Causes of laptop hard drive failure

The main symptoms of a hard drive malfunction

Hard disk faults can be divided into the following groups:

  • Logical (accidental formatting, file directory corruption due to a virus attack, operating system crashes).
  • Mechanical (failure of the control unit, jamming of the spindle, failure of magnetic heads, unreadable sectors, physical wear).

It is important to notice the signs of hard drive failure as early as possible so that the hardware does not permanently fail. Signs of mechanical problems include:

  • Inability to start the operating system.
  • Certain sectors are not read or the disk is not visible in the BIOS.
  • The appearance of a blue screen.
  • Appearance of messages.
  • Spontaneous computer restart.
  • Operating system crashes while writing or reading files.
  • Lack of access to documents or their disappearance.
  • Slow file handling.
  • Extraneous noise during operation (tapping, rustling, clicks, etc.).

When the hard disk drive is malfunctioning the controller, the drive does not make any sound during system startup and does not vibrate. The files that are on the hard drive are saved, but there is no access to them. If a tapping is heard during operation, then this indicates damage to the magnetic heads. The presence of a sharp whistle indicates a malfunction of the spindle. The presence of bad sectors says the following:

  • Slow down reading.
  • System error messages.
  • Windows crashes.

The logical causes of a hard drive failure are similar to a mechanical failure. But at the same time, the disk remains visible in the BIOS, and during operation there is no extraneous noise.

Identifying hard drive malfunctions

A hard disk is essential for long-term storage of information. Hard drive failures can lead to unstable computer operation and loss of important and irreplaceable files.

HDD problems can be associated with natural aging of the device. Like any mechanical device, the hard drive has a certain working life. For example, Seagate manufactures hard drives that can withstand up to 50,000 power-on and power-off cycles.

causes, laptop, hard, drive

Winchester may refuse to work due to overheating. HDD temperature readings should not rise above 55 degrees. Its check is carried out using special utilities. This software includes AIDA. If the hard drive will have a higher temperature, then additional cooling should be installed. It should be borne in mind that low temperature readings are no less dangerous. It should not be less than 20 degrees.

Increased vibration is also dangerous for the hard drive. Such hard drive problems can lead to bad sectors. A problem arises during the operation of the fans in the video card, CPU coolers and power supply. The hard drive should be attached to the case using rubber washers. Whenever possible, choose such video cards where the cooler works at low speeds. It is important to buy the best models of hard drives, where the spindle is fixed not only from the bottom, but also to the top of the lid.

There may also be a hard drive malfunction due to mechanical damage. The reason is a weak or low-quality power supply. When the computer is turned on, the actual power consumption of the system is much higher than normal values. A poor-quality power supply unit will not have time to correct the voltage in a fairly quick time. To solve this problem, you need to have at least 20% of the power reserve.

Violations of operating rules can lead to problems with the hard drive. This is especially true for laptops and external drives. If the portable disk is dropped while it is on, it will cause the magnetic heads to stick and twist the spindle. Laptops are used when traveling in transport, and the presence of shaking negatively affects the state of the hard drive. If manufacturers report reliability in shock, then this applies only to a disconnected device with parked heads.

Solving hard drive problems

When the first signs of HDD malfunction appear, you need to quickly save information to the cloud or to a backup medium. This will be relevant when the tapping of the magnetic heads appears. Due to a similar problem, the hard drive can completely fail at any time.

After saving all the important information, you need to open the computer case and remove the data cables from the contacts on the motherboard and on the hard drive itself. Then the contacts are cleaned of dust. The process should be carried out carefully, without opening the hard drive case. Winchesters are quite sensitive to dust.

The hard drive may be malfunctioning due to the use of a weak power supply. It simply doesn’t have enough power to run the HDD. Additional consumers of electricity can be temporarily turned off. The easiest way to check that the hard drive is not damaged is to connect it to another computer.

Antivirus software starts up and the computer is scanned. It is better to do this with a bootable CD, which is offered by many antivirus vendors. Images of such discs are available on the Internet.

Using special programs to check the status of the hard drive

If you are using the Windows operating system, then you can detect hard disk problems in all versions of the OS using the built-in utility:

  • Opens “Properties” of the disk, the correct operation of which is in doubt.
  • Go to the “Service” tab.
  • We select the item “Perform check”.

If the test results show that there are malfunctions in the hard disk, then you need to quickly replace and restore data from a saved backup.

Victoria is the most popular utility among third-party software. It searches for bad sectors, marks them as non-working and tries to recover. To check the hard drive you need:

  • Mark the hard drive on the first tab.
  • Go to the Tests menu.
  • Run HDD Test.

