Hard drive failure is always an infuriating problem. Mechanical hard drives are destined to fail because of all the moving parts that can go bad. SSDs can last a lot longer, but they also experience wear and tear that will ultimately require their replacement. With that in mind, we’re going to show you how to prepare for the worst by bringing to your attention the warnings you should look out for.
With almost every component in your PC, you’ll see warning signs of a part going bad and in need of replacement. The hard drive is not an exception. Here are some signs to look out for:
- Disappearing files: Files can be lost do to mechanical problems with the disk itself, and in some cases, you’ll be able to tell as the disk usually makes some out-of-the-ordinary noises when things are going haywire.
- Computer freezing: A computer freezing is a common occurrence, and it’s almost always solved by a quick reboot. However, if you find that that it’s becoming more and more frequent, your hard drive could be on its last leg.
- Corrupted data: If you’ve downloaded and installed files without a hitch, but suddenly out of nowhere, files have become corrupt, it’s possible that your hard drive is experiencing a gradual failure.
- Bad sectors: A sector on a hard drive stores a certain amount of data accessible by the user. There are two types of sectors, a hard and soft sector. In most cases, Windows is able to repair a soft bad sector, as it’s almost always related to a software mishap. Formatting the drive will almost always fix this. But, if it’s a hard bad sector, this indicates physical damage, which can not be repaired. You can manually check for a bad sector by right-clicking the drive in My Computer. Select “Properties” and then navigate to the “Tools” tab. Finally, under “Error Checking” select the “Check” button. Windows will identify any sectors that have gone bad. As mentioned, Windows will try to fix it with a restart and doing some behind-the-scenes magic, but if that does not work, you could be, once again, experiencing gradual failure.
- Sounds: If you’re hard drive is making sounds that you aren’t familiar with, this could also be bad news, particularly if it’s a grinding or screeching noise.