Testing Hard Drive for Impending Failure: Signs and Preventive Solutions

Hard drives today have become a requisite for storing precious files like personal documents, photos, videos, audio files, etc. More and more people are now accustomed to using hard drives because of the affordability and high storage capacity it offers in comparison to other storage devices. However, the majority of the population takes these electronic devices for granted and forget that they also have a limited time span (in case of hard drive it is anywhere from 3-10 years).

Early Signs of Hard Drive Failure

Hard drive failure is inevitable, uncertain and happens gradually. Sadly, its exact failure can never be predicted but when it happens, the whole system comes to a halt rendering all the stored data inaccessible. Usually, a hard drive fails either at the very beginning or when it is actually nearing to its end. The former situation arises within a short period of buying the drive and is majorly caused because of some manufacturer defect. Whereas, the latter situation is encountered after 3-4 years of regular drive usage. In addition to this, there may be physical damages or logical and mechanical failures.

Whatever be the kind of case, one thing is sure that every impending failure would give some warning signs and enough time to take the desired action. Here are few subtle indications to look for:

  • Frequent crashing of system
  • Longer than the anticipated time taken for booting the system
  • Sudden disappearance or missing of files and documents
  • Corrupted files
  • Delayed display of folder contents by file explorer
  • Accumulation of bad sectors
  • Strange sounds
  • And the worst – Blue Screen of Death

Test it Yourself

There is no doubt that hard drive failure and losing the precious data is a person’s worst nightmare. So, other than keeping a constant check on early signs of failure, make sure you also run certain tests on your computer before judging the current condition of your hard drive and send it for repairing or replacement as required.

Below is a list of software programs specially designed to test all types of error on a computer’s hard drive:

  • Chkdsk – is a system tool available in all versions of windows to check the hard disk and fix logical file system errors, if any. To perform a check, you need to launch Windows Explorer, right-click the drive you wish to inspect and choose Properties. Find the option of ‘Tools’ and click ‘check now’ button to scan and then recover any bad sectors in the system.