Six Signs Your Hard Drive is About to Crash.

Your computer is made up of hardware and software. Software determines how you interact with your computer, but hardware determines if your computer works. At some point, your hard drive – the piece of hardware responsible for storing and retrieving digital information – will eventually die.

According to Backblaze, 80 percent of hard drives last for four years or more. Most hard drive failures come completely unexpected for the computer owner. Here are six signs that can tip you off to an impending hard drive crash:

1. Computer Crashes


Computer crashes come in many forms and even colors. Sudden reboots are a sign of a possible hard drive failure. As is the blue screen of death, when your computer screen turns blue, freezes and may require rebooting. A strong sign of a hard drive failure is a computer crash when you are trying to access files. If your computer crashes when you are trying to open a file, that’s a good sign that the piece of hardware holding the information on your computer – aka your hard drive – is facing difficulties.

2. Slowness and Frequent Freezing


Slowness and freezing could be caused by anything, but don’t shrug this problem off. Try a fresh reinstallation of Windows. If the problem persists, it’s likely the hardware on your computer, perhaps your hard drive.

3. Corrupted Data


Corrupted data shows itself through files that fail to open, open with errors even though they were closed with none or simply disappear. Like slowness and freezing, this problem could have many causes. However, it is typically a sign of a gradual hard drive failure or a virus.

4. Odd Sounds


Grind. Screech. Click. All of these sounds are a very bad omen for your computer’s hard drive. If you’re hearing these sounds, it may be too late to save your hard drive, because parts of it are failing. Some common sounds that correspond with hard drive failures are metallic sounds during loading and the click of death caused by the head of the hard drive.

5. Accumulation of Bad Sectors

bad sector-01

Bad sectors are areas of the hard drive that do not maintain data integrity. They can be hard to find, because they are often covered up by the operating system. To identify them, you can run a manual disk check: Go to Start > Computer. Right-click on the disk or partition you want to check. In the new window, select Properties. Then, switch to the Tools tab and click Check Now. Finally, place a checkmark next to Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for an attempt recovery of bad sectors.

6. Bad Messages


Sometimes, your computer will send you more overt messages that your hard drive is about to fail. Here are some of the messages that may pop up while using your computer:

“Operating System Not Found”

This message could point to a virus, corrupt operating system files, hardware issue or possibly a crashed hard drive.

“Drive Not Formatted”

When this message appears, your computer typically only gives you one option – to “format now”- but formatting your drive would delete all of your files. If you see this message, it means your computer is not recognizing your hard drive, because some crucial data on the drive is corrupt. Instead of formatting your drive, try the drive on another computer or use a data recovery tool.

“Primary Drive or Device Not Found”

Again, this message is a result of your computer not recognizing your hard drive. This could be caused by a virus or a problem with your hard drive. Your hard drive could either have a loose interface cable or could have lost data.

Any of these problems could be a sign that your hard drive is about to fail, but a lot of times your hard drive will fail when you are least expecting it. If you have files or data that is important to you, back it up to an external hard drive or cloud storage. That way you are always ready for the unexpected.


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