A hard drive is one of the most vital components of your computer. It is holding all the information that you need to make your computer operate, including the operating system, software, and all your files.
Hard drive failure is responsible for millions of dollars in unexpected downtime every year as well as costly data loss. Whether you’re the CEO of a large corporation or a home PC user storing photos, music, and videos, a hard drive crash can be just as devasting to you.
Annual failure rates for hard drives can vary by manufacturer and also by age. In year 1, the average hard drive annual failure rate is 5.1%, and in year 3, it jumps to 11.8%. Basically, the older your drive gets, the more risk you have of a crash.
Hard drive crashes are a common reason that people visit computer repair shops in Framingham and other parts of the country, but there is no guarantee that data can be recovered. It just depends upon the severity of the crash, what caused it, and what has happened with the data on the hard drive.
To avoid the potential of devastating data loss, it’s best to get your hard drive replaced when it is showing pre-failure signs, and BEFORE it crashes on you.
What Happens When a Hard Drive Crashes?
A computer hard drive is made up of small mechanical parts that include read/write heads for writing data to the hard drive platters, two motors, and multiple circuits. During operation, both motors work in unison to give you access to the data you’re requesting, such as opening an application or file, and to save new data to the disk.
As the tiny read/write head operates, it’s not actually coming into contact with the surface of the platter that it writes to, it hovers a very small space above it.
The word “crash” in relation to hard drives is from the head crashing into that platter that it normally doesn’t touch. When that happens, the head can cause the data in the area of impact to become damaged and/or erased. It can also scrape along large areas of the platter, erasing much or all of the data.
Some of the things that users experience with a hard drive crash is:
Not being able to turn on your computer at all
Not being able to boot your operating system
Not being able to access or read your data
What Causes a Hard Drive Crash?
There are a number of things that can lead to a hard drive crash, including both physical and logical errors.
The main causes of hard drive crashes are as follows:
Hardware mechanical failure
Heat or water damage
External physical damage
Human error is the biggest cause of hard drive crashes and is responsible for over 50,000 crashes per week in the U.S.
What are Signs of Impending Hard Drive Failure?
Waiting until your hard drive crashes before replacing it is a recipe for disaster. It can lead to lost productivity and business due to downtime while your PC is being repaired and of course the loss of everything you have stored on that computer if it hasn’t been properly backed up.
The time to bring your hard drive in for a repair is when you see any signs of impending failure, so you can have a new drive installed and transfer your data to it, avoiding a hard drive crash all together.
When you see the following things happening, you’ll want to bring your computer in to the shop to have it checked out.
If your computer is sounding louder and you’re hearing strange noises, that could mean a mechanical issue and impending drive failure of one of the moving components.
Computer that Slows and Freezes
If you’re noticing that your computer is having more issues with freezing when you’re working on it and has become significantly slower even after a reboot, that’s another sign that there could be a hard drive issue.
Are you seeing corrupted names show up on your files or folders? Do some files that you know are there disappear and then reappear after a reboot? If you’re seeing weird things happening with your files, there’s a good chance your hard drive is about to fail.
Your Computer Gets Hot
If you notice that your computer is getting hot, especially when you’ve been working on it a lot, that is a sign that something is wrong with the temperature regulation and if left unchecked could lead to a hard drive meltdown.
Frequent Error Messages or Reboots
If you’re starting to get strange error messages or your computer reboots itself due to some type of internal error, this could also signal something going wrong with the hard drive and an impending drive crash.
Bring Your PC to the Experts at Pro Tech Guy!
If your computer is experiencing any of the symptoms above, please bring it in before it’s too late. Our expert technicians can get it checked out for you in no time and let you know where you stand.
Contact us today for a PC consultation. Call 508-364-8189 or reach us online.