[HOT] : Signs that your storage drive is about to fail

It could be your pride and joy in playing, or it could be your essential school kit. It might just be a trivial tool for your job. No matter what they are used for, computers are supposed to run smoothly: just turn them on and go. Hah, not so fast… like all electronic devices, PCs don’t last forever, and the parts they contain will eventually fail.

While it is relatively easy to replace a broken device, the same cannot be said for the data stored in your machine. Most modern PCs rely on solid storage, which is great news as SSDs are more durable than hard drives. SSDs have no moving parts and can withstand accidental drops and other shocks and vibrations in laptops better than hard drives. However, SSDs can also fail, just like other forms of flash memory.

# 1 – that doesn’t sound good

Modern storage drives are manufactured to very high tolerances, especially hard disk drives (HDDs). Despite platters spinning at thousands of rpm and arms moving back and forth in milliseconds, today’s hard drives are designed to be nearly silent in operation.

You might be able to hear faint whirrs and clicks while the player is running, but that’s it – so anything louder than that, is a sign that things aren’t going well (or that it’s just right). an old design). And if you hear metallic treble noises, loud or not, the player will probably be damaged inside.

The guts of a modern hard drive

Be aware of these signs: the drive may appear to be working perfectly fine, but it’s only a matter of time before it fails. There is nothing you can do about it except back up all the important data on it as soon as possible, then replace the drive with a new one.

Optical storage drives, such as DVD-ROM or Blu-ray disc drives, are much noisier than hard drives when they are working – you should definitely hear something as it spins the disc, but it does. should only be the whine of the electric motors and whoosh of the air, being moved by the disk.

But since they’re built to looser tolerances than hard drives, they wear out faster (which is offset by the fact that they don’t get used very often). Classic signs to listen to are loud clicks, buzzes, or the storage drive constantly spinning up and down.

Fortunately, since the data is stored on removable storage media, a noisy drive should not lead to data loss. Having said that, with continued use in this state, the drive could fail so as to damage the drive. As with hard drives, if your optical storage drive starts making loud or strange sounds, don’t ignore it: replace the drive as soon as you can.

Of course, not all storage systems contain moving mechanical parts. Devices that use flash memory, such as SD cards, thumb drives, and solid-state drives, are just a bunch of chips on a printed circuit board. Needless to say, you shouldn’t hear anything from these.

Nothing here should make noise!

So if your old SSD is making noise, it’s more likely that some other part of the computer is doing it. Either that or you have a little malware problem in your computer!

Whatever storage drives you have in your system, you should never ignore the unusual sounds that come from them. Back up the data there and overwrite it as soon as you can.

# 2 – Where has my data gone?

And speaking of protecting data, another classic sign that your storage drive has failed is when a file or multiple files just went missing. Information is not stored as a continuous stream of bits; rather, it is presented in a collection of small chunks of data.

These blocks can be physically side by side in the drive carrier or they can be scattered around. All it takes is one of those blocks to be damaged, and those precious few bits will be lost for good. And when you search for the file, the computer’s operating system will then try to find all the blocks that make up the file.

Without the full set of data, the file will be incomplete and the operating system may report it as corrupt or state that it could not find it at all. NAND flash memory physically wears out every time a block of data is written to or erased from the drive, and after so many write / erase cycles, the block will stop functioning.

Having only one or two NAND chips, USB drives cannot offer much wear protection

SSD manufacturers use a plethora of tricks (such as overprovisioning and wear leveling) to minimize this problem, but they vary in terms of efficiency. USB drives generally have a much shorter lifespan than SSDs, so you should expect them to fail without warning.

So if a drive starts losing weird files here and there, you should consider replacing it fairly quickly. do not ignore flaws. Again, backup all vital data stored there. Oh, and you should never use a USB flash drive as a critical backup device! Stick to hard drives and cloud storage for this job.

# 3 – Dude, it takes its time …

While it’s not as immediately obvious as a drive screaming its agony through your computer’s bowels, a sudden change in overall performance can be a sign of your storage drive failure. PC hardware like CPUs, RAMs, or GPUs do not slow down over time. Besides the possibility of cooling fans malfunctioning and chip slowing down because of it, the hardware should perform the same. On the software side, this is where things can turn sour due to a build-up of data, more programs loading in the background, and the operating system freezing after years of updates. .

But if the machine was running fine one day, then suddenly took a long time to boot or access files, there is clearly something wrong. Hard drives fail eventually and SSD drives can fail and display these signs in different ways as well. Errors involving bad blocks will appear in both types of storage and this is usually when it takes an unusually long time to read or write a file and the process ends in failure. so that the system ends up giving up with an error message.

When you only have one those kind of days. Image: sematadesign

Of course, as we just mentioned, it could well be a software issue, like an operating system update messing up a setup somewhere, or even malware causing the processor to works excessively in the background. But if you haven’t updated anything recently and the computer is well protected, unexpected changes in performance may be due to the failure of the primary storage drive.

Determining whether this is the case or not isn’t easy, and we don’t recommend replacing a hard drive / SSD just because things have slowed down. On the other hand, if the drive is removable, such as a USB stick, a rapid drop in speed is a good indicator that it is not very healthy.

# 4 – goodbye, start the player

Many of us have experienced this at some point, as it is a common situation when we own a PC. One day everything is perfect, but the next time you fire it up, a dreaded BIOS message pops up on your screen: “Insert boot disk and press any key,”

Instead of seeing the operating system logo appear, you end up with a grim statement. There may be other explanations for this. For example, this can be caused when a new BIOS has just been installed. But if no changes or updates have been made, it may indicate that the boot reader has decided to head to Valhalla. Or at the very least, it shows signs of corruption where you might be able to get your data back, but it’s time to back up and get a new drive.

Before booting fails completely, you may also see your PC randomly crash during boot. This is a sign that your reader might be developing a problem.

If the case is that some of the data on the drive is corrupted, a recommended step is to remove the hard drive / SSD and place it in another computer as a secondary drive. If it is able to test the player or read the content correctly, the player can be reused.

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