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Hard Disk Drive Failure.

Failed Hard Disk

Hard drive failure is a fairly common occurrence but that doesnít prevent it from being a highly troublesome and aggravating inconvenience.

Much like a car, a hard disk drive is a mechanical device. Most of your computer's other components are purely electronic and can only be damaged by electronic means (such as a power surge). However, hard disk drives are subject to both electronic and mechanical stresses, that can potentially contribute to the device failing.

If your hard disk drive fails then the key thing to keep in mind is that in almost all instances of hard disk drive failure attended to by Computer Science Labs technicians, your data can be recovered and transferred to a new hard drive and youíll be up and running again.

If you are experiencing a hard drive failure and your stored data is valuable, critical or of a sentimental nature then please use a professional data recovery company.

Free Hard Drive Diagnosis:

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Why do hard disk drives fail?

Because hard disks are mechanical devices, they are subject to wear and tear, even if you treat them like fine china. Our experience is that circa 50% of hard drive failures are due to mechanical failure and 50% due to misuse. Hard disk failure might occur if any of the following happens:

a) Your computer is bumped or jostled while it is running.
b) The electric motor which allows the platter to spin fails due to bearing seizure.
c) Read/Write Head Failure.
d) Extreme heat while running causes the electronic circuit board to fail.
e) There is a sudden power failure whilst the hard disk is being written to.
f) The read write heads become stuck to the surface of the platters preventing the spindle motor from turning.

[note:-Laptops are particularly susceptible to overheating, this can be due to the air intake/exhaust being clogged or restricted whilst in operation.]

Types of Hard Disk Drive Failure.

When discussing the type of failure data recovery service providers generally refer to Physical of Logical failure type:-

Hard Drive Physical Failure.

Physical failures are often due to a failure of the electric motor or the drive itself -the moving parts. They can also happen because of a major head crash (caused by your computer being dropped or jostled while it's running).

Logical Failure.

Logical failures come from corruption in the file system. If you've accidentally deleted an important registry entry or formatted the drive improperly, or if you have a nasty virus, hard drive problems will occur. The BIOS will recognize the drive, but it won't boot.

Hard Disk Failure Symptoms.

All computers have problems, but you don't need to panic about hard disk failure unless one or more of the following things are happening:-

a) Clicking or grinding noises whilst running;
b) Files mysteriously disappear. Usually more than once;
c) Locking up during the boot process.
d) The computer often freezes and needs a hard reset;
e) Standard processes such as saving and opening files are slow.
f) Increase in the number of bad sectors when running chkdsk;
g) You are unable to speed up performance even by applying optimization methods;
h) You notice that your computer is unusually hot.

Just because your computer isnít working does not mean that your hard drive has failed. The problem could be related to another piece of hardware or it could be that an important file from your operating system may have been deleted. If it turns out that your operating system is damaged, often times you can perform an operating system repair by simply reinstalling the system. This is a particularly common fix for Windows systems.

General Advice

Can data be restored from a failed hard drive? Usually it can. Unfortunately, though, recovering from a failed hard drive isn't as simple as some other computer issues that can be fixed with the help of Google and forums telling you how to speed up your computer. Professional Help is Recommended. In order to prevent massive data loss in the case of hard drive failure, install a program that creates a disk image quickly and easily. Use this backup system at least weekly or more often if you're a heavy or business computer user.

If you think the problem is related to a piece of hardware other than the hard drive, take it to a good local computer repair shop, get the problematic part replaced, and the data on your hard drive will be fine. The important thing to remember is to stop using your computer until it is looked at by a professional because a damaged motherboard, as an example, can be harmful to your hard drive data.

In the case of hard drive failure, you will typically receive certain messages from your computer. Irregular hard disk noises, for instance, indicate that there is something wrong as does the relatively common on-screen inaccessible Boot Device message. If you have received this message, again, donít panic. There are steps you can take to determine the severity of this issue. First, the problem could be that the hard drive isnít plugged in correctly. Again, it is always best to consider the possibility of a simple solution first.

If your system is plugged in, enter your BIOS on rebooting your computer and make sure it is:-

a) recognized by your computer and

b) it is listed in your BIOS as the primary boot device.

Again, if you donít know what the BIOS is, find someone who does. If changed have to made in your BIOS, this is likely the cause.

Data loss comes in various degrees of severity, with different solutions available depending on the cause. To learn more about the three major degrees of data loss, read file recovery software, get data back, and hard drive data recovery.

Recovering from hard drive failure.

If you are hearing strange noises coming from your hard drive, it is highly likely that it has either mechanically failed, or is in the process of failing. In this case, it is always a good idea to power down the system immediately. A damaged hard drive can typically only be repaired by a certified data recovery service provider.

The Use of S.M.A.R.T.

If your hard disk is equipped with S.M.A.R.T. technology (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology), there will be log files that can be checked to predict the probability of failure in the near future. S.M.A.R.T. technology monitors a wide range of hard disk symptoms and logs the condition of the disk. It aims to provide a predictable failure date for the disk.
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