If rectangles with an access time of 200. 600 ms are shown, which are colored green or orange, it means that the sectors of the hard drive are damaged. You must select the Remap item for the utility to mark them as non-working. In this case, you will need to replace the hard drive.

Novice users can use the free Seagate SeaTools utility. It has a Russian interface and is available on the manufacturer’s website. A full description of the program is available in the “Help” section.

  • Seagate for DOS. It looks like a bootable disk in ISO format. When booting from it, you can find problems on the hard drive, and then try to fix them. Using this version will help to avoid problems that arise due to the operating system accessing the disk.
  • SeaTools for Windows. Used to work under OS control.

Diagnose hard drive health

If the disk is not functional, is not detected in the BIOS, emits uncharacteristic sounds, then in all these cases immediately give it to specialists, do not try to restore it yourself: each inclusion (especially in case of head problems), and even more so, an opening will aggravate the situation.

If the hard drive is correctly detected, but the operating system cannot be loaded or the data is not available, then first of all it is necessary to check the status of the hard disk using diagnostics.

S.M.A.R.T. technology (Self Monitoring Analysing and Reporting Technology) is a technology for assessing the health of a hard disk using the built-in self-diagnosis of the disk. Smart monitors the basic characteristics of the drive. Each characteristic is assigned an initial value at the factory. 100 or 254. Also, for each attribute, a threshold value is set. the minimum, upon reaching which the disk is considered damaged.

As the drive operates and wears out, these values ​​(current value) are constantly decreasing until the threshold value is reached. Your task is to check the critical parameters for reaching the threshold.

The following are considered critical parameters of disk health: Raw Read Error Rate, Time, Reallocated Sectors Count, Seek Error Rate, Retry Count, Reallocation Event Count, Current Pending Sector Count, Uncorrectable Sector Count. Deterioration of attributes

  • Raw Read Error Rate and Seek Error Rate indicates the wear of the magnetic surface or the PMG heads;
  • Time and Retry Count talk about problems with the disc mechanics;
  • Reallocated Sectors Count, Reallocation Event Count and Current Pending Sector Count, Uncorrectable Sector Count. about presence. already moved and ready to move.

You can check the hard drive using special utilities. both paid and free. We recommend HDDScan, HDD Health, Victoria, MHDD, HD Tune. If you find a large number. then do not try to recover data yourself using programs such as Easy Recovery. they will have little effect, and will only complicate the further recovery of disk data with professional software. contact us immediately for professional data recovery.

Hard drive device

We will not describe in detail the device of the hard drive, however, we will consider the main components in order to understand what malfunctions can be encountered when diagnosing a hard drive.

Winchester consists of HDA and power and control board.

The HDA is sealed to prevent dust from getting inside, but there is no vacuum inside. The hermetic block is filled with air at a pressure of one atmosphere to create an “air cushion” between the discs and heads.

The requirements for air purity are extremely high. there should be no dust grains larger than 0.3 microns. In this regard, hard drives should never be disassembled under normal conditions.

Here is what the HDA looks like from the inside:

  • A spindle (axis) is installed inside the HDA with one or more magnetic disks (“pancakes”) mounted on it, located one above the other.
  • Under them is a motor that spins the spindle to the desired speed. Sometimes there is a problem with the wedge of the spindle motor bearings, as a result of which the motor cannot spin the discs.
  • The magnetic heads are combined into a magnetic head unit (BMG), which moves them all at the same time and positions them over the desired cylinder of the magnetic disk.
  • The BMG drive moves the heads from the center of the discs to their edges and sets them on a given cylinder. It is called a positioner. Closer to the connectors inside the HDA, there is a rotary positioner of the magnetic heads.
  • The positioner coil is a permanent magnet (stator). The positioner is connected to the preamplifier board with a flexible ribbon cable or solid wires. In a typical drive design, the voice coil is rigidly coupled to the head block and housed in the permanent magnet field, so that when no control signals are applied to the PMG, it is always in the same position — the parked position. In the parked position, the heads are on the edge of the disc and cannot be damaged by shaking, nor can they scratch the surface of magnetic discs.

Modern hard disk drives have the function of automatic magnetic heads, when the power is turned off, the heads are installed on a certain, most often the last, cylinder. This parking section is called the Landing Zone, or abbreviated.

During operation, an electrical impulse arriving at the coil causes its displacement relative to the rigidly fixed permanent magnet, while moving the head unit at a given angle. provides amplification of the signal supplied from the magnetic heads when reading to the control board.

