Tips to Find Out if Your HD is About to Die

Understand what are the signs of problems data by your computer and avoid losing your files.

It is possible to detect problems in the HD before the equipment is defective. Because HDs are one of the main forms of digital data storage, they are an essential part of the operation of a computer. What many people do not know is what the device is very sensitive. Fixed on a laptop or desktop, the hard drive has average life of five to 10 years, depending on the manufacturer and the environment.

With external models, it can be even smaller, as they stay on the move all the time. Thus, only three to five years of life are expected for apparatus of the type. After the failure, there is nothing to do: The only option is to buy another one. The information, in turn, will hardly be recovered – and at a high cost.

To ensure that important files remain safe, you need to take some care. It’s always good to be up to date with backups and use other storage spaces, including the cloud. Services with Google Drive, Dropbox, ICloud, and OneDrive are great allies at this time.

But these measures are especially important when the end of the hard drive life is imminent. The good news is that often the HDs “die” gradually, presenting in advance indications that serious problems are on the way. See below how to identify if your data is in danger.

Frequent slowdowns and latings

If your machine crashes and restarts on its own all the time, the “blue screen of Death” is frequent, or if the folders and files take several minutes to open, the hard drive may be responsible. Especially if failures occur after a new installation or even in Windows Safe mode. In fact, these symptoms may be caused by various problems, but in any way it is time to make a backup.

Corrupted data

Files that suddenly vanish, do not open at all or become corrupted, difficulties to save a file or even programs that stop working claiming they do not find an essential file. These are all typical signs of a HD with potential to hang at any time.

Strange sounds

Strange noises may indicate already advanced mechanical damage to the hard drive. When the needle is attempting to record or read data out of position, or if the motor is jammed, certain sounds are emitted. If you hear loud, squeaking, and repetitive clicks when using your computer and/or external HD, run to save your information. Still, maybe it’s too late.

Recognition failed

When the computer is no longer able to detect the HD, the defect may be both in one and the other. It is also worth verifying that the issue is not the cable or the connection on the motherboard and, if possible, test the disc on another machine. This is usually a logical failure, but if the problem is even on the hard drive, you will need to look for an expert to recover the data.

S.M.A.R.T. system

A tool capable of predicting problems with the hard drive is the S.M.A.R.T. T (“Analysis technology and self-monitoring reports”), a set of information stored in the operating system. There are programs for reading this data, which ascertain the conditions of the HDs connected to the computer, such as Crystal disk info. These tools, however, do not usually recognize deficiencies in early stages.

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