The hard drive in your computer stores all of the data that you accumulate while using it – it’s sort of important. This can include your emails, your web bookmarks, data for programs such as Quickbooks or Quicken, your documents and so much more. Your documents can include quick little notes you’ve jotted off, longer documents that you may have used for business and more. The big thing these days? Your family pictures. Needless to say, neither you nor your computer can function smoothly OR happily if you lose any of it! Since hard drives are so important, a hard drive crash is without a doubt a showstopper of a problem. It can be one of the worst issues that you could face with your computer.
Your Hard Drive in general
Hard drive crashes can happen for a lot of reasons, and it usually doesn’t have a whole lot to do with anything that you as a computer user have done. Your hard drive is a stack of magnetic disks that spins around usually somewhere between 5400 rpm and 7200 rpm. That’s a whole LOT of spinning. To read the data from the disk, there is an extended arm hovering over it. The arm, and head at the end of it, are just like the arm and needle on a record player (if you remember what those looked like). The arm whips around quickly to access the disk and data areas and collect the data.
The REAL “hard” hard drive crash – Hardware failure
If the motor overheats and stops spinning properly, or the arm flat out fails to move properly, then you will have what we refer to as a “HARD hard drive crash.” If that happens, you will NOT be able to get to your data. This kind of hard drive crash will usually require serious money and effort to resolve. People in this scenario need to determine how much they are willing to spend to recover the data. We’ve had cases where recovering a hard drive has cost well over $1000.
The “Soft” hard drive crash
If you’re going to have a hard drive crash (or apparent crash), this is the lesser of two evils. Corrupt files and computer viruses can also make your computer hard drive crash or fail. What happens is that the files just get corrupted and the operating system is just clueless what is there. MANY times, all that is required to recover from this kind of hard drive crash is a good cleanup. Sort of like going through your kitchen cabinets and tidying up your pots and pans. Lizardwebs Computer Repair will go through your Raleigh computer and tidy up the pots and pans in your hard drive’s kitchen. With any luck, this will resolve your computer issue and you will be back up and running within an hour or two. Sometimes it can be a bit more trying, but usually an hour or two will resolve your PC hard drive crash if it’s of the “soft” variety.
Figuring out HOW ugly, and what kind of crash YOUR hard drive crash is
So, let’s say that you think that your hard drive has crashed. How do you determine the severity and if it can be fixed without a lot of pain? Well determining whether the hard drive crash is “hard” or “soft” is actually pretty easy.
Signs of a SOFT hard drive crash
If your computer comes up and gives you messages after going INTO Windows or while going into Windows, that means the data IS actually readable and your issue is likely a “soft” crash – and it can likely be repaired. Based on the computer tech’s assessment, it might be time to transfer your data to a new hard drive or a simple cleanup MAY do the trick. Talk to our computer repair technician about it and get more information to make a good decision.
Signs of a HARD hard drive crash
One immediate tip-off on a hardware or “hard” hard drive failure is that the computer will tell you while it’s still in startup (when you’re seeing just a black screen before it goes into Windows), a message about “Hard drive cannot be found” or some similar message. This is a bad sign. If you hear a ticking sound, this is a bad sign. If your computer doesn’t seem to have quite the same sound as normal – a little quieter – it could be the hard drive is not spinning up properly. If you don’t see the hard drive LED light flashing in the front of your computer case, this is an indicator that your hard drive is not doing a thing – it is a mechanical problem.
Hard drive repair / Data recovery
Soft crashes can usually be fixed in and hour or two – that’s a best case scenario for you – and DEFINITELY preferable. If there is a lot of data corruption, it can turn into an operating system reinstall which takes more time. We can also quickly recover lost files and data in case of a soft crash – check out our Raleigh Data Recovery page.
On the other hand, a mechanical problem “hard crash” in your hard drive can be fixed, but it will get pretty expensive quickly. It is cheaper to get a new hard drive then to fix it, but if your computer has important data stored on the broken hard drive that you must get back, then you really have no choice but to have a professional hard drive repair/data recovery performed. This kind of hard drive repair is never quick. Hard drive repair and data recovery of this nature requires a “clean room” environment where there is not even a speck of dust floating around. We, and every other computer company in the area, need to send these out for repair. Usually a week to two weeks is normal. Emergency service IS available, but you will be paying for speed over and above the already high cost of disk repair/data recovery.
Contact Lizardwebs Computer Repair – if it can be fixed, Lizardwebs Raleigh Computer Repair is YOUR company!