If your computer suddenly shuts down while you’re in the middle of working on something, or it fails to boot properly you may have a hard disk problem. But before you work on your hard disk, you have to make sure first that the problem does not lie anywhere else within the computer.
To diagnose if the problem really is your hard drive, check that all cables are connected properly, all the cards are securely attached to the right slots on the motherboard, and the power supply unit inside your computer is in good condition.
Once you have determined that all other areas where possible errors may occur are functioning properly, it is time to look at your hard drive.
Every time your hard disk performs any task such as reading or writing data, it is normal to hear a whirring sound. However, if the sound is persistent and is a bit loud, it could be a sign that you are having hard drive failure.
Before you begin any repair steps, make sure that you back-up all important data so in case you lose any data saved on your hard disk, you have all relevant files saved somewhere else.
Once you have backed up all necessary files, you may need to check your physical hard drive. Open your casing and see if it is properly connected to the motherboard. Check that the connector for Pin 1 is connected to the Pin 1 slot on your hard drive.
Also check that the cables or the ribbons are still in good condition. Finally, clean your physical hard drive. Take out all the dust or other debris that may be hampering its performance. Dust off all other parts of your computer as well including the insides of the casing.
Sometimes, a simple clean-up fixes the problem.
Computer Starts but the OS Doesn’t Boot
When you turn on your computer it starts to read but fails to run your Operating System, this may be an indication that your boot sector has failed. Should this occur, your best remedy is to reinstall your Operating System.
However, installing a fresh copy of your OS will erase all your existing programs so you may have to reinstall everything as well. But if you have a separate partition for your OS and programs, and your data files; you will not lose any of your files.
Computer Boots from the Floppy Drive
When this happens, you may again have a bad boot sector. Scan your boot sector with an updated anti-virus program to see if this solves the problem. If it does not remedy the situation, you may need to proceed with the steps mentioned above which is reinstalling your OS.
If, after you have done everything and your hard drive is still not functioning as it should, it may be time to get a new hard drive.