You probably already know that your hard drive is one of the most important parts of your computer, but you might not be able to identify the signs of hard drive failure. For a home user, losing the hard drive can be very inconvenient since it is this component that stores all your files. Suddenly, those files will be gone. When you’re dealing with a business computer, data loss can be even more serious, potentially costing a lot of money and significantly eroding your reputation with clients and customers.
If your hard drive is on its way out, you need to either have it replaced or repaired, and it’s vital that you take the opportunity to back-up your business data. Here are a few of the most common signs that total failure is growing likely.
Freezing or Slowing Down
Your computer can start freezing or slowing down for a whole host of reasons, and all of them demand the attention of a professional. If the hard drive is to blame, you’re likely to experience crashes and drops in speed when you boot up your operating system. If the problem continues when you start in safe mode, the hard drive is almost certainly to blame.
Hard drives use a mechanical head that is moved around to read different data. Unfortunately, those moving parts can start to wear down over time; for example, the bearings of the motor can eventually begin to fail. You may notice that your computer exhibits grinding or screeching noises, particularly when you access your files. Mechanical issues can be fixed completely if you catch them early, so don’t ignore any odd sounds coming from your device.
Finally, you may start to notice that your files and folders disappear. This won’t necessarily be permanent, so it can be tempting to simply ignore the problem, but any discrepancies in the locations or names of files should be seen as a very strong indicator of upcoming hard drive failure, so make sure you take the appropriate steps to protect your data.