Fix Broken Hard Drive Problems by Yourself

by Rod Dunne on February 21, 2011

in Articles, Hardware

  • Share
  • Share

Trying to fix broken hard drive issues boils down to evaluating what hardware and software faults may be affecting the system. In this post I’ll show you some checks you can do and some of the precautions the need to be taken.

Check the hardware

Starting with the most severe scenario, you should first check for mechanical faults. In particular, this out for strange sounds coming from the drive itself while it is operating. If you hear a ticking noise then this may mean that the motor itself is starting to fail.

Scratching or grinding noise when find that components have come loose are starting to seize up (e.g. the bearings/head). In truth, repairing these faults best left to a computer repair technician or data recovery specialist.

The BIOS is your friend

When the computer starts up, go directly to the BIOS menu. You will be able to evaluate here whether or not the BIOS was able to identify the drive in the first place. If it doesn’t then it may indicate a connection has come loose.

Shut down the PC and open the box to check inside for any loose connections or damage to connector pins (including the IDE ribbon that connects the hard drive to the motherboard).

Another element in the BIOS menu which is worth checking is the diagnostics settings. Take a look at the fan speeds and CPU temperatures to make sure the air within manufacturer guidelines. If they’re not then your PC may be overheating and this would result in hard drive issues and ultimately a burnout.

Fans & Vents

Close down the computer and then check that all air vents and air inlets are kept clear of dust. Open the PC itself and make sure that the heat sink is not damaged and still connected to the CPU. Clean out the fans and fan filters of all dust and make sure there able to operate freely.

If you’re unable to fix broken hard drive faults using these checks then try using a software utility like HDD Regenerator if your system is able to start up correctly. These types of tools can detect if there are bad sectors on the hard drive or other software related faults.

Related posts
How to recover broken hard drive data

Previous post:

Next post: