Hard drives are the most crucial thing in today’s computer world, and you can understand how frustrating it might be when your system screen pops up with an error message “hard drive failure.” What do you need to know about a failing hard drive? There are textbook symptoms that warn of a failing hard drive. Actions should be taken quickly to save your files.

Hard Drive Failure Signs

There are two main types of hard drive failure—physical and logical. The signs vary, depending on the type of failure.

Signs of a Hard Drive Physical Failure

  • Overheating
  • Strange noises
  • Stuck spindle motor
  • Blue screen of death (BSoD) errors
  • Inability of the device to boot

Signs of a Hard Drive Logical Failure

  • Frequent error messages during normal operations
  • Files and folders disappear or get corrupted
  • Irregular system crashes and disk errors
  • Operating system (OS) won’t boot
  • File or folder names have changed
  • S.M.A.R.T. monitoring shows an issue with the hard disk drive (HDD)

Why Does a Hard Drive Failure Happen?

A hard drive may fail at any time for different reasons. Here is a list of the major factors that cause a hard disk failure.

  1. Improper voltage, manufacturing faults, or interruption during firmware upgrades
  2. Unreliable power source or supply
  3. Improper ventilation or faulty central processing unit (CPU) fan
  4. Accidental closure of programs
  5. Accidental deletion of files or directories
  6. Wrong installation of OS

How Do You Fix a Hard Drive Failure?

If you notice something wrong with your hard drive, identify the signs that will point toward a possible reason. Based on that, you can choose a solution below.

Method #1: Contact the Manufacturers for Help

Generally, you can’t fix physical errors on a hard drive. For example, when your system hangs or fails to boot while using the HDD, you can’t fix the hard drive on your own. You need to contact its manufacturer.

This method applies to these failure signs.

  • The hard drive freezes during startup.
  • The system can’t detect or identify the hard disk at all.
  • The system fails to boot when using the hard drive.

The reasons behind hard drive failures differ but they result in permanent data loss in most cases. Therefore, recovering data from a crashed or failed hard drive at the earliest is essential. Before you send your hard drive to its manufacturer, you can try to recover data from the failed hard drive with third-party data recovery software, such as Data Recovery Wizard, Recuva, and Disk Drill. These tools enable you to retrieve data from a hard drive, Secure Digital (SD) card, memory card, solid-state drive (SSD), universal serial bus (USB) or flash drive, and other storage devices.

Method #2: Make Sure the CPU Fans Are Working Fine

What if the hard drive is overheating? What can you do to make it work well? You can check your fans to solve the problem.

This method applies to these failure signs.

  • Excessive heat is generated shortly after turning on the device.
  • CPU fans move slowly or turn off.
  • Your hardware makes clicking sounds or noises.

Ensure the fan is spinning smoothly by checking for loose bolts or clips. You can also apply thermal paste between two contacting heatsinks on either side of your processor to help reduce noise when it operates at higher speeds.

Method #3: Check Your Hardware and Repair Corrupted File Systems

The command prompt (CMD) is the best option for diagnosing hard drive failures if you are trying to repair them manually. It allows you to identify problems with your hardware and take action quickly.

This method applies to these failure signs.

  • The files get corrupted or damaged.
  • The hard drive becomes inaccessible.

Here’s how to check your hardware for errors.

  1. Press the Windows key and type “cmd.”
  2. Right-click “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator.”
  3. Enter the command chkdsk D: /f /r /x. “D” refers to the partition drive you want to check. Errors found will be fixed automatically with this command.
  4. In case of possible system file corruption, you can run the Windows built-in System File Checker (SFC) tool to repair missing or corrupted system files. To do that, type the command sfc /scannow into the command prompt and hit “Enter.”

Method #4: Keep Your System Updated and Run Your Antivirus

This method applies to these failure signs.

  • Grinding or clicking sounds emanating from the hard drive
  • Files becoming invisible or get corrupted
  • BSoD

Make sure your system has the latest Windows updates. You can check by going to the Windows settings. After that, run a complete virus and malware check since malicious software can often cause problems you could mistake for problems with your drive.


Don’t let your hard drive fail and regularly back up your data. If you do not have a backup, you may lose important files, such as pictures and documents. Ask a professional data recovery service provider for help if the drive is already dead.

Anyone Can Manually Fix Hard Drives.
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