You’re right in the middle of completing some work on you computer (desktop) at home. Of course the work assignment was due three weeks ago or is due tomorrow. Worse yet, you haven’t gotten in the habit of backing up all of your important files. You turn the computer on and your hard-drive sounds funny.
Oh no, you should have done that work last week! Oh no, you should have backed up all of your files because the loss of data if your hard-drive stops functioning would be catastrophic! Oh no, does that funny noise coming from your hard-drive mean that it’s about to crash?
If they are functioning normally hard-drives make a whining noise and regular clicking sounds as they access data. However if you hear a clicking sound when your hard-drive starts up there may be a problem. Most hard drives make this clicking sound because their heads can no longer read bad sectors and the sound is a symptom of an impending crash. However, depending on the manufacturer hard drives can signal problems by using other sounds.
… Maxtor’s desktop drive plays a futuristic cell phone sound when its spindle gets stuck. … Seagate’s Momentus laptop drive,… makes a nasty drilling noise when its heads go bad. Hitachi’s laptop drive clicks once on spinup then beeps when its head goes bad. And, Samsung’s desktop drive makes a scratching sound when hitting bad sectors… Computerworld
If you are uncomfortable with the sound that your hard-drive is making, you can get information about it by checking the manufacturer’s website.
Okay your hard-drive is clicking and the manufacturer’s website suggests that you contact a service technician. Now, you want to know what could have caused the hard-drive problem so you can have an intelligent discussion with the computer technician you are about to call to check it out.
DataClinic, a data recovery company, lists the following reasons for hard-disk failure.
- Firmware Corruption / Damage to the firmware zone
Hard disk firmware is the software code that controls, and is embedded in, the physical hard drive hardware.
- Electronic Failure
Electronic failure usually relates to problems on the controller board of the actual hard disk. The computer may suffer a power spike or electrical surge that knocks out the controller board on the hard disk making it undetectable to the BIOS.
- Mechanical Failure
Mechanical hard disk failures are those which develop on components internal to the hard disk itself.
- Logical Errors
Logical errors can range from simple things such as an invalid entry in a file allocation table to truly horrific problems such as the corruption and loss of the file system on a severely fragmented drive. Logical hard-drive failures are usually caused by viruses, spyware, adware and Trojan horses.
- Defragment your drive regularly
- Watch the heat around your computer and
- Use shut down to turn off your computer (don’t use the switch to turn it off).
The important thing is that you should always backup, backup, backup. Backing up your data means that you will never have to worry about losing it.