If your PC or laptop has been acting up recently, you shouldn’t just write it off as a dodgy connection or having too many programs running. Your hard drive could be about to fail – and if that happens, you’ll be at risk of losing everything. Unless you’re already very clued up and back all your documents up to the cloud or an external hard drive, your built-in hard drive failing will cause lots of issues. However, if it hasn’t failed yet, you still have time to take precautions and save all your files. It could go at any point, so if you have any suspicions, it’s much safer to act fast and take all preventative measures first.
How do you know it’s about to fail?
There are a number of symptoms you should look out for if you suspect a failing hard drive, and luckily, most of them are quite obvious so you don’t need to be an expert to spot them. The most obvious symptom is noise: if your laptop has always been quiet before and it’s suddenly started making a loud noise, you should be concerned. This might sound like whirring, grinding or like a fan running very loudly.
You should also look out for frequent crashing, error messages, files disappearing, and systems running slowly. While other issues can cause one or two of these symptoms, if you’re seeing more than one as well as hearing a noise, you can be quite confident that it’s the hard drive.
What can you do to stop it?
If you’ve managed to catch your hard drive before it crashes, there are a number of ways you can save your data before the drive corrupts. You can use software to copy all of your data – all your documents, files, photos and music – and then save it onto either another device or onto an external hard drive.
It takes more time, but you can also do this without any specialist software. You can buy an external hard drive and save everything onto it. Or, you can create accounts with online cloud-based platforms, and upload everything onto the cloud. Examples include Dropbox and OneDrive. Depending on what laptop you have, this might happen automatically – some Microsoft-based devices will save your work to OneDrive as you go.
What happens if it fails before you’ve taken action?
Some people aren’t fortunate enough to catch their hard drive before it corrupts. If this happens to you, don’t worry or panic. There are ways of getting all of your documents and data back. One of the easiest, safest ways of getting your data back is by going to professionals. They can use a data retrieval center to get everything back to you – and some can even restore the hard drive for you.
There’s some software on the market to help you do this yourself, but if you’re not an IT genius or computer technician, it can be a stressful and expensive process – especially if it doesn’t work out in the end for you.