Hard Disk Drive Troubleshooting
Repair and Recovery
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Has your hard disk drive failed or is it slow to perform tasks such as opening files and folders? We describe hard disk drive faults and getting you back in touch with your data.
Hard Disk Drive slow to respond or not responding.
A personal computer or laptop that is slow to respond typically has a hard disk drive with poor magnetic recording media or a damaged or worn read/write head assembly. Failed attempts to read from the magnetic media will produce error reports, retries and time-outs that slow the system down to a noticeably unacceptable level. These error reports can result in the current application being forced to shut down or the operating system itself re-starting. Users notice that their files and folders are showing but with no content and the computer being sluggish and difficult to use.
How to deal with a sluggish hard disk drive.
If your hard disk drive is recognized by the operating system but slow to respond then it is wise to attempt the immediately transfer all its data to a new portable hard drive of the same or greater capacity.
Once the data transfer process is complete carefully check that all your data files and folders are intact and that you can open sub folders and files and you can use your data in an acceptable way. Once you are happy that the data transfer process has been successful then for peace of mind create and schedule a local and/or remote back-up of your data and re-build your system with a new off the shelf primary hard drive .
Symptoms associated with hard disk drive read errors.
If read/write errors occur after the system has been running for a while particularly during warm weather or if you have recently added a fast video card or other heat-producing component it’s possible that the drive is overheating.
Remove the case access panel and carefully check the operating temperature of the hard disk drive. The hard disk drive assembly ought to feel warm to the touch but not so hot that it is uncomfortable to press your finger against it for several seconds.
If you determine the hard disk drive is running above temperature then remove the computer or hard drive case and point a standard house fan directly at it. If the read/write errors disappear and the hard drive provides good service then it’s likely that overheating is the root cause of the problem.
if the hard drive temperature seems reasonable then you may have a cable problem. Power down the system and replace the cable interconnects or adapters with a new ones.
Hard Disk Drive Repair.
Essential requirements in the diagnosis, repair and recovery of data from hard disk drive faults such as described above are:
- Compatible Read Write Heads.
- Specialist Tools.
- Micro soldering stations.
- Trained Technicians.
- Clean Air, E.S.D compliant workshop.
Recovering Data from a faulty Hard Disk Drive.
When a hard disk drive is showing the symptoms described above then replacing its read write head assembly will often restore access to the data sufficient for it to be transferred to a new and reliable storage product.
Once read write head dis-assembly/reassembly work is completed the hard disk drive must have other functional control attributes restored such that raw data as written to the disk drives recording media can be read.
Specialist test gear is then used to extract and transfer this data to an alternative digital storage environment where its native file structures can be examined and tested using applications such as Word, Excel, Sage, Photo Shop etc.,
Once your data has been examined and tested a file listing will be made available to you, your data transferred to an external hard disk or similar ready for transportation.