Problems with reading data can occur as damage to the heads themselves, and burnout of the preamplifier chip or damage to the magnetic disks themselves (scratches or cuts on it).

Moving coil actuators use a special head positioning system called a servo drive, which uses a feedback signal that provides information about the actual relative position of the tracks and heads.

During the production of a hard drive, the surface is marked, dividing it into tracks and filling in special technical information. servo codes or servo tags. The heads will be guided by them, positioning themselves above this or that sector.

Servo marks are not erased by any type of formatting, but they can be damaged if the integrity of the surface is violated. The electronics board contains a microcircuit for controlling the spindle motor, the BMG drive and with a unique firmware. Often the control functions are performed by the combo drive microcircuit. If it fails, the hard drive will naturally be inoperative. it will not make sounds.

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If you want to study the structure of the HDD in more detail. look at the picture below.

Diagnostics of the hard drive. Typical HDD malfunctions

A hard disk (hard drive, HDD) is one of the most unreliable nodes of both a computer and a laptop. This is due to the fact that hard drives have both mechanical moving parts and electronic control boards. Any mechanical assembly introduces great unreliability due to the fact that mechanical assemblies suffer greatly from vibrations, shakes, shocks.

Typical hard drive failures

All hard drive malfunctions can be subdivided into software and hardware. Hardware requires disk repair in order to retrieve data from it. Most often, hard drives fail due to falls, shocks and other mechanical damage. In this case, either the heads themselves are often damaged, or the surface of the discs is scratched, or both.

In this case, it is necessary to replace the head block from exactly the same donor. There are times when one of the heads fails and the disk is partially accessible. In this case, it is possible to read data on one or several heads without replacing the BMG.

The switch preamplifier is damaged by power surges or damage to the control board. The control board may fail, instability of the power supply of the hard drive, bad power supplies of the computer. The control board is repaired or more often replaced from a donor with a disk flashing (replacement of the service).

Unfortunately, the replacement of the board itself is useless and can even “kill the heads” of the BMG of the discrepancy between the physical information and the service information about the heads and sectors in the firmware. Considering that a unique firmware is embedded in the controller, thanks to which the BIOS of the computer recognizes all the parameters of the hard drive, then in case of power instability or sudden reboots, the firmware may fly off, and the hard drive, electrically remaining in good working order, will no longer be detected in the BIOS or will be detected incorrectly.

The service area (“service”) is restored only in the technological mode at special stands. Cases of translator damage. sector addressing tables and disk defects are especially difficult. The spindle wedge is not so common, but it is typical for some Seagate HDDs and Toshiba notebooks. In this case, the engine is repaired, after which the data is copied from the disk. Engine jam can be eliminated by transferring pancakes to a working drive.

There are cases of sticking of the BMG heads on the surface of the disks. In this case, the containment zone is opened and the heads are withdrawn to the parking zone. After that, a copy is made to a working hard drive on the Data Extractor complex. Sticking often scratches the surface of discs, so do not try to turn on the disc after it has failed, because in this case, 100% recovery of HDD data is not guaranteed. Software malfunctions are most often associated with damage to disk sectors (appearance), which, in turn, leads to a violation of the file system. User data is not available. The percentage of successful recovery in each case is individual and depends on the number of damaged blocks.

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Change the hard drive to the iMac

Replacing a hard drive with an iMac has some differences, but it’s not difficult to install an SSD yourself. Rumors that aimaks have special drives, which can only be replaced in a specialized service, are greatly exaggerated.

Before starting work, stock up on T8, T10 screwdrivers and a pair of suction cups. Apple does not use the usual screws and bolts, but prefers hex sprockets.

The subtleties of working with MacBook Pro

Replacing HDD with SSD in MacBook Pro has recently become widespread among users. This is not surprising, because replacing HDD with SSD in a laptop is due to the desire for faster and more comfortable work of your pet, and Apple fans are no exception.

For esports players, installing an SSD in a laptop is a must.

  • productivity increase;
  • noise reduction;
  • weight reduction;
  • increase in operating time;
  • the device will heat up less.

To replace an SSD on a MacBook, there may be various reasons, breakdown or lack of space, and it is not at all necessary to contact service centers. Anyone who can work with a screwdriver can replace the hard drive on a MacBook Pro. Below you can watch a very detailed video on replacing an SSD drive on a MacBook Pro.

