The hard drive of a computer is the heart of the machine. All relevant information for the machine to work properly is stored on the hard disk. The various applications and programs use data to complete their respective jobs. The operating system of the machine is stored on the hard drive. When the machine is powered on, the first information necessary for the machine to go to the next step is obtained from the hard drive. A computer also becomes unsuitable to be used when the hard drive stops ticking.
Some actions to be followed
There may a number of reasons for a failed hard drive. The usual ones are:
- Normal wear and tear – The moving parts of the hard disk get worn out due to long use. The only option, in this case, is to install a new hard disk and reload it with the data recovered from the defective hard disk.
- Premature failure – Every manufacturer provides a warranty period for their disk drive and an MTBF period after which the disk is expected to malfunction. If the analysis shows that the disk is about to fail, replace it with a new one while it is still working.
- Manufacturing defect – Hard disks are sometimes introduced into the market with manufacturing defects. The disk may fail within a very short time after its installation. Disks that work reliably for a short period after installation tends to remain reliable for longer periods. In this case, you need to replace the defective disk when it fails.
- Head crash – The read and write head of the disk drive may suddenly touch the platter surface if the disk is subjected to a fall or receives a jarring impact. A head crash can cause severe data loss. Shut down the computer immediately and take the disk to a professional data recovery firm if critical data is involved. A head crash can completely destroy the disk if you persist with running it.
- Occurrence of bad sectors – The platter that is coated with iron oxide to make the surface magnetic may lose some of its properties and the data stored in that area may be lost forever. It is an imminent sign of pending failure and the disk drive has to be changed immediately, and the data recovered.
- Problem due to stiction – When the hard drive comes on, the heads are lifted to a certain distance from the platter by the air sticking to the surface of the platter. If the heads do not take off then, there is a possibility that it can hit the surface of the platter and damage it. The stiction can cause head crashes and severely damage the disk. Stop the machine, change the disk and send it for data recovery.
Avoiding disk problems
A hard disk that has failed cannot be used anymore without getting it repaired if it is at all possible to do so. Data present in the failed hard drive has to be recovered in order to be loaded into the new replacement drive. The RAID or Redundant Array of Inexpensive Discs concept was introduced to save critical data from getting lost when any of the discs failed. Data is kept spread over a large number of discs and changing the failed drive would be sufficient to put the computer back to its original state.