How to diagnose a Bad hard Drive

When a computer shuts there are several reasons and unless you have some experience with computers it will be hard to know what the cause is. While some computer problems are easy to troubleshoot and fix, some are equally hard and may need the service of professional technicians to undertake. There have been many changes in the manufacture of hard disks but there has been no major breakthrough on how to greatly minimize the chances of it getting destroyed. When your computer starts behaving inappropriately you need to figure out what the problem is in time, otherwise, you may end up with far many losses than you expect.

Most of the computer hardware does not spin and are not likely to fail with time, however, hard disk performance reduces over time because it’s made of moving parts which wear out slowly. Despite the efforts that have been put to run computers in a controlled environment, none of them has completely eliminated the chances of a hard disk failing. If you would like to reduce chances of suffering huge losses when your hard drive fails, consider backing up your data always because most hard drives die without sending off any warning signs.

If you detect problems with your hard disk consider analyzing and detecting your failing hard drive before it dies off completely making it impossible to rescue ant data from it. This article will look at the reasons why hard disks fail and how you can detect that a hard disk is about to fail and take the appropriate action in time. If you would really like to be sure of what you doing, it would be great to you need to have some little information on the utilities available to analyze your drives and detect flaws that may cause more problems upon the future.

Just note that if you are going to build a new computer, you may want to opt for a high-end consumer hard disk drive. This will save you lots of hassles found in low quality drives.

What is a dying hard disk?
The phrase “dying hard disk” means data in the hard drive becoming corrupt and virtually useless to you. If the hardware failure results from other components of the drive especially memory, such as improper system shutdown, virus attacks, and poorly written software, you will experience messed up data. It’s advisable that all computer users have a backup for all their important data. Mechanical failure of a hard disk is the most catastrophic yet it is not completely avoidable.

How to know that your hard disk about or has failed
In most instances you can repair the software errors resulting from bad sectors, or even repair the bad sectors themselves. If your drive has started experiencing mechanical failure, you can do very little to salvage it.

The best thing you can do is to detect impending hard disk failure before the drive completely fails, and backup the data safely. The following are some of the common signs of an impending hard disk failure:
• Frequently experiencing irregular crashes, more so when booting up the OS
• Hard drive grinding away frequently as a result of noisy bearings
• Files and folders disappearing
• Having to wait for so long when you want to access your files or folders
• Garbled output from printing or opening files
• Unauthorized changes in folder and file names and at times the names are be scrambled
• Hard disk remains silent for long periods after you request data by opening folder or data
• Getting error messages when performing activities such as file moving

If you notice any of the signs above while using your computer, the first thing to do is check the drive using one of the utilities outlined below before you continue with use.

Sound is one of the best indicators of a troubled hard disk. If you have not been hearing a peep from your hard disk but have started hearing it now, you need to check as soon as possible. If it makes grinding sounds or occasional clicks, or the sound made is extraordinarily loud, check as soon as possible and start backing up your data and planning to replace your drive.

If your drive makes regular grinding or clicking sound, there are high chances the drive has developed mechanical problems. The first thing to do is turn off the PC, because this problem can steadily grow. The longer you turn on your drive the higher the chances for completely destroying your data.

Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART)
This is a technology used for modern hard drives to provide a degree of internal status monitoring. If the technology is used with appropriate software it can alert users of any impending hard disk failures.

SMART is not to be fully relied on in prediction of drive faults. It mainly analyses the physical attributes of the disk and not any other thing, its efficacy also depends on the criteria for monitoring implemented on the computer motherboard. There are no real standards for monitoring SMART attributes or even set thresholds. The variables are provided by the manufacturer and are to be always used together with better in-depth monitoring tools.

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