We prepare the PH0 and T6 screwdrivers and get to work:

  • Turn the device over and unscrew the screws.
  • Carefully lift the lid and remove it.
  • The hard drive is held by a 2-piece mount, unscrew the one closer to the HDD.
  • Since it is necessary to remove the hard drive from the laptop carefully without damaging it, the manufacturers have provided the device with a special tongue. Pulling the tab, raise the hard drive and remove the second part of the mount.
  • Replacing a laptop hard drive requires caution. Carefully disconnect the cable connecting the hard drive to the board.
  • Unscrew the hexagons located on the sides and screw them into the new SSD.
  • We install a new media and reassemble everything in the reverse order, the replacement of the hard drive in the laptop is completed. Old hard HDD can be used as additional external storage.


According to statistics for 2016, one of the most popular procedures in service centers is replacing an HDD with an SSD. Increasingly, laptop owners are replacing their old magnetic hard drives with modern solid state drives. Solid State Drive appeared in 2009 and immediately gained popularity. SSD differs from the usual Hard Disk Drive, whose work is to rotate, in a fundamentally different work based on chips.

Before installing an SSD on a laptop, it is useful to weigh the pros and cons.

Among the disadvantages are:

  • higher cost;
  • small capacity;
  • lower MTBF (number of write / rewrite cycles) relative to old HDD.

And here is a short video that clearly shows what the replacement of a conventional hard drive with a solid-state drive will give.

Advantages of an SSD over a conventional hard drive:

  • lower power consumption;
  • improves the speed of work several times;
  • improved ergonomics;
  • does not make noise and does not heat up;
  • no vibration.

Step-by-step process of replacing HDD to SSD in iMac:

  • Unplug the cord from the socket;
  • The monitor glass is held in place by magnets. We attach the suction cups to the glass at the top of the screen and detach it with a smooth motion;
  • We unscrew the matrix. Use a T10 screwdriver to unscrew the side hexagons, there should be 8 of them. The sides of the aimag are magnetized, so tweezers can be used for the convenience of removing the stars;
  • Disconnect the matrix carefully. Lift up, disconnect the wire from the motherboard, then lift it a little higher and disconnect the flex cable and one more wire;
  • Using a T8 screwdriver, unscrew the hexagons holding the HDD;
  • We take out the old HDD and disconnect it from the holder;
  • Installing a new hard drive and reassembling everything in reverse order.

The screwdrivers can be magnetized for easier removal and tightening of the hex.

Causes of clicks and squeaks in the hard drive

Why does the hard drive click or knock? Technically, this sound occurs when the positioning of the readheads occurs. That is, they return to the spindle, to the parking spot.

The hard drive clicks for a number of reasons. The most harmless of them are:

  • Self-test of the device, during which the hard drive “marks” bad sectors;
  • Switching to the power saving mode causes the hard disk to turn off (with the appropriate power saving settings);
  • Power outages are also the cause (can occur with a faulty laptop battery, power surges in the network);
  • Temperature rise inside the fuser.

One of the most unpleasant and hard-to-remove causes of clicks is damage to the ferromagnetic layer or servo marking of the disc. Because of this, the positioning of the readheads occurs. This state of affairs threatens the loss of all information stored on the disk.

Not only knocks and clicks, but also squeaks occur when the heads stop “seeing” the servo marking due to a malfunction. They do not receive signals from it, and they begin to move and “search” for this marking.

As a result, extraneous sounds appear. Similar sounds occur when there is an error loading the firmware of the hard drive.

The HDD brand is also important. Although their devices are similar, they can signal a particular problem in different ways. Also, the hard drive can knock after the laptop falls. In this case, this indicates that the heads are out of order.

Why is my hard drive clicking? The main causes and remedies of the problem

Why is my hard drive clicking? The main causes and remedies of the problem

Why is my hard drive clicking? The main causes and remedies of the problem

If the hard drive clicks, it could be an indication of a serious problem with the PC or laptop.

The hard drive is the main storage device for any PC, be it a desktop computer or a laptop.

The safety of data and the possibility of their recovery directly depend on its serviceability and normal operation.

Therefore, it is very important to control the operation of this device. What should I do if my hard drive clicks, why is this happening, and how do I deal with this problem? This is described in the material below.

Recovering information from a carrier

In some cases, there may be a situation when the hard disk is no longer detected or does not start, and the information on it has not been saved in advance. If you do something wrong in such a situation, it can be lost forever.

First, check if this drive is “seen” by the BIOS. If the disk is detected in it, then there is an opportunity to “save” the data. But if the disk is not displayed, it means that data recovery will most likely fail.

There is a radical method of temporarily restoring the device. To do this, remove the disk from the computer and tightly, hermetically pack in a plastic bag.

