Sunday, 16 June 2013

Hard Drive Failure not the end of the world

Hard Drive Failure

Its enough to horrify even the most hardened computer user. Hard drive failure could take place rather suddenly and can easily have a few major complications for people who do not prepare for such an event. You can loose all of your files like images, e-mails, videos and also any paid software applications you might have installed, it could be a problem!

 Reasons why Hard Drives Go wrong?

Hard Drive Failure - picture of a hard driveAlmost all Disk drives are mechanical , very much like a CD or DVD player other than they don't have a completely removable disc. Being mechanical appliances means they have moving elements that will sooner or later wear. Unexpected mechanical shock can also harm the disc itself like a scratch on a record. A lot of new devices for example ipads and other mobile devices contain solid state drives that are not as vulnerable to wear and mechanical shock.

Just what are the indicators of a Failing Hard Drive

A failing drive will begin giving indicators and these might be anything from constant freezing, slowing down of the computer system, funny sounds emerging from the hard drive and the feared blue screen of death. I just had a drive fail in my iMac and it began displaying the little beach ball on the cursor whenever I did anything, it was slowing down and was essentially doing some very strange things. When you start seeing things that just isn't usual for your computer, don't hesitate, react as soon as possible.

What is to be done ?

Hard drive failure - Picture of a distressed woman
Right after I recognized things just weren't right I ran the Time Machine function in my Mac. This backed up all my documents! I then ran a program called Carbon Copy Cloner, which produces an exact replica of your computer on an external hard drive and in many cases you can boot your computer from this duplicate. You might then have the chance to repair any bad sectors on your disk then copy the duplicate back to your hard drive, this is only a short-term measure that could perhaps keep you going for a little while. If a drive is beginning to fail you are much better off replacing it!

There is a variety of assorted back up programs for both PC and Mac, some are free, I would recommend you do a bit of research into one that satisfies you and gets excellent user ratings.


The main reason I'm writing this post is due to my drive failing suddenly. It was at a quite inconvenient time naturally but I managed to get a brand-new drive and have my computer working within a couple of hours and I did not loose any data. I decided not to drop the clone back onto the new drive but decided to start from the beginning. I now have an extremely tidy computer and am able to instal only the applications I need and get the documents I want from Time Machine. I did get in touch with a number of software providers and explain what happened so I could get installation Keys reset, some actually provided me free upgrades. One company gave me the download link to the version I was utilizing and my Key functioned fine.

At first I was irked by the drive failing but now I'm pleased it occurred, I have a much larger drive and a fresh, clean computer to work with. Ensure that you don't get caught out, back up your device and keep an eye out for those tell tale warnings that your drive is not well !

The Cameraman