Your computer will fail. Computers are built to last three-to-five years. This doesn’t mean you need to run out and buy a new computer after five years.
This does mean you need to watch for issues, especially with your hard drive. You have options to replace or repair your hard drive if you catch problems early.
You need to watch for signs of hard drive failure so you can take steps to protect your data. If you fear a failing hard drive, there are steps you can take to test the system and reduce major damage.
Is My Hard Drive Failing?
Your computer will give you warning signs if your hard drive is failing. It’s important to pay attention to these signs and take troubleshooting steps.
Some early signs of hard drive failure include
- Computer freezing regularly
- Unusual sounds from your hard drive
- Corrupted data on your computer
- Bad connections detected when checking your system
Every time you turn your computer on with a failing hard drive, you increase the degrading of your systems. If left unchecked, your computer might stop recognizing your hard drive at startup. Eventually, your computer will stop working completely.
Why Does Hard Drive Failure Happen?
There are many reasons your hard drive can fail. These reasons range from manufacturing issues to human error. The environment you keep your computer in can also affect your hard drive’s lifespan.
If the hard drive manufacturer doesn’t test the system before selling, you can end up with problems on a new computer. It’s important to make sure your computer and the parts of the computer are under warranty when you purchase a new system.
If you see problems early on with a new system, this is likely a problem of poor manufacturing. Look for these signs early so you can return your system for a refund or replacement.
It’s important to use a proper power source when using your computer. You also need to make sure you don’t overcrowd your power source so no surges or power outages occur when your computer is turned on.
If your hard drive gets too much or too little power, it can crash your hard drive. You should use a surge protector when plugging your computer into a power source. You also need to make sure your computer is off when not in use.
There are many pieces to a hard drive, and each of these pieces is subject to damage and corruption. If one part of the hard drive is damaged, it will affect the use of the whole.
A blockage to the motor or an improper connection are the most common mechanical failures. Viruses can also cause mechanical failures.
It’s important to update your system often. You should also run an antivirus program to protect from attacks. Pay attention to the life of your drive, and replace old hard drives.
Every hard drive has fans to keep the system from overheating. This makes it important to pay attention to where you run your computer. Make sure you use a stable surface with nothing around to block the fans.
If your fans are running slow or blocked, your hard drive will get too hot and start degrading. Too much moisture or heat in the computer’s environment will also affect the fans.
If you don’t shut your programs and computer down correctly, you can cause file corruption. This keeps your PC from accessing your drive.
It’s important to make sure all programs are shut down before turning off your computer. You also need to shut down your computer based on system instructions. Forced shutdown of programs and systems will degrade your hard drive.
What to Do if You Have a Failing Hard Drive
Your hard drive has a self-monitoring tool built in to check for issues. This S.M.A.R.T. (self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology) allows you to view basic info on the status of your hard drive through your computer control system. You can also use outside apps to get a detailed analysis of any problems.
If you think you have a problem, this S.M.A.R.T. technology is a good first step to find out what’s wrong. This will help you determine if you need a repair or a new hard drive.
Backup Your Data Before a Problem Occurs
It’s important to backup your data regularly. If you have a backup before a problem occurs, you won’t have to worry about losing important files.
You can use a USB drive to store files, or you can use a cloud storage system. This will back up basic files off your system. If you want a more complete backup program, you can use an online backup system to create a clone of all your programs and systems.
Retrieve Data Not Backed Up
If you haven’t backed up your data, or you have some files you haven’t transferred recently, you can take steps to retrieve this data before getting your hard drive repaired or replaced.
You can try removing the hard drive and trying it on another system. Keep in mind that using a damaged hard drive will degrade the drive further, so do this only if you need to.
Go To The Professionals
If you can’t access your files, you can use professional data recovery services. Professionals have the tools and knowledge to access your data. They can also determine what’s causing the issue to help you determine what your next repair step is.
A computer repair service can help you determine if you can repair the hard drive, or if it’s time to replace your system. They will also have the parts on hand for any repairs required. Plus, going with professionals will keep you from doing further damage to your computer.
Take Care of Your Computer
It’s important to take care of your computer before you end up with a hard drive failure. Building a relationship with your local computer repair shop will help you keep your computer and other electronics working at their best.
Do you need help with a computer, phone, or tablet repair? Contact us today to get a free quote.