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Hard Drive Failure: Top Signs It's Immanent

Hard Drive Failure: Top Signs It's Immanent

Hard drive failure can be a frustrating disaster, resulting in system crashes or even permanent data loss. And there's nothing worse than losing a lifetime of family photos, videos and important documents. The good news is that there are warning signs that can indicate a hard drive failure, giving you time to take action. In this post, we'll explore the top signs of failure, so you can take proactive steps to protect your data.

Strange noise

A failed drive can often produce strange noises, such as the following. Keep in mind though, these apply more to HDDs (aka mechanical drives) than SSDs:

  • Clicking or ticking sounds: To indicate mechanical failure or head malfunction.
  • Spinning or grinding noises.: Signaling motor or bearing failure.
  • Beeping or buzzing sounds.: Indicates a power failure or electrical problem.

Bad data

If you notice that files are getting corrupted, can't be opened, or are missing altogether, this is a sign that your hard drive is failing. This can mean that failure is imminent, but it can also be a sign of more benign problems such as crashes or corrupt sectors. We'd recommend running System File Checker or other disk check utilities like chkdsk to pinpoint the extent of the problem.

Blue Screen of Death (BSODs)

BSODs can be caused by a variety of reasons, including hard drive failure. If you're experiencing frequent BSODs, you can usually find the cause by googling the error code generated. If it's hard drive related, the Interweb will tell you. If it isn't, well, now you have another problem to fix…

Smart mistakes

Your system should have an included utility called SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology), a built-in BIOS application designed to monitor and warn of potential hard drive failures. If you get a smart alert, especially after some kind of accident, don't ignore it! This is very likely an indication that hard drive failure is imminent.

Checking for SSD failures.

as usually, SSDs have better longevity than HDDs.But that doesn't mean they are innocent. For example, all SSDs have a limited number of TBW (Total Bytes Written) which is basically how many times they can be written/rewritten before they run out.

Most SSDs come with a proprietary utility for monitoring drive health, which is unique to each manufacturer (Samsung Magician for Samsung, Important storage executive for important, etc.). If you have a Velocity Micro PC, this utility will be pre-installed but if not, you may need to download and install it yourself. Each utility is a little different, but all will rate the drive health, TBW, and usage of each drive. These are useful for continuous monitoring of your hardware.

Other errors that indicate hard drive failure

  • A new message indicating the drive has not been formatted (can be caused by software or a power surge).
  • Boot loops: Possible viruses or trojans in the boot sector
  • System lock-ups and freezes: May be related to possible bad sectors or software or resources.
  • Drive not found: Check connectors (SATA and power), BIOS settings, RAID settings if applicable.
  • Operating system not found: Check BIOS settings, possibly hard drive priority is the cause

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's a good idea to back up your data immediately and start making plans to replace the hard drive. Remember, all Velocity Micro systems come with a Lifetime Upgrade Program To help with such problems!

Hard drive failure taking you down? Set up a new PC built by our experts, start here..

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Josh has been with Velocity Micro since 2007 in various marketing, PR, and sales related roles. As Director of Sales and Marketing, he is responsible for all direct and retail sales as well as marketing activities. They enjoy Seinfeld reruns, Atlanta Braves, and Beatles songs written by John, Paul, or George. Sorry, Ringo.

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