ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How do Hard Drives Crash

Updated on June 1, 2009
Hard Drive Crashes: Keeping computer repair people in business
Hard Drive Crashes: Keeping computer repair people in business

How does a hard drive crash happen?

When a computer costs as much as it does, we sort of have this inflated sense that it will last forever.  But, like anything, it can develop problems.  Hard drive crashes are not an uncommon problem to occur, and are very frustrating to say the least.  With all this technology abound, how is it that this can happen?

A hard drive crash is sometimes the end result of the magnetic coated platters becoming scratched or unaligned so that the coating is destroyed.  These platters play a central part in the central hard drive and store data within the alignment of the magnetic particles.  The read/write heads sense the alignment which allows you to access the data.  However, if dust is ever allowed to enter, watch out.  This will cause the heads to crash. 

If a computer is operating at a high pace with a large amount of data, it is also possible for malfunctions to occur because the actuator arm can become stressed from performing all the data accessing operations.  This will also cause a crash.  Sometimes the high spinning platters become overheated as well, which will cause harm to the magnetic coating.  All of these factors can alter data and create problems with recovery.

Another common cause of a hard drive crash is electrical overload.  Electrical surges can damage or destroy the internal circuitry, resulting in hard drive disaster.  Keeping the computer stored on a surface that allows air flow is crucial.   It is also important to keep a computer plugged in to a surge protector to prevent a crisis. 

How do you know a hard drive crash is eminent?  Clicking, whirring, grinding noises are a pretty good indicator.  This means the heads are starting to come off alignment or are locking up against the platters.  Shut down immediately! 

Another indicator is the computer is running very slowly.  This can mean that there is too much software running, but if you can’t even open files then a sector corruption may be in effect.  Try to copy important files as needed. 

A last symptom of a hard drive failure may be linked to the read/write heads, causing the hard drive to display in the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), but with the wrong drive information. This may also be a simple problem linked to the motherboard.  Either way, it is important to have a tech determine the real source. 

With any of these symptoms, it is important to let a professional take the look at the hard drive.  Most do-it-yourself techniques can really do more harm than good, particularly when this piece is so important to the life of your computer. 

A data recovery plan is important to have in place should this tragedy occur.  Important files should be backed up and stored regularly in order to retain efficiency.  You should be doing this regardless if you have one computer or are part of an entire network.  Hard drive crashes can happen to anyone at anytime, so be prepared if your time is up.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)