Causes Of Hard Drive Failure

The Specific Causes Of Hard Drive Failure

Hard disk drives (or HDD) are mechanical. Most are based on a spindle and platter system that works much in the way a record player does. The arm reads the data on the platter, and your system uses it for pretty much everything on your computer.
The second type of hard drive, and one that has become extremely popular, is the Solid State Drive or SSD. This type of hard disk uses an electrical cell grid to write data directly to a memory module, exactly like the RAM in your system. These drives read and write data extremely quickly and are a key reason why todays computers are so fast.

Now, the key cause of failure for either an HDD or an SSD is one thing: mechanical failure.
For HDD drives, this means the spindle and platter system may be wearing out or losing precision due to age or heavy use.
For SSD drives, the blocks to which data is written do wear out. They can only be written too a certain number of times, and then, without warning, your drive is dead.

Some other key causes include:

  • Excessive heat Either form of drive will fail if used continually in a very hot environment or improperly cooled computer system
  • Water Damage These are electronics, and one of lifes harshest equations is Water+Electronics=Damage. (Read more about water damaged hard drives)
  • Static Electricity A dry environment can make for high amounts of static electricity.
  • Lightning or power surges A mass shock to your computer system can quickly spell the end of a hard drive.
  • High Magnetic Fields Magnets and hard drives of any kind are a bad mix.
  • Impact The parts inside a hard drive are very sensitive. Dropping a drive or laptop can cause immediate hard drive failure