Hard drives fail. At 24 Hour Data, we know this better than anyone. On the pages of this blog, we frequently talk about physical and logical hard drive failure. Logical failure typically involves corruption of files or accidentally deleted data. Physical failure means damage to the hard disk drive itself.
Drives may fail to varying extents. The damage might be complete, with no hope for recovery, or the drive may be easily recoverable. Data loss from logical disk drive failure can usually be fixed by a professional data recovery service.
It’s important to remember that attempting do-it-yourself data recovery can turn what would be a relatively “easy” logical recovery for a professional service into a data recovery disaster, where it is either impossible or very time-consuming and expensive to recover lost and damaged data. Whenever you lose data, whether it’s one file or an entire drive, call data recovery professionals to help.
Let’s look at three different ways a hard drive can fail and the steps you should take when this happens.
When the magnetic disk head continues to contact the rotating platter, this can lead to progressive damage. If the head continues scraping the platter, the data may become unrecoverable.
You can often detect a head crash if a hard disk drive is making grinding or clicking noises. If the drive is still use-able and you did not lose any data, back up your files immediately and replace the drive. If you’ve already lost data, which is often the case, contact a professional data recovery service to extract the data.
Bad sectors can occur from logical or physical damage. A bad sector is a space on the hard drive platter that won’t read or write data. Bad sectors can occur on traditional hard disk drives or solid state drives after time. A sector of the drive may become worn down or damaged from too many read/write cycles.
If only one bad sector occurs, this could be an isolated incident. But when repeated bad sectors are created, it could be a sign of hard disk failure, which could lead to complete data loss. If you continue experiencing bad sectors but your hard disk drive is still booting, copy all data from the drive and replace it. Do not continue to use the drive or you risk complete hard disk failure and data loss.
A hard drive is a complex piece of equipment with multiple moving parts. Even non-moving parts, like the sensitive circuit board, can become damaged and fail, leading to complete data loss.
Hard drive failure caused by mechanical damage is always considered physical damage and requires the help of data recovery professionals to extract your data.
Using a drive after it shows signs of partial failure can lead to complete data loss.