Symptoms of a failing hard drive

31 March 2016

Symptoms of a failing hard drive

We all have a lot of important data on our computers like personal documents, photos and our mammoth music collections. And more often that not we blindly assume that all of this stuff will be stored indefinitely our computer’s hard drive. But the sad reality is a hard drive is a mechanical device with moving parts, making it more susceptible to failing at some point in time. Most hard drives fall prey to manufacturing defaults, followed by wear and tear and random failures, reducing the average life expectancy of a hard drive to around 2-4 years (if you’re lucky). It’s crucial to be able to recognise the signs of a failing hard drive so you can take appropriate action to avoid spending ridiculous amounts of cash on data recovery or worse, losing everything forever.

Slow reaction times

Does your laptop take a million years to launch Safari? Or when you empty the trash are you stuck with the rainbow wheel of death for a lengthy period of time? Delayed reactions times could point to a hard drive that is starting to go on the blink.

Constant Crashes

If your laptop keeps crashing during start up or just randomly restarts itself while you’ve been using it, this is a likely indicator that there is something wrong with your hardware.

Missing files or error messages

Are files that you worked on yesterday no longer where you saved them? Or are you receiving error messages when you are trying to save over the top of existing files? This is most likely caused by an error with the drive preventing it from writing new data correctly.

Clunking noises

This one is really bad. Repetitive clicking or clunking noises coming from your hard drive can indicate that parts of the hardware like the bearings or spinning motor are failing and the hard drive is most likely about to cark it.

Computer stops recognising the drive

Have you ever booted up your Mac and received a grey screen with question mark icon? If so this is a dead ringer for a faulty hard drive. If any of these things start happening to you, make a back up of your drive pronto.

What’s the solution?

In most cases a hard drive will start to fail gradually and if you can pick up on the signs of this before the drive is completely fried the issue is super simple to deal with. Installing a special drive call an SSD is the way to go. It’s much faster than a regular hard drive and it has no moving parts, meaning it’s much more durable as well. Get in touch with us and for a fraction of the cost of a new laptop or an expensive data recovery service, The Mac Mechanic will have you back up and running in no time.

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