Why Do Laptop Hard Drives Fail?

At Secure Data Recovery Services, we treat thousands of laptop hard drives each year, and our engineers are familiar with virtually every failure scenario. All laptop drives eventually fail, as hard drives are mechanical devices, but by understanding the main causes of laptop hard drive issues, you can significantly decrease your chances of data loss.

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Any hard drive can fail due to mechanical or electronic issues.

Some of the most common reasons for laptop hard drive issues include:

  • Mechanical Wear - All hard drives use several mechanical components including read/write heads, platters and a spindle. Over time, these components wear down. They can become less accurate or fail entirely. This is the most common cause of hard drive "crashes," which refer to total component failures. Mechanical issues often cause clicking or whirring sounds.

  • Overheating - Heat can melt electronic components and prevent mechanical components from functioning correctly. Most laptops have a number of fans and heat-transferring mechanisms, but overheating can occur when warm air cannot escape from the laptop's chassis.

  • Electronic Issues - Laptop hard drives fail when regularly exposed to power surges or when other electrical events suddenly prevent the drive from operating normally.

  • File Corruption and Software Issues - When your laptop cannot successfully complete a file operation, your files may become corrupt. This can occur due to software or hardware issues.

  • Bad sectors on your hard drive can also contribute to file corruption.
  • Vibration and Physical Shock - Laptop hard drives are extremely sensitive to physical damage. Excessive vibration can gradually offset the read/write heads of a hard drive, and sudden physical shocks can permanently damage any of the drive's mechanical components. Because laptop computers are portable, they are fairly susceptible to this type of damage.

Laptops can also fail when exposed to moisture, heat and other extreme environmental conditions. Our engineers can recover data from virtually any laptop hard drive regardless of failure scenario, and we use safe technologies to keep your warranty intact while performing our services. Contact our customer service team for a free media evaluation at one of our facilities.

Preventing Laptop Hard Drive Issues

All digital storage devices eventually encounter mechanical wear and other unavoidable problems. However, operating conditions can drastically affect your hard drive's longevity and contribute to laptop hard drive issues.

You can prevent many common laptop failures by taking the following steps:

  • Protect your computer from excessive vibration.
  • Never place your laptop on carpeted surfaces where heat can build up.
  • Use a surge suppressor to protect your laptop from electrical events.
  • Back up your hard drive regularly.
  • Monitor your laptop hard drive's health regularly with disk utilities.

When you notice bad sectors, clicking sounds or other signs of a physical failure, replace your hard drive right away. Check your laptop's product documentation for more tips.

What to Do When Your Laptop Hard Drive Fails

When you cannot access data on your laptop, you should immediately turn your system off. Do not attempt to recover your own data, as you might exacerbate the issues that caused the initial failure. Never attempt to open a damaged hard drive for any reason.

Secure Data Recovery Services offers free media diagnostics for laptop hard drive data recovery. Our engineers can analyze physical and logical media damage to prove a price quote and turnaround estimate for your case. We treat all physically damaged media in a certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom, and with multiple service levels, state-of-the-art data repair technology and numerous security credentials, Secure Data Recovery Services offers the best hard drive repair services for laptop owners.

Contact our customer services team today to get started.