Warning Signs of a Hard Drive Crash

5 minutes read

Whether it’s precious family photos, critical work documents, or our favorite music playlists, all of these are stored on our trusty hard drives. But what happens when your hard drive decides to throw in the towel? It’s a nightmare scenario, and it’s essential to recognize the warning signs of a hard drive crash before it’s too late. In this article, we will discuss the warning signs of a hard drive crash.

Gravatar John Harris
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Every user has loads of photos, documents, video files, Office files, and other data stored on hard drive. And since most of the people today own laptops, and external hard drives, which get dragged around a bit, a hard drive’s lifespan ranges probably between 3 to 5 years, depending on usage, and other factors.

In most cases, the hard drive fails slowly over time, which gives you a hint and you need to copy your data and replace the storage drive before it could eventually crash. If you don’t know how long your hard drive will keep going, then here are a few warnings signs of a hard drive crash:

Sign 1: Slow performance, frequent freezing

A computer’s slow performance or freezing could be caused due to various reasons. However, whatever the problem might be behind these symptoms, it is better to immediately back up your data. Slow performance, an occurrence of the blue screen of death, and frequent freezes indicates a near hard drive crash. So better backup data.

Sign 2: Strange noises

If you can hear strange noises from your computer, then it’s already too late. Grinding, or hard drive clicking sounds indicate that the spindle motor or bearings are failing. A repetitive clicking sound also indicates that a hard drive crash is around the corner. There may also be ultra-sonic sounds that are part of an acoustic attack.

Strange noises or sounds are one of the reasons why you should consider getting a new computer. Go through this article to find out more reasons.

Sign 3: Bad sectors

Bad sectors in hard drive are the areas which do not maintain data integrity. They are hard to identify, mostly when a large proportion of the disk is currently in use. So if you run into bad sectors, then it really is a bad sign, and you need to backup your data at the earliest.

Sign 4: Corrupted data

If your files fail to open, suddenly disappear, or get corrupted even though they were saved without any errors, then it is worrying. While this could happen due to various reasons, it mainly indicates a gradual hard drive failure.

Sign 5: S.M.A.R.T.

Modern hard drives have the S.M.A.R.T. monitoring system built into computer’s BIOS. On a basic level, it can only tell whether the drive is OK or not depending on the conclusion of the internal S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics.

Note: If you have come to these symptoms, and the S.M.A.R.T. test doesn’t give you a good result, then it means the hard drive crash can happen in the near future. When you spot a hard disk crash, the first thing you should do is to backup data to a secondary storage device. In case, you have lost data after a hard drive crash, then you can make use of Disk Recovery tool to restore data from a partitioned hard drive. Nevertheless, you don’t have to rely on warnings to see if the drive is failing, you can regularly backup data.

Sign 6: Frequent Read/Write Failures

When files fail to open or save correctly, it can be due to read/write failures on your hard drive. These failures can indicate damage to the disk's magnetic surfaces.

Sign 7: Long Boot Times

If your computer takes an unusually long time to boot up, it may be struggling to access the necessary system files due to hard drive problems.

Sign 8: Abrupt System Shutdowns

Sudden system shutdowns, especially when they occur during disk-intensive tasks, can be a result of hard drive issues.

Sign 9: BIOS Not Detecting the Drive

If your computer's BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) can't detect your hard drive during startup, it's a clear sign that the drive is experiencing severe issues. This is a critical situation that requires immediate attention.


A hard drive crash can be a devastating experience, resulting in the loss of precious data. Recognizing the warning signs early can help you take action before it's too late. Regular backups, SMART monitoring, and timely replacement of failing drives can save you from the anguish of data loss.

Gravatar John Harris

About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…