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Warning Signs

What Are Warning Signs of Hard Drive Failure?

While you may be able to repair software errors caused by bad sectors and in some cases you may be able to repair the bad sectors themselves, if your drive has begun to fail mechanically nothing will stop the process.

The key is to detect the imminent failure of your drives before they give out on you and data is lost. Let’s look at some common warning signs of impending hard drive failure:

  • Frequent but irregular crashes, especially while booting up Windows®
  • Frequent and cryptic error messages while performing typical activities like moving files
  • Folder and file names that have been scrambled and changed
  • Disappearing files and folders
  • Really long wait times to access folders and files
  • Hard disk is silent for a long period after you request data by opening a file or folder
  • Garbled output from open files or printing
  • Hard drive grinds away constantly because of noisy bearings
Sound can be an excellent indicator of disk trouble! If you previously didn’t hear a peep from your hard drive, but now you do… Check it. If it seems much louder than usual or makes occasional clicks or grinding sounds, check it ASAP and be prepared to backup your data and replace the drive.

If your drive is making regular clicking or grinding sounds, chances are you have a mechanical failure within the drive. Turn off your computer as soon as possible as continued use may damage the platters (data storage area) and make your data unrecoverable. The longer the drive is powered on, the more damage you may be doing to your data. You should then make a note of what happened and contact LC Technology immediately.

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S.M.A.R.T: What it is and what it does

Data recovery on a failed hard drive can be difficult and expensive. The good news is that modern hard drives have S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) built in. This capability is standard on all modern hard drives and provides each device with a degree of internal status monitoring. Used in conjunction with Intelli-SMART™ software from LC Technology, this can alert users to the impending failure of the disk.

The S.M.A.R.T monitoring system built into your computer’s BIOS is rudimentary, only capable of telling you whether or not the drive is ‘OK’ at boot time based on the conclusion of its internal S.M.A.R.T diagnostics. The more advanced analysis features of this monitoring system can be accessed by using Intelli-SMART™ that can fully query the drive’s status and report it to you as soon as an error occurs. This can make the difference between getting the data off the drive or losing the data when the drive crashes.

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