Place the package in the freezer overnight. At the same time, make sure that snow and ice do not fall on the package. In the morning, take out the disc, unpack it and connect it to your PC. In some cases, it may start.

In this case, save all important data very quickly. Detach the drive again. The point of this action is to quickly save the data until the disk gets warm again. As soon as this happens, it will stop working again. Of course, the probability that the hard drive will turn on after such measures is not too high.

It should be noted that after such measures, the device is unlikely to work normally. Most likely, the work will be extremely slow, with a lot of errors. Therefore, copying information should start with the most important files. Since there may not be time left for other times.

The specialists in the service center will be able to most competently try to recover information from the disk. It is better to use their services without resorting to freezing. This will save a lot of data more likely.

Why is my hard drive clicking? The main causes and remedies of the problem

Why is my hard drive clicking? The main causes and remedies of the problem

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Why is my hard drive clicking? The main causes and remedies of the problem

Why is my hard drive clicking? The main causes and remedies of the problem

Hard disk device and principle of operation

Often the appearance of extraneous and atypical sounds during the operation of a hard disk is associated with its device. Accordingly, in order to troubleshoot the problem, you also need to familiarize yourself with the hard disk device.

The device can be glass or metal. Round plates are made of these materials, on which a special ferromagnetic layer is applied. It is on the ferromagnetic layer that the information is written directly.

One device can include one or more plates. If there are several of them, then they are separated by layers of non-magnetic material.

Such a structure has a part that directly stores information. But there is another part of the hard drive. reading and transmitting the available data. They are read using magnetic heads mounted on relatively movable bases.

The head is fixed a few nanometers from the ferromagnetic layer. At such a distance, it remains due to the air flow, which is formed during the rapid rotation of the plate with the information layer.

The faster the plates rotate, the faster you can access information. It is the speed of their rotation that is one of the main operational characteristics of the layer. At rest when the computer is turned off, the readheads return to the dedicated parking area.

This zone is located at the center of rotation (spindle). While in it, the heads cannot damage the disc.

Such discs have a rather long service life. This is ensured due to the fact that the recording and reading of information occurs contactlessly.

Troubleshooting on your own

It is very important to at least approximately establish the cause of the problem. To do this, you first need to exclude all the most likely causes. Check what power saving mode options are set on the computer.

Perhaps he turns off the hard drive at the time of switching to this mode. Because of this, the reading heads are returned to their place.

If you suspect a power outage, try installing a different battery in your laptop. Or, on the contrary, install a known working hard drive in your device. If clicks are heard in this case, then problems with the HDD can be excluded.

You can find out the state of the hard drive using the system resource:

  • Left-click on the hard disk image;
  • Select “Properties”;
  • Open the “Service” tab;
  • Run the “Run Check” function;
  • Check the boxes for “Automatic troubleshooting” and “Check and repair sectors”.

After completing such a check, you must restart your computer. In some cases, no other action is required. Such an impact can eliminate the problem.

However, immediately after rebooting the operating system, all data on the disk must be saved. And the disk itself should be replaced with a new one as soon as possible.

Checking the temperature of the hard drive is carried out using the programs HDDlife or HWMonitor. The normal temperature of the hard drive is 40-50 degrees. If its temperature is higher, then most likely the knock appears precisely because of it.

If a scan with diagnostic utilities found that the temperature of the hard drive is higher than 45-55 degrees, then it must be lowered. To do this, you need to carry out the following set of measures:

  • Clean the device from dust and dirt;
  • Connect an external cooler for general cooling of the system;
  • Raise the laptop above the table, put it on legs or a stand so that the external openings are not blocked by anything, and air flows freely through them.

In any case, the hard drive itself, after the first clicks appear, is already non-repairable. Therefore, the main actions in this case should be aimed at saving important data. Since at any time such a disk can disconnect at any time.

Smart Hard Drive Diagnostic Programs

How to check the status of the hard drive using programs? Each HDD and SSD has a built-in S.M.A.R.T (Self Monitoring Analysing and Reporting Technology) technology. assessing the health of a hard drive.

There are a number of characteristics that are assigned a certain value, for example, 100 or 254. These values ​​are initial from the factory and if deviated from them, it is considered that the disk has a malfunction or is approaching some kind of failure.

There are special programs that measure S.M.A.R.T. Let’s look at CrystalDiskInfo as an example. The tool is easy to find on the Internet, there is an installation version and Portable in a Zip archive.

