Hard drive failure is every computer user’s worst nightmare, especially as we all rely enormously on computers to store our precious data. Even people that said they would never touch a computer have almost been forced into giving in. The fact is that computers and gadget devices are now a part of our lives.
Hard drive failure can be devastating if you have a lifetime of photos or personal files on your computer. Likewise for businesses who lose their files when a hard drive fails. The increased capacity of storage media has enabled even the home computer users to store huge amounts of data. The big problem with this is that even though there are many backup storage devices available, people avoid performing secure backups and are left in a panic when they experience hard drive failure.
To save any stress, I like to backup on an external hard drive and also I use online backup as well , for the really important files.
What Can you Do When you Experience Hard Drive Failure
Unfortunately, hard drive failure is inevitable because most hard drives have moving parts internally that eventually ware out.. Therefore failure is bound to happen. Here are some tips on what to do when you suspect that you have a hard drive failure.
Stop Using Your Hard Drive
If you have absolutely precious files on your hard drive and cannot possibly risk losing this data, stop using your hard drive as soon as possible! Do not try to reboot or start computer using this hard drive. It is far better to take your hard drive to a professional as losing your files will probably cost you hours of work. You have to weigh up your situation before doing anything.
Do Not Start Chkdsk
The first thing most computer users will do is try to repair the failed hard drive by using Chkdsk, a Windows system tool. This tool it is intended to repair a disks filesystem, not to recover data. If you use Chkdsk it will probably overwrite the files that you are trying to recover.
Get Your Data if you Can!
If you are sure that your hard drive failure is related to accidentally deleting files, your operating system, or maybe a virus attack, then you can possibly recover your files. In this case you can place your hard drive into an external hard drive case, connect this to another computer and hopefully access the files from there.
Opening Your Hard Drive
Never open your hard drive as this needs to be done by a professional in a clean room environment with absolutely no dust present. The parts inside your hard drive are very precious and exposure can make your data definitely lost for ever.
I know people that have opened hard drives up and they have all ended in disaster. If they had sent their hard drive to a professional, they might still have their precious files.
Don’t Put Yourself in Danger
Many people try to fix failed hard disks by wrapping the hard drive in a plastic bag and placing it in the freezer. This procedure is not only dangerous, but is definitely not recommended for the average computer user to perform. Can you imagine getting your hard drive out of the freezer, plugging it into your computer, and turning the power on. You have to make sure all the connections are tight say that the condensed water can’t leak into them. This is crazy so don’t put yourself in danger!
How do Hard Drives Work and Why do They Fail?
The core technology behind hard drives has remained unchanged since an IBM team lead by Rey Johnson built the first hard disk in 1954. The disk in hard disk refers to the platter, which looks a like a vinyl record. Hovering over the platter is what looks like the needle of an old record player–the needle part is called the head. Both the platter and the head are magnetic, so the head can read from and write to the platter.
The platter spins around several thousand times a minute in modern hard drives–7,200 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) is a common speed for modern hard drives, with high-end drives running at about 15,000 RPM. That’s 120 to 250 revolutions each second–an incredibly fast speed which requires very precise engineering.
The platters, and the motor which powers them, run on top of tiny ball bearings built to revolve up to 100 times as fast as the disk itself–so up to 2,500 times a second. That means that in just 7 minutes of using your hard drive, the ball bearings will rotate over 1 million times. In the typical 2 year active life of a hard drive, each individual ball bearing will rotate over 150 billion times.
Over its incredible lifetime, each ball bearing slowly wears down, forcing the tiny hard drive motor to exert more and more energy to keep the platter moving. At some point, the motor has just barely enough power to move the platter–this is when you’ll hear groaning noises from your hard disk. A few days or weeks later, the motor won’t have enough power to move the disk, but the head will still work; this is when you’ll hear your disk drive make clicking noises even though it can’t read any data.
How to Prevent Hard Drive Failure
You cannot for certain prevent hard drive failure because, as mentioned above, hard drives have moving parts that can wear out. Of course you can care for your hard drive by making it work less, saving most of your files on to external devices, and keeping your hard drive defragged and maintained.
You can check how your hard drive is running as your disk drive keeps track of over a dozen statistics related to its performance, called Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T). You can access these statistics using special software–for example, DiskCheckup from Passmark.com.
The results reported will include a description of the state of the drive based on several criteria. You want to look the closest at the Throughput Performance (ID number 02) to figure out if the reason your computer is running slow is its hard disk.
In every case, when it comes to hard drive failure, the moral of the story is to have a secure data backup and recovery plan ready in case of emergency