When You Encounter Hard Disk Drive Failure

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Drives normally fail over a period of time; you just need to know and keep a watch on the warning signs and you can save yourself from losing all your important files. There are various kinds of disk failures; the first thing you need to identify is what exactly caused the drive to fail and what steps can be performed for recovery.

Reasons for Hard disk drive failure

  • Manufacturer Faults– This normally occurs with new hard drives and they are not recognized by the system. This is due to faulty hard disk delivered by manufacturer without testing
  • Electronic Failure or Power Surges– Regular power surges or interrupted power causes the hard disk to malfunction
  • Over heating– This is caused due to improper ventilation or a defective CPU fan. Overheating causes damage to the hardware and the hard disk to crash
  • Mechanical or Internal failure– This is caused due to bad sectors on the hard disk or spindle motor malfunction of the read/write head being immovable.
  • Human Errors– These are caused due to human mistakes like modification of the system registry, varying system files attribute and location and incorrect installation of the operating system
  • Corrupted System Files– This error is caused when the system files get corrupted which may be due to improper shut down of the system, power surges and accidentally closing of programs.

Early warning signs of hard disk drive failure


  • While loading and saving files the computer slows down and the hourglass may just sit there and spin or you may also get an error message.
  • The system frequently hangs up and you lose all control, both the keyboard and mouse stop responding.
  • Frequent loss of files or files getting corrupted.
  • Your computer frequently hangs up while booting and gives various error messages like ‘Hard Drive Failure’, ‘Hard Drive not found’ and ‘Operating system missing’.
  • The system is continuously rebooting.
  • Strange metallic noises caused by the read/write head thrashing around aimlessly

Signs of disk failure


Blue Screen of Death– While working or while the system is booting you suddenly get a blue screen with a lot of information written on it. This blue screen appears because there are some corrupt sectors on the hard drive and the system is unable to read these sectors.

Continuous Loop in Rebooting of the System- The system reaches a certain point of the boot process and then it automatically reboots again. This is caused by a virus which has infected the boot sectors of the hard drive.

Various Types of Errors

There can be numerous error messages which can be received when the hard disk becomes faulty. Here are a few of them-

  • Data Error Reading Drive
  • Error Reading Drive
  • Drive Not Ready-System Halted
  • Hard Disk Drive Failure
  • Missing operating system
  • A serious disk error occurred trying to read/write drive
  • Seek Error – Sector not found
  • I/O Error
  • Serious Disk Error Writing Drive
  • Primary Hard Disk Failure

Steps to fix hard drive issue

If you are sure your hard disk has corrupted, these are the steps you should follow-

  1. Check if the data cable is properly connected to the drive
  2. Check to ensure that the power cable is properly connected
  3. Remove all the physical connections one by one and insert them back
  4. Enter the BIOS and have it auto-detect the drive
  5. Sometimes Windows itself is not able to read the hard disk. In such a case, you can try booting the system from the bootable CD and then recover your hard disk
  6. If you are able to boot and enter the Windows operating system, run a simple check with the built in check disk tool and check for errors. To run the check disk, click Start menu, then in My Computer search for your hard drive and right click on it and then click on properties. Now, select tools and then click on Error Checking. Another way is to click on the Start menu, go to Run and type chkdsk drive letter: /f and then enter.
  7. Check System Log for errors- The system log can be accessed typing eventvwr in the Run window. Click on System tab and look for any error reports on the right hand side.
  8. If there are no errors reported in the above step then your system has malware and you need to run an anti-virus for it.

If none of the above steps have worked then, you need to download hard disk recovery software immediately before there is any further corruption to your files. Use Hard drive Recovery Software to restore files from your hard disk instantly. Stellar provides a user-friendly and simple interface for novice users. You just need to download it and let the software do all the work. It recovers all your data with just a few clicks.

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