If you’re reading this, then I am going to go out on a limb and say that you have a computer and that you have experienced computer freezes at one time or another. Computer freezes can often times be a warning that the hard drive in your computer might be going bad.
In a lot of cases, hard drives just don’t stop working all together. The drives can tend to just degrade over a period of time. This will result in a real decrease in computer performance and eventually it could lead to computer freezes.
Over the years, I have seen computer freezes caused by failing hard drives in laptops more than desktop computers. The reason for this is that laptop hardware is just inferior to that of most desktop computers. Manufacturers like Dell, HP, Sony and Acer are always trying to push the envelope by making laptop hardware components smaller and smaller, but smaller components usually leads to higher failure rates.
Computer Freezes Are Hard On Your Computer’s Hard Drive
Being able to recognize symptoms of a failing hard drive is not hard as long as you know what you should be looking for. Here is a quick list of symptoms that may be caused by a failing hard drive:
- Computer freezes up frequently
- Notice major decrease in computer performance
- Programs take forever to open as well as saving files
- You can hear a loud clicking noise coming from the hard drive
If you notice any of the above symptoms happening on your computer, then it may be a good idea for you to make sure your data is backed up. Back in the day, people would normally spend a few hundred dollars on an external hard drive and then backup their data to that drive. This method is really inefficient and what would happen if something happened to that drive. You would lose all of your data.
Laptops Are More Vulnerable To Computer Freezes
There has been huge growth in online backup over the past couple of years. It literally is changing the way computers and laptops are being backed up. The popular services out there today like Mozy Pro are extremely reliable and very inexpensive. You can try Mozy Pro for free and see if you like it. I highly recommend it. God forbid if your house were to burn down or something very bad happen that destroyed your computer. If this were the case, you would still have all of that important data such as all of your financial data or family pictures backed up online.
Let’s move on to what you need to do in order to diagnose a bad hard drive. If you have a newer computer that is under warranty, then you may want to contact their technical support and have them work with you so you do not void your warranty.
The first thing I normally check to see if the hard drive is bad is to check the System event view to see if there are any alerts for Disk. You can access the computer’s event viewer by doing this:
- Go to Start > Run
- Type eventvwr
- Click Ok
You will want to open the System event log and check for any Alerts with a Source of Disk. If you find some, then it is a pretty safe bet that you have a hard drive that is failing.
If you do not see any errors in your computer’s event log then I would recommend downloading a program called WD Diags. This is diagnostics program that was developed by the hard drive manufacturer Western Digital. This utility works with most name brand hard drives on the market today. I would just download and install the windows version and then run a Quick Test on your hard drive.
Computer Freezes Can Cause The Computer Registry To Become Corrupt
If the quick test brings back a result of Failed, then I would take measures to get a replacement hard drive. If the test passes, then it is a pretty safe bet that the drive is in working condition and that there may be something else like low memory or spyware that may be slowing your computer down.
Never get burned losing your data because of a bad hard drive. Always be alert and looks for symptoms such as computer freezes or even ticking noises coming from your hard drive.