After starting, a window will open with all the detailed data of the disk. If the technical condition is Good, that is, “Good”, then there are no problems yet. Service information is shown at the top, such as firmware, serial number, interface, and so on.

S.M.A.R.T Diagnostics with CrystalDiskInfo

Below are already important attributes that are important to us. It is worth paying attention to “Read errors”, “Promotion time”, “Reassigned sectors”, “Retry attempts to unwind”, “Unstable sectors”, “Unrecoverable sector errors”. In general, all parameters matter.

  • Value (Current). this state may be constantly changing and is not an indicator that determines the health of the HDD.
  • Worst is the value coming from the current “Value” for the entire time the disk is running.
  • Threshold is an important value and should be less than Value. If the Threshold is less than the current state, then everything is in order, if on the contrary, then there are problems with the disk. But sometimes the utility can make a mistake. That is, even if there is a greater Value than Threshold, from the point of view of the user’s analysis, the disk may have problems. squeaks, knocks, slowdowns, etc. In this case, the RAW parameter is used for the final assessment of health.
  • RAW (Data). indicates the real indicators in various number systems (by default in hexadecimal). The ability to determine the RAW indicator, the user will easily understand the formation of the Value value. But this value is individual for each manufacturer and is hidden under a veil of secrecy.

Root Causes of Hard Drive Failure

Basically, faults are divided into two types. logical (software) errors and hardware faults.

In the first case, it is the information that suffers, but the hard drive is technically good. Information is not available for any reason. These reasons include the following:

  • Accidentally or intentionally formatting a disk.
  • File system corruption.
  • Removing disk partitions.

To return the disk to working condition, the user does not need to open the HDA. Software malfunctions are solved by software methods.

Hardware faults are a more serious problem, as there is not always a chance to fix it. Usually, it is always necessary to repair internal elements, for example, control board, power supply, a jammed motor, installing new plates, aligning, replacing BMG. After the “revitalization” of the hard disk, it is necessary to make a sector-by-sector copy of the disk, and this can be done only with the help of special tools. software and hardware complex.

Other utilities to check HDD status

So, if you notice the above signs of a hard drive breakdown, then you should think about both repairing and replacing the hard drive. Repair, of course, is a complicated procedure and cannot be done at home, so it is recommended only to replace the hard drive.

To reduce the likelihood of hard drive failure, several important conditions must be met.

HDA content

  • Inside is the base of the disk. the spindle on which the magnetic disks are located
  • Below is a motor that spins the spindle up to the speed set by the manufacturer. Interruptions sometimes occur with the engine, that is, the bearings jam and the discs do not spin.
  • Magnetic head unit (BMG). consists of magnetic heads that move and position over magnetic disks.
  • The block of magnetic heads is moved using the BMG drive, thus, it moves them from the center of the discs to the edges.
  • There is also a rotary MG positioner inside the HDA. Its winding is a permanent magnet, or stator.

As you can see, the hard drive consists of a large number of elements that are constantly moving, rotating and positioning.

All hard drives have a so-called “parking” mode. This means that when the power is turned off, the heads move to the last cylinder and are fixed there, and it is located on the edge of the disks. The parking zone is called the Landing Zone.

How to reduce the chance of hard drive failure

  • Monitor the quality of the computer’s power supply. This important device can be of poor-quality assembly, which means that not only disks, but also other components will fall under the power drops. The same applies to laptops.
  • The hard drive should absolutely not be subjected to shaking or falling, especially for external hard drives.
  • Usually, hard drives rarely overheat. In my memory, for 11 years, my disks have never overheated, but this is still possible due to external factors. Make sure that the cooling system in the system unit is working properly. Also, to avoid overheating, clean your computer from dust more often.
  • A high frequency of turning on and off the HDD is very harmful, and this comes from quickly turning on and off the computer. Increase the interval between switching on and off by at least half a minute.
  • To speed up the system, defragment your hard drive. Typically, in modern operating systems, this procedure is enabled by default and is performed automatically.

Hard drive problems

  • Bad sectors (bad-blocks) are sectors that cannot be read, they are also called bad blocks. This phenomenon occurs due to damage to the plates in some area. Bad sectors can be checked programmatically, for example, using CrystalDiskInfo. If you notice that the disk starts to make noise, you hear creaks, files start opening with slowdowns, the read / write speed is very low. With a high probability, the disk is gradually damaged and there are already a lot of bad sectors. Information can only be restored by backing up to another disk.

A technical failure of a hard drive is a very serious problem, especially when it contains important files and documents. Mechanisms can be restored using special tools and a special clean room.

