Why Hard Drives Fail?

Nearly everyone who has ever experience a hard drive failure has wondered, “Why did it happen”?! The fact of the matter is, hard drives are complex mechanical devices, and, as the famous Murphy’s law states, “If something can go wrong, it will”.

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Logical Failures

Perhaps surprisingly, the most common cause of a broken hard drive is not mechanical at all. Instead, most storage devices stop working because they become corrupted. Older operating systems used to store files in a notoriously fickle fashion, but current systems don’t have this problem. What we do have, however, is malware. Some particularly nasty viruses erase the part of your hard drive that stores a map where everything on the disk is located. Without it, your disk will appear to be empty, causing your operating system to format it.

This type of broken hard drive is not nearly as bad as mechanical failures. A capable data recovery software, such as Disk Drill, won’t have any problems at all locating your files even without the map that points to where they are. A good strategy is to unplug the affected storage device as soon as you discover that something’s wrong with it. When you’re ready to perform the data recovery, reconnect the broken disk, and fire up your copy of Disk Drill. Your disk should be listed on the main screen. Press the “Recover” button and let the program do what it does best. In just a few minutes, you should have your files back. If not, Disk Drill offers additional advanced broken hard drive data recovery options that you may try.

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Mechanical Failures

The other type of hard drive failure is mechanical. Your hard drive is a lot like an old gramophone. A tiny head is hovering mere nanometers above the magnetic data-storage surface, and if something causes it to touch it, there’s only a slim chance the disk will make it. Desktop computers are much safer in this regard than laptops, which are carried around, and dropped, on a regular basis.

If hard drives were small metal fortresses, they would all have a critical flaw: the air hole. This tiny hole is there to equalize the pressure and moisture between the enclosure and the outside environment. To keep dust particles from getting inside the disk, the hole has a very fine air filter. But even with this filter, a dust particle occasionally gets in and causes havoc. Alternatively, it can just block the hole altogether.

Mechanical failures are much harder to recover from than logical failures. Any hardware repair requires an entirely dust-free work environment and several specialized tools. No wonder then that professional data recovery labs charge hundreds and thousands of dollars for their services. If you use Disk Drill for data recovery, you already have a great Data Backup tool at your disposal built right into the app. It can create byte-to-byte disk and partition backups and costs no extra money. Use it to protect yourself from a mechanical failure and the enormous expenses that come with it.

Arthur Cole

Arthur Cole is a freelance content creator. He also has a more than 10-year experience in program development for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android.Arthur Cole is a writer with deep expertise in programming, who can easily...

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Approved by
Brett Johnson

This article has been approved by Brett Johnson, Data Recovery Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Systems and Network, 12 years of experience.