24/7 Service, Same Day Diagnostics

How to determine a hard drive that has failed physically?
Home  » Services » Hard Drive Recovery » How To Determine A Hard Drive Failed Physically

Physical Failure Diagnostics in a Hard Drive.

Physical hard drive failures are a relatively common but serious problem for computer users. Major media manufacturers estimate that about 1 to 2 percent of hard drives fail each year, usually due to mechanical wear or poor operating conditions.

How to Determine if a Hard Drive Failed Physically

Physical hard drive failures can cause a number of symptoms, but our certified engineers can quickly diagnose your case.

Common hard drive failure scenarios include read/write head failures, spindle bearing seizures and electronic faults. Many of these issues cause notable symptoms, although failure scenarios vary greatly from one HDD to the next.

Physically damaged hard drives may present any of the following symptoms:

  • Clicking or Whirring Sounds
  • Failure to Mount or Recognize
  • Frequent File Corruption Errors
  • Frequent Crashes and Slow File Access Speeds
  • Missing Files or Folders
  • Bad Sector Error Messages
  • Incorrect HDD Information in BIOS

Mechanical failures symptoms can overlap with logical failure symptoms, particularly with operating system error messages and slow file access speeds. However, clicking sounds and power issues always indicate a physical hard drive failure. If a hard drive appears to operate normally but does not allow normal file access, it may suffer from either a physical or a logical issue, and computer users cannot always immediately diagnose failure symptoms without specialized tools.

Secure Data Recovery Services offers free media evaluations for all types of hard drive, and within 24 hours of receiving your HDD, we can provide a full diagnostic report with a price quote and turnaround estimate.

Steps to Take After a Physical Hard Drive Failure

To ensure the best possible chances of a successful data recovery, you will need to take appropriate steps to prevent media damage after experiencing a hard drive failure.

Many computer users attempt to recover data from physically damaged hard drives by running file utilities, but this often causes extensive media damage. A physical failure can easily offset a hard drive's read/write heads, forcing them into contact with the platters that store your data. If the drive continues to operate in this condition, the heads will directly damage the platters, greatly complicating the data recovery process. Even if a hard drive failed due to non-mechanical factors, data recovery software may cause unintentional file overwrites or other serious issues.

Never run software on a failed drive and never attempt to replace physically damaged components. As soon as you notice any failure symptoms, turn your hard disk drive off and contact a professional data recovery company. Experienced data recovery engineers can safely repair failed hard drives in clean environments in order to prevent harmful media contamination, which can cause permanent damage to a hard disk's exposed read/write heads and platters.

Secure Data Recovery Services operates a Certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom, a specialized environment that prevents contamination from affecting physical recovery procedures. Our Cleanroom allows fewer than 10 contaminants per cubic foot of space, and we are one of the only data recovery providers to earn and maintain Class 10 ISO 4 certification.

We offer free price quotes and diagnostics and can give you an estimated turnaround time for any physical hard drive recovery services. Contact us today to discuss your case with our experts.

Back to Top