Hard Disk Failure: Troubleshooting Hard Disk Issues
Even losing a small portion of your data might be disastrous. While some data, such as games, can be re-downloaded, others, such as family photographs, are frequently irreplaceable.
Hard disc failure is a common cause of losing files. Sometimes it feels as if problems appear out of nowhere, unrelated to anything you’ve done with your computer recently! Many typical computer problems, such as crashing and slowdowns, are caused by hard disc drive failure or malfunction.
You don’t have to be a computer expert to recognize the warning signs or fix hard drive problems. Many common hard drive issues can be resolved in a short amount of time. Continue reading to learn how to recognize and resolve a few common hard disc problems.
Have You Scanned Your Computer For Malware?
This is arguably the second most common troubleshooting tip you’ve heard, after “have you tried turning it off and on again,” and with good reason. Malware can wreak havoc on your hard drives, and it can destroy files, slow down performance, crash, and even have physical consequences in some circumstances!
The most crucial step is installing antivirus software and scanning your computer as soon as possible. Try your operating system’s built-in program if you can’t or don’t want to install third-party software. There’s Xprotect, and for PCs, there’s Windows Defender.
Of course, being proactive and protecting yourself from malware is the greatest method to prevent hard drive failure caused by viruses.
How to De-Congest a Clogged Disk
You’d be shocked how quickly your hard disc might become clogged if you use it frequently. Slowdowns are a symptom that your disc is getting a little clogged. Begin by removing unneeded programs, deleting old files, and using your operating system’s disc cleanup tool.
When files are fragmented and dispersed across your hard disc, they take longer to load.
Defragmentation can be addressed by running a defragmenting tool; under Windows, look for “defrag” and then “Defragment and Optimize Drives.” You’ll need to download third-party software if you’re a Mac user.
Getting a Glimpse of Error Messages
File corruption, slowdowns, and crashing aren’t always signs of hard disc failure. You might get an error message with a bizarre string of characters and numbers when you try to load a file or access the device. Because these warnings might imply many different things, you should always start by typing the error into a search engine and trying to figure out what’s wrong.
You can try troubleshooting it manually if you don’t find the answers you’re looking for. Bad sectors, physical connections, and potential drive issues are common.
Start by running a diagnostic on your drives to see wrong with them caused by software. Users on Windows can utilize “error checking” from the drive’s properties menu (under tools), while Mac users can use First Aid from the Disk Utility App. If it doesn’t work, try updating the drivers on your hard drive. This can be accomplished by updating the software on your Mac or accessing the properties menu on your Windows disc.
Searching for Physical Issues
Error warnings and other typical problems can sometimes indicate that anything is physically wrong with your hard drive. Other times, you may notice symptoms directly related to a physical problem, such as your hard drive producing noise. If you suspect a physical hard disc failure and want to examine further, you can do so safely and thoroughly.
But before you do, think about a few things.
- What is the age of your hard drive?
- Is this a one-time occurrence, or have you been experiencing troubles regularly?
- Do you have a backup of your files?
Hard discs, unfortunately, have a finite lifespan and will eventually fail. If you’ve noticed that you’re having issues that don’t seem to go away and your problems seem to be spreading, your hard drive may be nearing the end of its life! Ensure you have a backup of your files and that your dream is replaced as quickly as possible; a failing drive cannot be saved.
Start by turning off your computer and unplugging the power supply if you suspect it’s something other than age and wants to perform a physical inspection (recommended for towers only; laptops are not built in the same modular fashion). Check your drive connections once you’re inside to ensure they’re plugged in and secure. If your computer becomes too hot, it might hinder your performance and harm your drives; make sure your cooling fan is mounted and running properly and that your case is dust-free.
Because of how complicated and delicate hard drives are, it’s best to leave them alone if you can’t see a problem right away. Improper hard disc handling can result in data loss and worsen your problems. As a last resort, you might take your drive to a repair professional to retrieve your data if it is physically damaged or suffering from age.
Do you require assistance with a failed hard drive?
It can be an unpleasant experience to suddenly lose access to your files due to hard drive failure. If it isn’t the long wait for your computer to start up again, it’s the risk of losing images, music, gaming saves, and much more!
If you’ve hit a brick wall due to hard disc failure in the Tuscon region, Computer Revival can help. Our staff has maintained, built, and upgraded computers for over 22 years. Please get in touch with us as soon as possible!