COVID-19 UPDATE: How Data Doctors is preparing & responding. Learn more >
home » articles » Everything You Need to Know About a Hard Drive Crash

Everything You Need to Know About a Hard Drive Crash

published 7/2/2020

If you're running a business or just someone who's using a computer for personal use, having a hard drive crash can ruin your week.

Photographers, gamers, and writers know the pain of losing days of work due to a hard drive failure, but there are a few things that you can do to save a hard drive when this happens.

Testing a hard drive can let you know when something is about to break, but when in doubt, hire a professional.

You have to know your limits and take things as they come with hard drives though. It's always better to take it into a shop if things have gone south.

How To Test Your Hard Drive

Testing a hard drive to see if it's about to fail can save you a ton of hassle later. Dealing with a failing hard drive while it's still working can save data, time, and money.

Several programs will test if your hard drive is failing. The test is fairly intensive on the hard drive, so it isn't recommended to do it too frequently.

One test every month or two should let you know if the hard drive is on its last leg. You can ask a professional to test it for you, or you can look up a hard drive test online.

Regardless of what you choose to do, test hard drives periodically, and avoid any future headache. If it's too late, there are a few things you can do to help!

The Two Types of Hard Drive Failures

There are different types of hard drive failures. Most people only think of the ones where they spill a drink on their computer, but there are software failures also called logical failures.

Each type of failure has its challenges. We will show you how to handle logical and physical hard drive crashes in its unique way.

Logical

As we stated before, a logical hard drive crash is when something goes wrong with the hard drive on the programming side of things versus the physical hardware side.

A logical hard drive failure can cause your operating system not to boot, making your files inaccessible or causing programs to fail. This means that your computer is failing to read your hard drive.

If these types of symptoms are occurring, you can run the recovery tool in the hard drive options or BIOS, but typically you'll need a professional to handle the situation if that doesn't work.

You don't want to try to DIY this because you can lose data by accidentally wiping or overwriting the hard drive.

Physical

Physical failures are pretty cut and dry. Your computer, most likely, won't even start and you won't be able to do anything because the data is compromised.

Your hard drive may make sounds, but there is also a hard drive indicator on computer cases that will tell you if it's failing to read the hard drive.

If this occurs, you will have to hire a professional to recover your data.

Occasionally, you will need to send it to a lab to rebuild the hard drive completely. Other times, the recovery is possible for licensed software, which costs more than just hiring a professional.

What Not To Do With a Hard Drive Crash

When a hard drive crashes, Google can be your worst ally. People online will tell you that they can save you hundreds of dollars if you just follow their directions perfectly.

We are here to let you know that repairing a hard drive or recovering data can be simple, but if the hard drive is damaged or scrambled beyond repair, you need a professional.

There are things you should never do when trying to bring back a hard drive from the edge of destruction.

Take a Hard Drive Apart

Under no circumstances should anyone ever take a hard drive apart. They are magnetized and have organized 0's and 1's that make up all of your data.

The various spinning plates and moving parts of a hard drive make it extremely complicated to successfully take it apart and repair.

Additionally, If you take a hard drive apart outside of a clean room, it is nearly guaranteed that all the data on that hard drive is destroyed.

Repartition the Drive

This can be a solution, but only if you don't care about the data on the hard drive. When you repartition a drive, it reorganizes the sector that data is stored in.

For the hard drive to do this, it has to get rid of how it was previously configured. This means that you lose how your previous data was organized. This mistake is fixable but again call a professional.

Formatting the Drive

Under no circumstances should you reformat a hard drive if you want the data on it. This will wipe the data and bring the hard drive back to factory settings.

Errors may occur that recommend reformatting the hard drive, but you should ignore these and consult a professional. There isn't a way to successfully recover all the data if a hard drive is reformatted.

Keep it Simple

When you have a hard drive crash, above all, keep it simple. Don't try to do anything excessive to try to fix the hard drive, just follow simple fixes with tools and then find a professional.

Hard drives are extremely tricky when it comes to repairs, and if you try to adjust things yourself, you can do more harm then good. Test your hard drive frequently and get a new one before it breaks.

If you want help knowing your options, you can always contact us! We are happy to walk you through the simple things and step in if it gets too complicated.