Just like any other electronic devices, hard disks have a limited lifespan and can break down within five to ten years of usage. There are a number of factors that can affect a hard disk’s lifespan such as mechanical stress, temperatures, humidity, working conditions, physical trauma, and so on. Fortunately, most hard drives nowadays show symptoms before calling it quits. Here’s some common wear and tear signs, which can help you decide when to start backing up your important files and data before it’s too late.

Corrupted Files

If your files become corrupted frequently, it could be a signal indicating that your hard drive’s lifespan is already numbered. Normally, these corrupted files occur due to several reasons like overclocking SATA bus, driver issues, sudden power failure, etc. However, if you frequently encounter these issues, it would be a wise move to start backing up your files as soon as possible, and attempt to diagnose your computer to address the problem.

Slow Response Time and Transfer Rates

If a hard disk is already at its limit, its performance significantly reduces as well that causes slow response times and transfer rates. The performance drop is somewhat noticeable that your hard disk may either take a while to transfer even a small audio file, or open a simple program like Windows Explorer. Although identifying this kind of symptom is somewhat easy, deducing it may be pretty tricky as some other factors like system load, fragmentation, infections, etc. may come into play. A slow performance may not entail immediate failure, but it’s never a bad thing to back up your data as early as now as your precautionary measure.

Increased Bad Sectors

Over time, accumulated bad sectors and frequent freezing are also warning signs that your hard disk is ready to fail anytime soon. For those of you who are not yet in the know, hard disks store data in tiny clusters. Whenever these clusters got damaged or corrupted, that part of the hard disk is no longer operational, thus being called as bad sectors. These bad sectors can cause some serious irrecoverable damage to your data. Normally, bad sectors occur due to physical damage like mishandling the hard disk. Therefore, accumulated bad sectors mean you need to have a good back up of your data regularly, if you don’t want to lose them.

Odd Noises and Extreme Heat

Other major indicators that your hard disk is in the brink of death soon are the odd noises and extreme heat. Mechanical hard drives have the tendency to make some noise while it’s doing its work due to several moving parts inside. However, in the event of physical damage or deterioration, you may notice that your hard drive may produce some odd clicking and grinding noises. There are several reasons why these odd noises happen — a damaged header, failed motor, etc. Regardless of the reason behind it, hurry up and try to back up as much data as you can as soon as you start hearing such strange noises from your hard disk.

Knowing the signs as to when your hard disk is going to fail is a wise move, since it will give you enough time to make quick backups to avoid any data loss in the future. So, it’s better to keep an eye on your hard disk and never make excuses to back up your data no matter how sturdy and reliable your hard drive is.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 9:40:10 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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