Hard Disk Failure – Top 6 Common Reasons You Should Be Aware Of

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  • Published on
    May 18th, 2018
  • Updated on
    March 5, 2021
  • Read Time
    9 minutes
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What would happen if the computer suddenly stops responding to your commands? What will you do if the hard disk crashes down? You’ll surely go to the store and get the replacement of the hard disk (if it’s under warranty) or purchase a new one for your computer. But what about the data which was saved on the hard disk? How would you get it back? If you’ve created the backup earlier, you can restore your data from it. But if you don’t have any backup, you might be in trouble. Please keep in mind that getting a new hard disk doesn’t solve your problem. In this article, we’re going to discuss hard disk failure in detail. Also, I’ll explain the top 6 reasons for hard disk failure.

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Hard disk drive is a fixed non-removable magnetic disk having a large data storage capacity.

The hard disk drive is the main storage device in a computer system. It uses magnetic storage for storing and retrieving digital information via one or multiple fixed rapidly rotating disks, called platters coated with magnetic material. It can store almost everything which includes the operating system, system files, software programs and the files you create by using them. Seagate, Western Digital, Hitachi, and Toshiba are the few most popular hard disk drive manufacturers.


Hard Disk Failure Reasons

Hard disk failure refers to a situation when a hard disk drive starts malfunctioning and the stored information becomes inaccessible.

Unluckily, a hard disk drive has a limited lifespan. The normal lifespan of the hard disk drive is somewhere between 3-5 years. It simply depends on how much work the hard disk drive does on a day-to-day basis. Also, the environmental conditions play an essential role in determining the lifespan of the hard disk drive. Being a hardware device, the hard disk drive is prone to severe issues and faults. Hard disk failure is one of the most annoying situations you can ever face. It happens more often than you might think. Physical failure and logical failure are two common reasons which cause hard disk failure.

hard disk failure

Below are the top 6 common reasons for hard disk failure:

#1 – Manufacturer’s Fault

It’s the topmost reason behind hard disk failure. Sometimes manufacturers sell the hard disk drive without proper testing or having examined. It may happen that the hard disk drive is faulty, and thus it fails to load after few weeks or months.

These are the symptoms:

  • The computer is unable to detect or recognize the hard disk drive.
  • Also, it fails to boot or starts hanging while the booting process is being conducted.

Solution: Whenever you find that the hard disk drive fails to load or boot, you should definitely contact the manufacturer or the vendor if the hard disk drive is still under warranty. You’ll get the replacement in the form of a new hard disk. However, you may lose all your data stored on the hard disk. Neither the manufacturer nor the vendor can give you any guarantee of data recovery. It the data is really important and you just can’t afford the data loss, you should definitely use a data recovery tool.

#2 – Overheating

Don’t forget that heat is bad for computers, and overheating is just worse. Different conditions like heat and cold can damage the computer and/or lessen its performance. But a computer is more vulnerable to heat than to cold. If the CPU fans are faulty, this will cause improper ventilation which may result in overheating and lead to hard disk failure.

These are the symptoms:

  • Clicking sounds are coming continuously from system hardware.
  • CPU fans are moving very slowly or not moving.
  • The computer starts overheating sooner after you restart it.

Solution: If you think that overheating is the real cause of hard disk failure, you should provide enough cooling to the system hardware. Make sure that the CPU fans are properly working. And don’t forget to give proper maintenance to your computer regularly. Also, you should use the SMART (Self-monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) tool.

#3 – Unexpected Power Failure

Though power failure is very common, it may cause serious damage if happens frequently. If a computer turns off abruptly due to power failure, you’re likely to face hard disk failure sooner or later. The main reason behind unexpected power failure is that the UPS device isn’t being used. Or maybe the UPS device you’re using doesn’t provide you sufficient power supply.

These are the symptoms:

  • The common symptom is that computer turns off suddenly without any warning.
  • The system BIOS fails to detect the hard disk drive.
  • Hard disk drive fails to spin.

Solution: To prevent the unexpected power failure, you should use a UPS device that gives sufficient power supply to your computer system. Make sure you’re using the UPS device of a well-known brand.

#4 – Mechanical Failure

Any internal error or issue caused to the hard disk drive can lead to mechanical failure. The internal failure is likely to happen due to

  • Bad sectors and blocks in the hard disk drive;
  • Disk read/write heads are not moving;
  • Spindle motor stops working;
  • PCB (Printed Control Board) is damaged; etc.

The rootkits virus can become active right after you start the computer and infect the system functioning at BIOS level. Sometimes severe mechanical failure may result in hard disk failure.

These are the symptoms:

  • The computer system freezes all of a sudden.
  • You’ll notice clicking or grinding sounds are continuously coming from the hard disk drive.
  • The display goes black after the booting process and keeps asking you to restart the system.
  • All the files and folders become invisible and/or inaccessible.

Solution: The only way to avoid mechanical failure is by updating the computer regularly. Also, make sure you’re using the updated version of the Antivirus program. And replace the hard disk drive after 3-4 years of use.

#5 – Corrupt/Invalid Data

If the hard disk contains corrupt or invalid data, it’s likely to be failed or crashed sooner or later. The primary reason behind file corruption is the virus infection. A computer virus is a malicious program that can infect the files and make them corrupt. Other factors which cause corruption are unexpected system shutdown, using outdated or faulty programs, etc.

These are the symptoms:

  • The files become corrupt or invalid, and thus you can’t access them.
  • The operating system fails to boot more than often.

Solution: Make sure you never let the files being corrupted due to any reason. Avoid every possible thing which can cause corruption. Always use an updated Antivirus program to prevent virus attacks. Never download the software programs and files from an unknown or untrusted source.

#6 – Human Errors

The errors which are caused due to human mistakes are called human errors. Sometimes human errors can cause a great damage to the computer and its data, and they may also result in hard disk failure. The most common mistakes are:

  • Modifying the system registry settings without having prior knowledge.
  • Modifying the system files attribute and location.
  • Installing the operating system in wrong way,
  • Formatting the hard disk drive more than its actual limit, etc.

Note: It’s actually hard to explain the symptoms of human errors. However, the most common symptom is that the computer starts behaving abnormally all of a sudden.

Solution: You should avoid doing the minor mistakes. Never make any modification to the system files until unless it’s extremely necessary. And if you’re doing that, do it under the guidance of an expert or professional. Also, never format the hard disk drive more than the maximum limit.

Precaution for Data Loss

Precaution is always better than cure. And the best precaution for data loss is taking regular backup. The backup file contains the copies of your data which you’ve backed up earlier with the help of NTBackup utility or any other backup tool. And whenever you face a data loss situation due to any reason, be it accidental deletion or corruption, you can use the backup file to execute the complete data recovery without paying anything. Since data loss is likely to happen due to hard disk failure, a valid backup file can be the lifesaver.

Points to be noted

  • Most home users and even some business users still don’t back up their computer systems. This isn’t good at all. You should backup your data regularly.
  • Moreover, many small businesses use older backup procedures which may be ineffective sometimes during data recovery. Make sure you’re using the latest backup technique and the updated software program to take backup.
  • If you face hard disk failure sooner or later and you don’t have any backup to perform data recovery, make sure you don’t try to reboot the computer continuously. Also, avoid using anything that involves the use of hard disk drive. Because doing this can actually cause more damage to the hard disk drive.


In a case of actual hard disk failure, only a data recovery solution can get your lost data back. You can either take help of a data recovery expert/professional, or you can use a data recovery tool.

When there’s no backup available for data recovery, you should definitely look forward to a professional solution. There are many vendors which provide data recovery software, and SysInfoTools is one of them. The Windows Data Recovery tool of SysInfoTools is one of the best data recovery software available in the market. It can intensively scan the hard disk drive and recover lost files as much as possible. If you’ve recently faced hard disk failure and you have no backup, this Windows Data Recovery tool best suits your needs.

Before purchasing the software, you should download its demo version for free evaluation. By using the demo version, you can check the preview of your data which you can actually recover from the corrupt as well as formatted hard disk drive. And if you’re satisfied with the results, then only you should purchase the software.

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