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The 5 Most Common Causes of Hard Drive Failure

A broken hard drive will more than likely leave you feeling a little helpless. While technology advancements have made the innovative hardware more durable, there are still some issues that can threaten their lifecycle. For this reason, we are looking at the five biggest causes of hard drive failure.


Nothing can break your computer quite like an overheated hard drive. You’ll know when it’s happening because you could smell smoke or the computer may become very hot. Once the hard drive has shown signs of overheating, you can almost guarantee the end of its life is in sight. So, if you want to prevent overheating, you should ensure you place the device in an open space, whilst keeping the vents as clear as possible. Overheating is also common in warmer temperatures, so place a fan over your computer during the hotter days of the year.

Corrupted Computer Files

Corrupted files are another big cause of hard drive failure, and one of the biggest causes of corruption is a virus, which can spread across your computer destroying your data and hard drive. However, corrupted files cannot only be caused by a virus, because they can happen if you fail to correctly shutdown a computer or by downloading a corrupt file onto the hard drive. One of the best ways to avoid corrupt files is by installing a high-quality antivirus program, and ensure you backup so you don’t lose your data if your files become corrupted.

Power Surge

Many homes can experience a power surge from time to time, which is basically a spike in the electricity’s power that can last less than a thousandth of a second. You might not think that such a short spike of power can harm a device, but unfortunately it can.

If the hard drive experiences the power surge, this could make the hardware unable to write and read data from the platters. On occasion, this can burn out the drive and the only way you would be able to access your files is by contacting a data recovery professional. To prevent a PC from experiencing the problem, we recommend you invest in a high-quality surge protector that should be turned on at the power source.

Physical Damage

Always be cautious when moving a computer, because physical damage can be one of the biggest causes of hard drive failure. If you drop or hit a computer, there is a chance you could crack the motherboard, dislodge the computer memory or move the components of the hard drive. So, don’t leave a computer in an area where it is likely to become damaged, and carry the device carefully when moving it from one location to another; otherwise, you might have to opt for a failed hard drive repair.


Many of us leave a drink on our desks as we browse online or work on an important spreadsheet, but a spilled beverage onto a hard drive could cause permanent damage. Luckily for you, the hard drive is neatly packed away within the computer case, so it’s not the easiest thing to get wet, but it can happen. So, don’t take any chances and keep a drink away from a computer.