How to Spot an Impending Crash in Time to Save Your Files

Having a hard drive crash is one of the most frustrating problems for any computer user. This is especially true for people who don't back up all of their important files on a regular basis. Oftentimes, hard drive crashes can be predicted before they occur. Computers tend to give signals of a problem before a component stops working altogether. Knowing what to look for can give a person time to save their files or, in some instances, take steps to prevent the crash.

Certain sounds that come from a computer can be signs of potential hard drive problems. If it starts making a noise like grinding or clicking, it's time to take action. Also, whining or whirring noises mean that the disk is quickly spinning up and then slowing down. If this starts happening at random times or while the computer is booting, it can point to impending failure.

Error messages sometimes start popping up when a hard drive is about to crash. They might say “Disk Boot Failure,” “Hard Drive Is Not Formatted,” or “No Fixed Disk Present.” If this happens even once or twice, don't ignore it. Don't reformat the drive, either, or all of the data on it will be gone. The computer is trying to say that something is wrong. Make copies of any important files right away when an error message says something about a missing or inaccessible drive or disk.

Other hints of a possible hard drive problem are disappearing files, locking up during the boot process, and a computer that freezes a lot. These things can be easily overlooked or dismissed, but it's important not to procrastinate if they start happening often. All computers lock up once in a while, but if this happens on a regular basis during the boot process, it could point to a future hard drive crash. Files or parts of files that were recently saved may start mysteriously disappearing. Some of these things may ultimately be a software issue instead of hardware, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Software programs are available that can monitor the health of a hard drive. All hard drives degrade over time and fail eventually – the question is when it will happen. The software can display information like how fast the disk spins and whether it experiences extreme temperatures. Periodically paying attention to the software program will show changes over time that show when a hard drive is gradually degrading.

While these tips can help spot a hard drive crash in many cases, they aren't failsafe. Surprise hard drive crashes do occur with no warning. Similarly, when hard drive problems start showing up, there may be just minutes or even months before it crashes. That's why it's important to stay on top of backing up any vital files on both personal and work computers. When a hard drive unexpectedly stops working like it should, all is not necessarily lost. It's often still possible to extract important files by using data recovery services or software. This should be attempted as soon as possible after a problem is first noticed.

If you are a victim of data loss please consider Data Recovery Labs. For more information about our data recovery and computer forensic service please call us toll free at 866-340-0111.
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