The prime media for data storage on computers are the hard drives with massive data storage capacities. You may easily get a hard drive with storage capacity in Terabytes, and then you can store massive amounts of data on it. On the other hand, the external hard drives are quite portable along with being able to store data in massive amounts. People usually prefer using them for backup purposes.
As far as the life of a hard drive is concerned, you never know when they lead to corruption and you are like ‘Oh My God!’ However, they generally give notifications before they fail.
You can put the story the hard drive giving notifications (like clicking noises, Blue Screen of Death, sudden reboot, PC freezing or hanging problems, etc) to a side, as the same is not applicable to the drives that are quite old. For instance, the hard drives with quite old age may corrupt at any time and you no longer have time for data backup.
Hard Drive Corruption
The hard dive corruption is a case in which your computer fails to boot and none of its partitions are shown when you go for a complete OS reinstall. If we keep the age factor aside, we can classify the causes of the hard drives failure in two categories. Well these categories are subject to the corruption scenarios, i.e. Logical Corruption and Physical Corruption.
The logical corruption of the hard drive can be referred to as the inability of the operating system to read/write access the blocks of the hard drive. For instance, a sudden power failure may corrupt the file system or a like issue on your computer. The blocks that OS was reading or writing for the files may go bad and all such blocks are termed as logical bad blocks. You can recover the data lost from all these blocks with hard drive recovery software. However, a complete system format or hard drive wipe process can fix this corruption.
The physical corruption of the hard drive is completely different, as it is concerned with the hard drive’s components, such as platter, head, spindle motor, electric panel, etc. If any of these crucial components fail to function properly, your computer fails to boot or lead to complete inaccessibility.
Physically failed hard drives are physically damaged – either partially or fully. Such hard drives do require taking them to data recovery lab since no software can recover data from a drive that is not detected by the computers.
Based on the cases of physical failures of the hard drives, the following are the early signs of the hard drive failure:
You hear whining, clicking, or grinding noises coming out of the hard drive.
The hard drives contain moving components like a spindle motor rotating the magnetic platter. In the mean time, you hear a smooth whirling noise coming out of the hard drive, which sometimes is up and sometimes is down, based on whether a read/write operation is going on. On the other hand, the whining, clicking, or grinding noises are because of the head scrapping closer to the platter. This could make the hard drive completely failed.
Repeated BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) of your Computer
The Blue Screen of Death signifies software or hardware issues with your computer. In case your computer shows BSODs repeatedly, there must be some serious issues or either OS or the hardware is severely damaged. You can repair the Windows installation to fix this issue or by replacing the bad hardware component(s). In case the issue persists after you implement the required fixes, your hard drive is very near to its death.
Computer Restarts Randomly and Repeatedly
Sudden and random system restarts signify that there are some issues with the operating system. Well, the same also sometimes happens when the processor is overheated. In such scenarios, you must keep you system shutdown and wait until it cools down. Once its temperature comes down, you may continue working.
Overheated Hard Drive causing System Restart Repeatedly
The temperature of the hard drive increases significantly when the read/write head keeps accessing data. It usually happens when you are watching a movie, copying large amounts of data from/to an external drive, or in a like event. In the mean time, you computer may restart on its own.
An overheated hard drive may lead to failure due to malfunctioning of its internals, such as the electrical panel, spindle motor, or the head, which eventually leads to system failure and data loss.
Well, in spite of the aforementioned causes and early signs of the hard drives failure events, you never know when a drive containing your massive amounts of data leads to failure. Therefore, you must keep a backup copy of all your crucial files at a secure location, such as a network drive. On the other hand, if your system is able to boot, hard drive recovery software are quite helpful for getting your lost files recovered.
Use Stellar Phoenix File Recovery software to recover all your lost files from your PC. This commercial data recovery software performs a thorough scan on the hard drive and lists all the recovered files for preview, and then you can go for selected as well as complete recovery. You can manually add ‘file types’ for recovery of some special files from the hard drive, in case the software fails to recover them for you.