Are you having trouble with your hard drive? You shouldn’t immediately throw it out. There might be plenty of things that you can do to fix it.
The average life expectancy of a hard drive is between three and five years, although the exact figure will depend on the machine. If it is starting to fail before it is due, then there might be plenty of things that you can do to keep it running. You just need to know what troubleshooting steps to take.
You can find some basic troubleshooting tips below.
Simple Hard Drive Troubleshooting Ideas
If your hard disk is defective, you can repair it yourself with the appropriate tips and tools. We have summarised all the information on this in this practical tip for you.
The hard disk is very error-prone, as it is subject to heavy use. Data is constantly being read and written to it, which can lead to write and read errors.
With Windows onboard tools you can try to repair faulty hard disk segments. To do this, right-click on the hard disk under “Computer” and select “Properties” > “Tools”. There click on the “Check” button to test the hard disk for errors. This process may take some time.
Free tool: Alternatively, you can also use the free tool CheckDrive to test and repair hard disk errors.
Recover lost data from hard disk
If files are missing, you can try to recover your data with the freeware Recuva.
If instead a complete partition was accidentally deleted or reformatted, you can use a test disk.
Detect hardware errors
If there are other drives above or below the hard disk, such as CD-ROM, DVD, or BD drives, the hard disk may become even hotter and not work properly. Increased temperatures also reduce the life of the hardware.
The temperature of a hard drive should not exceed 96 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is constantly above that, a passive hard drive cooler is suitable. An active hard drive cooler, on the other hand, usually consists of a fan that is attached to a hard drive bay or the hard drive itself. The temperature can be measured with an HDD thermometer, for example.
In the event of an error, you should always switch off the PC and disconnect it from the power supply. Open the case and check that the hard disk drive cabling is intact and that the connections are correctly seated.
If the hard disk drive makes unusual noises during operation, such as rattling or clattering, this indicates that the hard disk drive is defective. Even at this stage it is recommended that you back up the data on the hard disk. You should boot from a live CD, so that the hard disk is then recovered. Both the Clonezilla distribution and SystemRescueCD are good choices. SystemRescueCD also has a backup program called Clonezilla which can be used to back up entire hard disks.
Note: If you don’t feel confident enough to repair the hard disk yourself, you should contact a specialist store. You can try to recover the data with the program from above before you order the repair.