Hard disk device

For general development, this paragraph will describe the HDD device. If you are not interested, then you can skip this section and go to the topic.

To identify the causes of a hard drive failure, a specialist needs to know what the drive consists of. Knowing the device, you will understand why a hard drive should never be opened by yourself without the appropriate knowledge and equipment.

Just know, if you open the HDA cover now, you can throw the hard drive into the trash.

The first thing you should pay attention to is that the hard disk has a control and power board, as well as a HDA.

Hermetic block (HDA) is a regular cover that tightly covers the main elements inside. This is necessary so that small dust particles and moisture do not get inside, because this may cause the device to fail. There is no vacuum inside the HDA, as many might deduct from some articles. Air and a pressure of 1 atm (atmosphere), so that an “air cushion” forms inside the case between the magnetic disks and the heads.

Causes of a computer or laptop hard drive breakdown

What if the computer does not see the hard drive. What are the causes of this problem? Maybe the device is simply out of order? Let’s talk about it.

A hard disk (HDD, Hard Disk Drive) is one of the most important components of a computer and laptop, designed to store data. Has many moving mechanisms.

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It is the moving parts of the hard drive that are the biggest problem so far. Manufacturers have not yet solved this problem, but only increase the amount of memory and other parameters.

There are huge disks of 10 TB. An ordinary user does not need so much memory. Even if he acquires it, it is unlikely that he will fill it even half. And suddenly, by pure chance, it will fail. Consider overpaying money in vain.

The most convenient, high-quality, fast and most importantly reliable device are solid-state drives (SSD). Their only drawback is that they are very expensive. If for 1 TB of hard disk you give, for example, 3 thousand, then for the same price you can buy an SSD of only 120 GB.

Let’s go directly to the consideration of the issue.

DIY laptop hard drive repair

Many people try to fix all problems with their own hands, even if they are not experts in one area or another. If we are talking about repairing a laptop hard drive with your own hands, you need to understand that all information from the disk will be deleted. Therefore, you need to resort to self-repair only if the information is duplicated or there is no need for it. Repair may be required in such cases:

  • there are traces of dents and blows;
  • pancakes do not spin;
  • disc heads clink loudly;
  • disc spins noisily.

How to repair a disc head

If the hard drive on the laptop breaks down and the head needs to be repaired, the first step is to find a donor. A donor is a new drive that is installed in place of the broken one. It must match the hard drive model and be functional.

The most important thing is to know how to remove the hard drive from the laptop correctly. You need to unscrew the screws on it, but the problem is that not all models have them. After that, it is necessary to remove the cover from the disk, but do this very carefully, since it has a disk gasket, which in no case should be damaged. First, the magnet is removed, and only then the screws are unscrewed.

When the magnet is removed, you will see a VCM coil. The heads are located immediately behind it. it will not be difficult to remove them. It is enough to twist the discs from side to side, as they can stick to the surface of the magnet. To prevent the heads from sticking together, it is necessary to insert some kind of material between them. It could be a piece of cloth or paper. In place of the removed heads, you will need to put new ones. This should be done with tweezers and always with rubber gloves.

When the heads are installed, you need to put the magnet back in place, close the lid, tighten the screws and insert the disk into the laptop. If the data is displayed after a reboot, then everything was done correctly.

How to repair a hard drive if it doesn’t read correctly

Errors of this kind can be detected by special diagnostic software. The reasons for a hard drive failure on a laptop can be the following:

  • channels transmitting data do not work well;
  • the disk surface is out of order;
  • components of management are not working properly.

In this case, it is better to entrust the recovery of a hard drive on a laptop to professionals. It will not be possible to carry out repairs on your own.

What to do if the information on the disk is damaged

If the hard drive on the laptop flew and the information was damaged, in this case, the breakdown can be diagnosed by the following signs:

  • the computer does not see the disk;
  • I cannot see the amount of information on the disk;
  • the hard drive makes strange sounds during operation.

Such a malfunction is the result of a breakdown of the disk program or failure of one of the heads. In the latter case, damaged information can be restored only in individual cases, or you can try to reduce the storage capacity. If all heads are in order, there is no need to reduce the disk space. Here you need to overwrite service information using special programs for the hard disk.

How to check the hard drive on a laptop

If the hard drive or HDD, as it is also called, makes strange noises, whether it be clanking, rattling or something else, this may indicate a serious breakdown that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. There can be many reasons for strange noises. weak fragmentation, disk expiration, and so on.

It is very bad if the BIOS (BOIS) does not see the hard drive on the laptop. You can check this by clicking on the frame with a description of the equipment that appears on the screen during the initial boot.

