Why Do Hard Drives Fail?
Causes of Hard Drive Failure
There are several categories of hard drive failure including mechanical, electrical, logical, firmware and user error. Physical damage to the mechanics of a hard drive is caused by external forces like shock, water or heat. Avoiding rough treatment and water is a matter of being careful, because the internal mechanisms of a drive are extremely fragile and not built to withstand being dropped or knocked around. If shock from bumping, jarring or dropping results in a head crash—wherein the read-write head of the drive touches the hard disk platter—major damage can occur.
Heat build-up is usually avoidable by making sure your drive is in a well-ventilated area and that nothing is physically blocking the fans that are there to dissipate the heat. Of course, a hard drive can also be affected by factory fault, or in the case of electrical failure, a power surge.
Logical damage, on the other hand, occurs when something non-physical goes wrong with the drive. For example, a logical error can occur when the software or the drive’s file structure runs into a problem due to malware, corrupted files or human error. Usually this kind of damage is recoverable, because no physical damage has been done to the drive. If you experience frequent crashes or system failures (including the infamous “blue screen of death”), back up your data to another source and send the drive in to us for an evaluation. The hardware may need to be repaired or replaced. And if your computer refuses to recognise your drive at all, we’ll need to run diagnostic tests to find the problem.
Of course, because a hard drive is a mechanical device, old age and regular wear and tear will take its toll. The drive mechanism, as one of the few mechanically moving parts in a computer, is bound to fail eventually. Avoid potential data loss by backing up frequently and keeping an eye (or more likely, an ear) out for irregularities in how the drive is functioning.
The firmware, after an update or if a virus has taken hold, can be the source of hard drive failure as can user error. But even if you’ve deleted or overwritten your data, most or all information can often be restored by our qualified and experienced data recovery team!
What Can You Do?
If the unthinkable does happen, there are options. Technetics offers one of the best data recovery treatments available, and more often than not, most if not all data from a damaged or corrupted drive can be recovered. If you have experienced a hard drive failure for any reason, do take advantage of our free data inspection service or call us on 1300 880 636. Our highly trained staff are always here to help you to recover from and prevent future disasters!