage your hard drive.

Another common cause of physical damage to a hard drive leading to data loss is overheating. Computers expend a lot of heat when they are being operated and – if they are not properly ventilated – this could damage the internal hardware, including the hard drive.

Taking care to avoid situations where your hard drive can suffer a physical shock such as the ones discussed above can ensure your hard drive stays healthy, at least for a little while.

2. Gradual Hard Drive Failure

No matter how careful you are in handling your computer or laptop, your hard drive will eventually fail. On average, a hard drive has a life span of about five years till it starts to gradually fail and slow down your PC.

Luckily, there are signs that your computer gives before it fails completely and if you just keep an eye out you can avoid being caught unaware.

3. What are the Signs of Hard Drive Failure?

  1. Your computer is slowing down and it is taking longer to access the files.
  2. You are starting to get repeated error messages while trying to access files.
  3. Your experiencing periods when the screen hangs and the computer is unresponsive.
  4. Your starting to hear weird noises like grinding, tapping, or clicking
  5. If you scan the drive, there are a lot of bad sectors

4. What to Do if Your Hard Drive Fails?

When your hard drive fails, it will stop working and be unresponsive. You might be able to turn it on but will get various error messages or perhaps it will begin booting and remain that way. You don’t want to experience this.

While there’s nothing you can do to guarantee that your hard drive will never fail, there are measures you can take to ensure that you minimize data loss.

Regularly backup your data with software such as DataNumen Disk Image. This software allows you to clone your drive and restore it.

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