Warning signs that your computer hard drive is crashing soon

Hard drive failure is a fact of life that no user can avoid, but can manage it when it occurs. Unfortunately, almost all hard drives will ultimately fail at some point. Sometimes hard drives fail without any warning sign, you just turn on your computer and it will not boot or you get the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death” that signals a catastrophic problem with your hard drive. Now, let’s discuss warning signs that indicates your computer hard drive is crashing soon.

However, in some cases, your computer may give you slight and not so subtle signs that your hard drive is nearly the end of the line. Some of the mechanical components in your hard drive can fail gradually, and during this process there will be indications that all is not well with your computer. If you can recognize these signs early on, you may be able to back up your data and transfer it to a new drive before your system fails completely.

Irrespective of the fact that some computer systems are said to be very reliable today, they are all mechanical devices that are destined to break down and stop working at some point due to physical damage, logical errors or simply wear and tear.

When such breakdown occurs, you can lose your important files and information that were stored therein, causing you unnecessary stress and expense to get your data back, if it can be retrieved at all. While sometimes hard drives do fail unexpectedly without warning, there are often signs that your hard disk is beginning to break down. If you can recognize these signs and back up your essential data before a complete crash occurs, you can save yourself a lot of hassle.

Here are 10 common signs that your computer hard drive is crashing soon:

1. Unusual Clicking and Grinding Noises

This is a common sign of a mechanical failure, usually involving the drive’s read/write heads. If you’re familiar with the inner workings of your computer, you could turn off the computer, remove the hard drive, then turn the computer back on and listen to find out if it’s making the same sounds. If you’re still getting the same sounds with your hard drive disengaged, then the hard drive is not the problem. You’ll need a computer technician to diagnose your computer and find the real problem.

Unfortunately, the most likely scenario is that the sound is coming from your hard drive, in which case you should immediately back up your data and replace the drive. This is a problem that is only going to quickly get worse with time and there is no practical way to repair the drive once it’s in this condition.

2. Files Suddenly Go Missing From Your Drive

For instance, when you begin losing some of your stored files mysteriously, or your files show a bunch of “gibberish” interspersed with readable text, that is usually a sign that there are gradually failing areas of the drive that require a number of attempts to properly access the data. This can be caused by virus problems such as malware.

3. Your Computer Slows to a Snail’s Pace

Another common sign of a failing drive is that the computer starts to run at a very slow pace. Accessing your files takes forever. As when you start losing files, this is a sign that your computer requires many attempts before it can successfully retrieve any data. This is a clear sign that drive failure is imminent.

4. Your Computer Frequently “Locks Up” During the Booting Process

Every computers exhibit this problem once in a life time, and if it’s a rare occurrence, there’s no need for concern. The real problem is when this begins to happen on an increasingly frequent basis. If you begin to notice that your computer often locks up during booting, this is usually a sign that complete failure is not far away.

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5. BIOS doesn’t recognize your hard drive when booting

This is a common sign that your hard drive has completely failed, but it may also simply be a problem with the system configuration. When you try to boot the computer, you’ll get an error message saying that BIOS (basic input/output system) cannot find or read from your drive. You’ll likely need a computer technician to fully diagnose this problem, but most often it’s the result of a failed hard drive.

6. The Blue Screen of Death

This rather dramatic term is also known as a stop error screen, a bug check screen, or simply a blue screen. It causes your computer to display a screen with a dark blue background with a series of error messages written on the screen. It usually signals a critical, unrecoverable error with your computer’s operating system. When this happens, your computer will hang and can only be recovered by a manual restart.

If you see the signs of hard drive failure, you should immediately back up your files (saving your most important files first) if possible, and then shut down your computer. The more you try to use your computer in this state, the more likely you are to overwrite your data – which will cause it to be permanently lost.

If you are unable to retrieve important data, all is not lost. In many cases, a data recovery specialist can recover lost data from your failed hard drive. This is often able to be done fairly quickly but data recovery is not inexpensive, therefore, making sure your data is properly backed up is your safest and most economical bet!

7. Your computer shuts down and reboots on its own

If your computer shuts down and reboots on its own once in a while, it may not be a problem, but if it begins to happen more and more frequently, it is likely a sign that your drive is in distress.

8. Your computer freezes on a regular basis.

The 8th Warning signs that your computer hard drive is crashing soon is freezing. Though most computers freezes once in a blue moon, but if yours freezes regularly, requiring you to restart your computer to get out of it, this can be a sign that the hard drive is not working properly.

9. Frequent error messages when performing simple tasks.

If you get strange error messages when performing simple tasks such as moving or opening files, you may have some form of logical error within your hard drive.

10. You get an Operating System not found error message

The last common sign that your computer hard drive is crashing soon is when you begin to get this error message regularly, it means that your PC can no longer detect the presence of your hard drive or that it is badly damaged. This is a sign of a major problem.

If you experience any of these symptoms, the best bet is to immediately back up any files you don’t want to lose, starting with your most important files first. If regularly lose your data you need to send your drive to a reputable data recovery company to have them repair your hard drive and recover your data.


Emebu BON is the publisher and senior admin of and its network of sites. He is a creative professional from Nigeria. He is a web designer that is dedicated to helping individuals and corporate bodies of all sizes register their presence online by setting up befitting website/blog for them.

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