System Crash info

Symptoms of a Dying Hard Drive

Hard drive failure is one of the most catastrophic events that can happen to your computer. Once dead, the files on your hard drive may be lost for good and recovery of data while your hard drive is beginning to fail can be difficult at best. While the best prevention against the loss of your business’ data is to back up often, identifying the symptoms of a failing hard drive can mean the difference between saving some of your data and losing it all.

Computer Freezes

Your computer freezing is often one of the earliest signs that your hard drive is beginning to fail, but may also be a symptom of virus activity or problems with other hardware components such as your RAM and video cards. A freezing computer does not respond for several minutes and causes your mouse and all other running programs, including the clock and calendar, to stop working. Oftentimes, the computer freezes when trying to access a file stored on a damaged or corrupted area on your hard drive. If you notice one or two particular files are causing your computer to freeze, shut down and restart your computer, then try to access these files again. If your computer freezes after a restart, you may be experiencing the beginnings of hard drive failure.

Disappearing Files

One of the most concerning symptoms of a failing hard drive is the loss of data. Very little is more important when running a business than the safety and accessibility of your client’s information. Files mysteriously disappearing may be the fault of a failing hard drive.

While all computers experience some issues with speed when starting up or accessing large files, frequent issues with speed and abnormally long boot up times — ten to fifteen minutes for a computer running Windows 7 — may be a sign of hard drive failure. Like all pieces of business equipment, your computer requires a tune-up from time to time, including running a disk defragmentation program at least once per month. Regular maintenance of your computer can help alleviate speed issues. If your computer is regularly maintained, then these slow speeds may be a warning sign of hard drive failure.

Mechanical Scrapes, Clicks and Pops

This final symptom of hard drive failure is the sign that you must back up your files immediately. Clicking noises, scraping and popping are signs that the mechanical arm that reads the head of your hard drive is malfunctioning and may strike the hard drive itself, scratching and permanently disabling it.

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