how to detect a bad hard drive and troubleshoot it

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When the hard drive of your Windows PC is malfunctioning, it may be it could only be a software problem or a hardware failure. A bad connection can also be responsible for your inconvenience. So, how do you find a bad hard drive and troubleshoot it on Windows?

Under Windows, as on other operating systems, it is imperative to make regular backups. Your Hard disk can fail, especially if it is a traditional Hard Drive Disk (HDD). Indeed, the average life of a hard drive is about five years old. A good backup will therefore allow you to recover your operating system and all your data on another hard drive.

But if your hard drive is defective, it is not necessarily too late. You can still troubleshoot your material. You must first check the cause of the failure. Either your computer is missing the boot process and it’s a software problem, or your computer doesn’t recognize it and it’s setup. Start already with our 10 ways to speed up a Windows computer.

In the worst case, your hard drive is no longer functioning or badly and it is then a hardware problem. It will then have to be replaced, if possible by one of our best SSDs, much more reliable and faster than conventional hard disks (HDD).

Detect hard drive failure in Windows

When you turn on your Windows PC, it remains as blocked and it does not start. It is possible that it is installing your operating system that is damaged. In this case, you should try to reinstall Windows on your PC. For example, you can do this with a bootable USB stick or an external hard drive. If the installation was successful, then the problem was software.

If you are sure that your operating system does not present any anomalies, go to the screen of the BIOS of your computer. Access is different depending on the manufacturer, but it is generally one of the following keys: F2, F8, F12 or the DEL key. At start-up, do not hesitate to spam one of these keys to reach the BIOS. Once you are there, in the boot section, check that your hard drive appears in the list.

MSI Click Bios

If your computer can see the drive well and still cannot boot from it, this is a good indicator of the health of your hard drive. This one may be broken. He may also suffer a software problem.

If, on the other hand, your computer still does not see the drive, it is still possible that it is a connection problem. Or, it is so bad that it cannot be detected. We will be interested in the case of the material defect.

How do I diagnose a faulty hard drive?

From here, to help you out, you’ll have to get your hands dirty, open your computer and take a look at the components. If you are not comfortable with this process or if you are worried that the warranty will jump, return your computer to the manufacturer or reseller Where turn to a professional.

First of all, turn off your pc, turn off the power and unplug it from the mains to avoid any problem. Touch a metal object around you to remove static electricity from your body. Inside, check the SATA cable who links hard drive to motherboard and power supply. Your best bet is to unplug the cable and plug it back in, making sure the connection is secure. Take the opportunity to clean up dust, check all connections, etc.

Check motherboard HDD cable
© WikiHow

Once you are done, turn on your PC again and go back to BIOS. If your hard drive appears there, try a normal boot again. If you reconnected it correctly and it still does not work, you can try to buy a SATA cable and replace it. It may be defective itself.

If your hard drive is still not responding, you have to start considering the worst: buy a new one HDD or SSD hard drive. And for a reliable hard drive, check out this list of the best brands. Then reinstall Windows, all of your programs, and reconfigure your preferences.

Certainly vaccinated by this bad experience, watch more closely the performance and health of your hard drive to spot problems early, before it’s too late.



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