Opening Time:  Mon‑Fri  8:00-6:30   Sat 8:00-2:00
Call now:  (805) 208-9324 /(818) 476-7330

8 Most Common Causes and Signs of Hard Drive Failure

Mobile Computer Repair Services > Blog > Our Blog > 8 Most Common Causes and Signs of Hard Drive Failure
8 Most Common Causes and Signs of Hard Drive Failure

Faulty or damaged hard drives make a common scenario at computer repair or assembly stores and facilities. There are particular reasons, and they are not hundreds in number. Only a few issues are common, and there is also a handful of solution to them. Many think repairing a computer is a job that should be solely awarded to an expert. But, everyone should accept the importance of knowing about the causes and signs of the issues.

In this article, the problems that are responsible for causes hard drive failure has been discussed with the symptoms and their possible reasons.

8 Reasons That Cause Hard Disk failure

  • Firmware problems/manufacturing defects
  • Overheating issues
  • Power supply problems
  • Mechanical faults
  • Corrupt system files
  • Water damage
  • Impacts (Dropping)
  • Contact with magnetic objects

Among these, the first five issues are critical yet can be remediated under certain circumstances, and the ones in the bottom may not be within a technician’s grasp to fix.

Manufacturer Faults

This particular issue leaves the user almost nothing to do about it. The manufacturer is solely responsible for this.


  • The System doesn’t recognize or detect the hard disk at all.
  • The system shows frequent boot failures or freezesduring the process.


A fault in the firmware or the drive leads to sudden failure. This usually happens when the manufacturer sells the product without doing the standard consistency and quality checking. There is no fixed schedule when and how a faulty hard drive fails if it comes with firmware issues.

Heat (Overheating)

Neither heat nor cold is good for a computer. But, overheating is more than bad. It is the enemy that leads to poor performance, hardware failure, etc.


  • CPU fans do not move at all keep or move too slowly.
  • The system hardware makes noises or clicking sounds too often
  • The unit gets heated very soon after starting


This issue occurs frequently leaving the users surprised. A faulty CPU fan or poor ventilation is the most common reason that may cause the computer toget heated to the peak leading to an unwanted hard drive crash. The situation may become even worse with an irreversible damage.

Power Failure/Surge

Power failure/surge is common, and so is the consequence it brings for computers that experience this. One/two occasion(s) may be okay, but it becomes a critical problem when the surge/outage happens more often than not.


  • System BIOS does notdetect the hard disk drive.
  • The hard drive does not spin up.
  • Startup failure happens all on a sudden (when the user is working).


Many users do not use a UPS for an instantaneous backup, and it is a big problem. But, a UPS that does notsupply the adequate amount of power or gives too much of it may be one of the reasons for causes hard drive failure. The power source may also be responsible by not maintaining uninterrupted supply of power.

Mechanical or Internal Failure

These issues do not occur overnight. Prolonged uses without care or attention to any unusual symptom or noise or basic care may be the reason.


The hard drive is making grinding or clicking sounds (not noise exactly).

  • Files/folders become either corrupt or invisible preventingthe useraccess.
  • Completely unresponsive or frozen system.
  • Black screen shows upinstead of starting the PC after the booting process.


  • The hard disk has too many blocks or bad sectors.
  • No movement of the disk read/write heads happens.
  • Spindle motor malfunctions or stops working.
  • Printed Control Board (PCB)malfunctions or has got damaged.

Corrupted Files

If a hard disk contains corrupt data, invalid files, or anything similar, it is going to undergo a failure sooner or later. There are several reasons behind this, and the user may not be aware of the presence of those harmful and useless data.


  • System files including the important ones may getcorrupt or damaged preventingthe access to the system or disallow the usertouse the system.
  • The hard disk suddenly becomes very slow and at times completely inaccessible.


  • The user shut down the system by force.
  • Running programs may have been closedabruptly several times.
  • The user may have installed faulty, harmful or malicious software applications unknowingly or mistakenly.
  • Sudden power outages or surges may have occurred.

Human Errors

These issues are also common but in beginners and inexperienced users. Sometime these issues cannot be fixed,and they lead to a replacement of the hard drive.


  • Several system and third-party applications malfunction.
  • Operational behavior changes without understandable reasons.
  • The system feels unstable and not functional at times.


  • The user may have modified the registry settings inappropriately.
  • The attributes or destinationsof system files may have been altered.
  • The operating system may not have been installed properly.
  • The user may have installed a malicious application and granted that to access and modify system files.

Knowing the symptoms may help the user take the required measures to have the hard disk fixed or back to its ‘last known good’ state and the causes hard drive failure causes may help the user to follow some preventive measures to avoid such unexpected experiences. However, some advanced users may try learning the techniques to deal with the issues rather than hiring a professional computer repair technician.

Leave a Reply