Aditya Lall Patel-

Malfunctioning of the hard drive or hard drive failure always occurs due to software or the hardware issues. Some of the hard drives fail due to excessive heat, physical damage or PCB failure. Hard disk drive failure can be recognized by error like “Not initialized”.

Many causes can be spotted for the hard disk drive failure and it can be catastrophic or gradual.

It is difficult to diagnose the cause of the hard drive failure but the symptoms like slowing down of PC, excessive sound from the exhaust fan or excessive heat from the board or corrupted data, problems in logging in etc.

We can describe various modes of hard drive failure which can be instant or limited, this failure fully or partially destroy the data or can be totally recoverable.

The bad sectors in a hard drive can be repaired by using disk cleanup, disk defragmentation or the use of some hard disk check and troubleshooting softwares. For eg:- Head crash, circuit failure, Stiction, Bad sectors and Miscellaneous failures.


Mainly whenever the head crash is detected it is due to the mechanical shock occurred by physical means or any other reason in which the head gets in contact with the rotating platter and creates the data loss where the contact was made. If the debris which is scrapped off in the drive may contact all the heads & the platters and can destroy all data on the drive. If in case the damage is partial and the continuous rotation of the disk may fully damage unless and until it is fully damaged.


Many a times the circuit board in the drive which is known as the PCB fails or become in operable.


Stiction is the phenomenon of sticking of the heads to the platters which is due to the inappropriate lubrication which tends the head to “take off”. The sticiton is totally based upon the manufacture of the hard drive.


Hard drive is made up of the magnetic sectors present on the disk which may become faulty due some or the other issues causing the bad sectors on the hard drive which later becomes unusable. This may be a sign of imminent failure.


Any part of the hard drive can break or fail which prevents the normal operation of the drive.

Many a times computer freezes, mouse and keyboard stops working and finally a restart is required to recover the system, also some of the computers it is also seen that the files disappearing mysteriously, booting time is exceeded which causes temporary or permanent failure of the hard drive. Sometimes some mechanical noises can be heard, this could actually be read/write head thrashing seamlessly on the platter which may lead to system boot or even a blue screen during boot which is normally screen of death.

Periodic inspection of the drive may prevent the drive from failure, like ensuring whether the power cable is properly connected to the drive or if the ribbon cable is aligned properly.

Also after the physical verification check for the BIOS verification if the BIOS is able to see the hard drive. In most scenarios logical failure can be a hard drive which spins perfectly but is not identified by the BIOS. All the logical failures can be recovered with dismantling the hard drive only by using specific software’s available in the market.
Whenever a hard drive failure is confronting ensure that its really a hard drive failure and not one of the countless other gear glitches which has caused the boot failure, many a times the boot record of the hard drive.

One of the very important software tailored for the MAC OS & the MAC drives is Prosoft’s Data Rescue as well as the Ontrack Easy Recovery Data Recovery & Recovcer my files are the prime sources of the recovery softwares.

Installation and usage of these softwares is easy as now a days most of the data recovery softwares comes with wizard.

Always it is safer to keep a back up of your hard drive to prevent the loss of data. Most of the times causes for the hard drive failure is due to manufacturer faulty firmware, we can easily detect the cause of failure.

Improper ventilation or faulty CPU fan would lead to heat the system to its peak point and lead to hard disk crash, the power fluctuations continuously triggers the improper voltage in the hard drive which may lead to short circuit of the PCB.

Sometimes removal or installations of the USB devices during booting or shutting down of PC and lead to permanent failure of the hard drive. Recently in a survey it is been found that the best hard drive recovery software is found on the live Cd of any Linux Distros which helps users to recover the data exactly what it was before deletion.