Hard Drive Technologies

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Understanding Why Your Hard Drive Crashes

September 14, 2011 Jon 0 Comments

As the owner of Nerds of North Texas LLC, a computer repair company that offers Dallas and Fort Worth residents only the best in customer service, Marcel Gaudet explains that hard drive crashes are troublesome for a couple of reasons.


Most users may experience this type of frustration: You’re using your computer to type up some emails, but something just doesn’t seem right. Your machine is making the odd clicking noises, which you don’t remember ever hearing before. You try to ignore this strange behavior and carry on with what you’ve been doing, but the peculiar sounds are making you nervous. You log off, shut down your computer, and decide to walk away. The next day, you power your machine back on to resume your emailing session, only this time things even get worse. Instead of displaying your regular screen, your computer starts flashing the one message that no owner ever wants to see – “no operating system found.”


If this type of thing has happened to you, then you’re no doubt aware of how frustrating it can be to have to deal with a hard drive crash. For starters, without a hard drive, your computer simply can’t function; so if you lose your hard drive, then until you replace it, your machine will be useless. In addition, your hard drive is the device that stores all of your computer’s data, from operating system files to personal documents that you created yourself. When your hard drive goes, so does all of your data unless you’ve managed to back it up elsewhere.



There are a number of factors that can destroy a hard drive, the first of which is none other than a computer virus. When a nasty computer virus gets onto your machine, it can overwrite parts of your hard drive, thereby causing your data to become corrupt. Although a virus won’t be able to physically destroy your hard drive, it can wipe out all of the data being stored on it, thereby achieving a similar effect.


Another reason for hard drive crashes is poor manufacturing quality. In my opinion, when it comes to purchasing a computer, you get what you pay for. And the cheaper your machine is, the cheaper its hard drive is likely to be.


The third common cause of hard drive crashes is simple wear and tear over time. All hard drives contain moving parts, which, after years of use, can stop functioning from a mechanical standpoint. Hard drives also have the potential to overheat, as they have spinning discs inside them that can generate heat and, under certain circumstances, cause too much of it for the hard drive to bear.


One final reason for hard drive crashes has to do with user abuse. When a person drops his computer, the shock can cause the discs inside a hard drive to get thrown off kilter, resulting in a breakdown.


If your hard drive is constructed poorly, then there may not be much that you can do to stop it from eventually breaking. On the other hand, you can certainly do your part to address some of the other common causes of hard drive failure.


By installing antivirus software, avoiding illicit websites, and pledging to never open an email attachment from an unknown source, you can do your part to prevent computer viruses, which, in turn, will help keep your hard drive safe. In addition, by being cautious when handling your machine, you can avoid dropping it and shocking your hard drive into oblivion.


You can prolong the life of your hard drive by turning your computer off at night before you go to bed. Most people tend to leave their computers running at all times, but by doing so, you’ll only be causing those moving parts inside your hard drive to work unnecessarily. After all, unless you have a habit of pointing and clicking in your sleep, there’s no sense in leaving your computer on during those overnight hours.


In fact, the tricky thing about hard drives is that sometimes, no matter how hard you try to preserve yours, it can still end up crashing. That is why I recommend that you back up your data before your hard drive starts failing out of nowhere. Remember, if your hard drive crashes and your data isn’t backed up, then recovering it can become a costly, time-consuming endeavor; and while your hard drive isn’t necessarily doomed to crash, if you’re looking to hang onto your data, then it’s best not to take any chances.


Marcel Gaudet is a writer for

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