But there is nothing wrong with that. To fix the problem, you need to clear the disk of information. You can use a bootable CD that includes Diskedit. The computer should work after reboot.

Damage to the disc surface

If the hard drive on the laptop is warming up or makes strange sounds, then there is surface damage. It occurs if the laptop is dropped or the disc is scratched. The impact will damage the magnet heads and should be replaced immediately. In this case, it will be impossible to recover the information recorded on the disc.

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Information recovery

If the hard drive has broken down, then the question of how to recover data is asked by almost everyone. Today, you can recover lost files on your own without resorting to the help of specialists. There are recovery programs for this, but they do not give a full guarantee. If all the nuances are observed, it is possible to return most of the stored information.

The principle of operation of the programs is to scan the surface of the storage device. In this case, some files are restored only partially, their name and location are lost.

Popular data recovery software:

  • R-Studio is one of the most famous programs for recovering deleted information. With certain settings, disk scanning is reduced and it is possible to set the recovery area of ​​the hard drive. The program is available in Russian, which makes it very easy to work with.
  • Minitool Power Data performs a deep scan, which makes it possible to recover files that other similar programs ignore. The advantage of this utility is the ability to reanimate the entire disk.
  • Rekuva is an easy-to-use program with a wide range of functions. Allows you to recover information by setting the search area.

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Any owner of a computer sooner or later faces such a problem. a hard drive has broken. In order to minimize the risk of data loss, you need to make it a rule to duplicate all important information on another medium. You also need to know that before a breakdown, certain malfunctions appear in the PC, which are harbingers of the death of a storage device.

Laptop hard drive malfunctions

If the hard drive on the laptop breaks down, then it stops working and there is a possibility of losing all saved data. The signs of breakage are the same as on the PC. But mechanical damage is not always the cause of a hard drive malfunction:

  • There are virus programs that can encrypt stored information.
  • Malicious programs that damage operating system loaders.

Harbingers of breakage

Before the hard drive finally breaks down, there are signs indicating this:

  • Slowdown of the computer is reflected in the system startup. PC performance decreases and this is the reason for checking the hard drive.
  • If the computer constantly restarts, then one of the reasons may be a problem with the hard disk.

If you find any malfunctions in the computer, the best option would be to turn it off. If the hard drive breaks down, then prolonged use of the PC will lead to irreversible consequences. The storage area will become inaccessible and complete data loss will occur. You can find and fix the breakdown yourself, but it is better to seek help from specialized computer repair services.

Signs of hard drive failure

It is possible to determine that if the computer does not work correctly, it is the hard drive that is out of order, according to certain signs. How to understand if a hard drive is broken:

  • The appearance of a blue screen while the PC is running or booting indicates that the media is broken. The system is unable to read the bad sectors and Windows shuts down or restarts. This leads to the loss of unsaved information.
  • If there are strange noises that resemble a clinking sound while the PC is running, then the head unit on the hard disk may be broken. In this case, you can try to disconnect the device and start it again. The reason for incorrect reading of information can also be the accumulation of dust on the read-write elements.
  • If, on the contrary, when the PC is turned on, the hard disk does not emit any sounds, then this may mean damage to the batteries. Such malfunctions occur during power surges, but modern devices are equipped with protection against power surges. But if this happened, then it is easy to fix everything by replacing the fuse. Also, the reason why the hard drive does not make any sounds can be sticky heads.
  • The appearance of such an inscription on the screen as “disk or device not found” indicates that the hard disk is broken. You can find out which faults are present using special diagnostic programs.
  • Modern storage devices are more resistant to overheating than older models. But it still happens, and excessive heating of the electronic boards is a sign that the drive is broken. Determining the presence of such a malfunction is very simple. It is enough to know that the maximum permissible temperature regime for the operation of the hard drive is 50. and touching a hand to a working device will not cause discomfort. If the temperature is higher than the norm, then you will feel it.
  • It is possible to determine that the hard drive is broken by the time of access to the files. If there is a problem, then a routine procedure such as emptying the trash can take several hours.
  • Signs that the hard drive is broken are signs such as damage and disappearance of files, program malfunctions.

How to know if a hard drive is broken

Modern hard drives have built-in programs for monitoring its condition. To find out about possible malfunctions and malfunctions, you need to decrypt the data that the system has collected. There are special programs for this. Some are designed to provide real-time diagnostics and email status.

If the hard drive is broken, then first of all you need to take care of saving the data. Even the likelihood that the hard drive will work for some time makes storing important information on it very risky.