How can I tell if my hard drive is failing or has failed?
Software and hardware problems may cause identical symptoms with a hard drive. It may be necessary to rule out the software causes before confirming that a hardware issues exists.
- Clicking – indicates a probable head crash, may also indicate electrical issues or damage to the platters (can also be an aftermath of dropping.) This will also have a hardware cause.
- BSODs – can be during boot, while running an application, can also be associated with corruption, viruses, Trojans, etc. (i.e. software or hardware.) Rule out software causes. Run appropriate hard drive diagnostics.
- New message indicating drive is not formatted (can be caused by software or by electrical surges)
- Boot loops – possible virus or Trojan in the boot sector
- System lock ups and freezes – possible bad sectors or can be software or resources related
- Drive not found – Check connectors (SATA and Power), BIOS settings, RAID settings if appropriate
- Operating System not found – Check BIOS settings, possibly a Hard Drive priority cause