November 16th, 2021

By Darren Jackson

Losing even a fraction of your data can be devastating. While things like games can be re-downloaded, other files such as family photos are often irreplaceable. 

Very often, losing files happens due to hard drive failure. Sometimes, it seems like problems can come out of nowhere, even if you have not used your computer lately! Many common computer issues, such as crashing and slowdowns, often have their roots in the malfunction or failure of hard disk drives.

You don’t need to be a computer technician to spot the warning signs or even address hard disk issues. Many typical hard disk problems can even be fixed without needing more than a little bit of time. Read on to learn how to identify and troubleshoot a few common hard disk issues. 

1. Are You Getting Malware?

Aside from “have you tried turning it off and on again,” this is probably the second most common thing to look for, and for a good reason. Malware can be devastating to your hard disks. It can cause file corruption, performance slowdowns, crashing, and even have physical effects in some cases!

The most crucial step is to, of course, to obtain trustworthy antivirus software to scan for any problems. TechMedic has connections to trusted software that can detect any kind of malicious virus.

2. Decongesting A Stuffed Disk

You’d be surprised how easy it is for your hard disk to become congested with continual use. Slowdowns are a telltale sign your disk is more than a little congested. TechMedic can help you optimize your computer by cleaning out bloatware, optimizing files, and helping you delete unwanted information that could be slowing down the computer.

Yet, you may find that your hard drive disk failure has come as a result of disk fragmentation, a side effect of the data storage process. Fragmentation is when your files are broken into pieces and spread across your drive, which increases load times.

Fragmentation can be fixed, and yearly maintenance by TechMedic can keep fragmentation at bay. Defragment on your own through the Operating System was an easy solution in the past, but as Hard Drives have changed and optimized, more sophisticated software is needed to keep up with those changes.

3. Navigating Error Messages

Sometimes, it’s not file corruption, slowdowns, or crashing that indicates hard drive failure. You might attempt to load a file or access the drive and receive an error message with a strange string of letters and numbers. These messages can mean a wide variety of things, so you should always start by writing down this error message, the time and date that it occurred, and calling TechMedic. This gives us ample information to better understand why the error message has occurred.

Common problems include bad sectors, issues with physical connections, or potential driver issues. This can all be taken care of by TechMedic.

4. Looking For Physical Problems

Sometimes, error messages and common issues may be indicative of something physically wrong with your hard drive. Other times, you may find symptoms directly indicating something physically amiss, such as your hard drive making noise. If you believe that you have some sort of physical hard drive failure and would like to investigate, TechMedic can provide a quick diagnostic on what the hardware issue may be by bringing the device into our service location in Saint George, Utah.

Before you do, though, consider a few things.

  1. How old is your drive?
  2. Is this a one-off issue, or have you been having repeat problems?
  3. Are your files backed up?

Unfortunately, hard disks have a lifespan and will go bad with time. If you’ve found that you’re having repeat issues that seemingly resolve themselves, and your problems only seem to be multiplying, your drive might be near the end of its life! TechMedic can assist in ensuring your files are backed up and replace your drive as soon as possible; you cannot save a dying drive. 

If you believe it to be something other than age and wish to proceed with a physical inspection, start with powering down your computer and unplugging the power supply. Call TechMedic to schedule a time for a diagnostic exam. If something is found to be wrong with the computer and you’re ready to have it repaired, we’ll waive the diagnostic fee and get to work!

Here is something very important to know when you’re having hard drive issues: Improper hard drive handling can cause data loss and make your issues far worse than they already are. If your drive is physically damaged or suffering from age, TechMedic can have your data recovered as a last-ditch measure, but how much data is restored, and how expensive it may be can vary on the amount of damage on the drive. 

Do You Need Help With Hard Drive Failure?

Suddenly losing access to your files due to hard drive failure can be a painful experience. If it’s not the lengthy delays until you have your computer running again, it’s the possibility of losing photos, music, game saves, and much more!

If you’ve found yourself against the wall with hard drive failure in the Southern Utah area, the expert staff of TechMedic has you covered. Our team has spent over 15 years servicing, building, and upgrading computers. Get in touch with us today!