5 Top Causes of Hard Drive Failure

There are many different reasons for hard drive failure some of which are common and others that occur at a moment’s notice and without any warning.  This is why it is important to remember to establish a backup strategy and then stick with it to ensure you can recover important data quickly and effectively.

That said, data loss can still occur from hard drive failure which can be attributed to a virus or malware attack, mechanical failure, faulty power supply, corrupt operating system files, environmental factors, and more.  In this post, we will cover the top causes for hard drive failure along with tips on how to effectively deal with each scenario.
Manufacturer Defects
Although most devices are accompanied with a warranty after purchase, a hard drive can still fail as the result of a manufacturer defect.  By the time this occurs, you typically have saved important data to the drive with or without a secondary backup method in place.

If a hard drive is manufactured with a defect, the common signs are that it is unable to be recognized by the system during the boot up process. Your PC may also fail to bootup altogether or will freeze in the middle of the startup process.  The cause of this problem is failure on the part of the manufacturer to test the hard drive prior to market release.

In this case, it is wise to contact an established data recovery service in addition to your device manufacturer.  The data recovery service provider can assist you with retrieving lost data while the manufacturer assumes responsibility for a hard drive replacement.
Electronic and Power Supply Issues
If you are using a faulty power supply, this can cause hard drive failure as the result of a sudden power surge or excessive power supply to your device.  Hard drive failure can also be prompted by an electrical storm if you do not have a surge protector installed in your device connection.

Typically, when hard drive failure occurs as the result of an electrical problem, the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) may be unable to detect the presence of your hard drive.  Additionally, the hard drive may fail to function altogether especially in the case of the disks which will fail to spin.

You can solve this issue by making sure the proper amount of power is entering your device.  However, chances are you will require the services of an experienced data recovery provider to retrieve any data which has been lost due to a power surge.
Corrupt Operating System Files
There are critical operating system files which are essential for properly booting up your PC and using specific functions of the operating system.  When these files become corrupt they are inaccessible and will cause problems with hard drive functionality.

Operating system files can become corrupt as a result of improperly shutting down your device, inadvertently installing malicious software via free downloads, clicking on infected website components, power failure, and human error.  The end result is unstable performance of the hard drive and eventual failure.

In this case, it is necessary to use a data recovery service provider that can help you recover some or all of the files. It may then be necessary for the data recovery provider to repair the disk or install a replacement drive.
Mechanical Failure
A hard drive consists of moving parts which eventually will wear out and fail over a period of normal computer use.  Mechanical failure can also occur as the result of formatting of an old drive, exceeding the storage limit, or even a virus or malware attack.

Updating your antivirus and anti-malware programs can help to prevent mechanical failure as well as replacing the hard disk before failure occurs.  The typical hard drive can have up to 5 years of life depending upon user habits and other factors.

If your hard drive experiences mechanical failure, a competent data recovery service will be able to help you recover the data and in some instances, may be able to repair the hard drive.
Extreme Temperatures
Extreme temperatures such as excessive heat can cause a hard drive to fail.  Excessive heat can be caused by a faulty fan, improper ventilation due to dust and debris, or a fan which is running sluggishly.  The end result is clicking or knocking sounds which occur internally on your device.

The solution is to make sure the fans are always free of dust and debris, are working properly, and your device is stored in a well-ventilated area.  In the event hard drive failure occurs, you should immediately shut down the device and contact an experienced data recovery services provider.

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