How to repair a hard drive yourself
- Option 1: Damaged sectors
- Option 2: Windows does not see the hard drive
- Option 3: Hard disk is not displayed in BIOS
- Option 4: Hard drive knocks when working
- Option 5: Strange sounds
- Option 6: The hard disk is slow
HDDs or hard drives have a low level of stability, so they are not insured against damage. Usually, a hard disk breaks out of mechanical damage (non-compliance with operating temperatures, shaking, etc.). But some problems with the drive, the user is able to solve on their own, without referring to a specialist.
Independently, you can fix only those problems that are of a program nature, or minor physical problems, for example, accidental disconnection of the connecting cable with the motherboard.
If the problem is more serious, then fix it yourself will not work. The price of the services of service centers will depend directly on the pricing policy of the service and the complexity of the breakdown. It is more reasonable to purchase a new drive than to try to rest the old one (the exception may be the disk on which very important information is stored). It should be understood that the service center does not guarantee you the complete safety of your data.
Provided that if you have a warranty for the hard drive or the computer itself, then you can try to request warranty service, or replace the broken disk. They can refuse you only if they can prove that the disk failed due to your fault.
Sometimes it happens that you can not perform certain operations with data on the disk, but you can copy them to another medium. Do not be lazy to take advantage of this opportunity, it can help to save your data.
Option 1: Damaged sectors
Disks may work with damaged sectors, but at the same time you will begin to notice some oddities in the work, for example:
- During the execution of even the most primitive tasks in the system, everything is very “slow”;
- Files and folders are deleted by themselves. Also, you often have to deal with errors about the fact that one or another file located on the problem disk is damaged;
- The system stops seeing the hard disk for some time.
In this case, the most innocuous option is software failures, which can be caused by viruses or incompatible software. To eliminate such failures, it will be enough to launch a special utility using the “Command Line”, which will scan the computer and, if possible, eliminate the detected errors. Instructions for running the utility is as follows:
- Launch the Console in any way convenient for you. For example, you can use the special menu, which is caused by the key combination Win + X. It will need to find the item "Command line (administrator)" .
- Enter: sfc \ scannow
And press Enter to use the command.
- Wait for the scan to complete. At the end of it you will see a report.
Provided that if the problem lies in the physical damage to the disk sectors, then it will have to either be handed over for repair or be replaced (the second is recommended). Data can be transferred to another hard disk or SSD-drive.
How to transfer Windows 10 from HDD to SSD
How to install SSD
Option 2: Windows does not see the hard drive
The operating system may not see the disk for the following reasons:
- The disc does not have a letter. For example, A, B, C, etc. In this case, you have to format the hard drive. If any data was recorded on the media, it can be restored using special software;
- The disc format is RAW. In this case, it will also have to be formatted, but it will have to be done according to a special instruction, which is lower;
- If the hard drive is only purchased, then most likely it was not correctly initialized by the operating system. Instructions for initialization will be lower.
So, consider how to convert the RAW format to NFTS or FAT32:
- Initially, you will have to prepare a flash drive with the image of the installed operating system. How to make a bootable flash drive, see this link.
- Since the disk is not displayed in the operating system, it will have to be formatted through the BIOS. Restart the computer and enter the BIOS. As a rule, F2 or Delete are responsible for the input, but other keys from F2 to F12 can be used. The key must be pressed until the Windows logo appears.
- Further actions depend on the BIOS version. In most cases, you will need to find the “Boot” tab, which is located in the top menu, or in the center of the screen.
- Here, use the arrow keys and Enter to select “1st Boot Priority” .
- A menu opens where you need to select your flash drive.
- Click on F10 or select “Save & Exit” .
- The computer will restart and the Windows Installer window will open. Select a language and keyboard layout.
- Now click on "System Restore" , which can be found in the bottom left of the window.
- The recovery window will open, where you need to fail in the “Command Line” .
- Enter this command: wmic logicaldisk get deviceid, volumename, size, description
And press Enter to apply.
- All information about the disks will be displayed in the Console - dimensions, file system, etc. Find the desired drive will be easy, as in the title will appear "RAW" .
- Now type the command: format / FS: NTFS X: / q
Where "X" there you need to specify the drive letter with the RAW file system. To use press Enter . In this case, the disk file system will be changed to NFTS. If you need to change to FAT, then use this command: format / FS: FAT32 X: / q
If your operating system boots normally, then you do not need to create a separate bootable USB flash drive, since the “Command Line” can be opened from the OS interface, and you can skip the first 9 points of the instruction.
Now it remains to figure out what to do if Windows cannot initialize the hard disk by itself:
- Open the "Disk Management" utility. This can be done by calling the “Run” line ( Win + R key combination) and typing the following command in it: diskmgmt.msc
To apply the command, click on “OK” , or press Enter .
- In the utility window, find the disk that has not been initialized. It can be found on the basis that all the free space on it is marked in black.
- Click on the disk icon (not the space, namely the disk) and select the item from the "Initialize disk" drop-down menu.
- A window will open where you need to select a disk to initialize. There is almost always only one disk available.
- Below you will need to tick one of the points: MBR or GPT. It is recommended to install the MBR if the volume of the drive is less than 2 TB. After selecting the drive, click on "OK" .
- The disk will be initialized by the system, but its space will be displayed as unallocated, therefore, it will not be shown in the "Explorer" . To fix this, right-click on the block with unallocated space and select “Create simple volume” from the context menu.
- The “Simple Volume Creation Wizard” window will open. It will provide introductory information. Click "Next" .
- In the next window, you can leave everything as it is, since by default the wizard marks all the available space. If you do not need to use the entire volume, then set the desired number opposite “Simple volume size (MB)” . All values are given in megabytes. 1 gigabyte - 1024 megabytes. To use, click "Next" .
- Specify the letter that will be assigned to the disk and click "Next . "
- In the disk formatting window you will need to select the file system. It is recommended to put NFTS, or FAT. The latter is relevant only for small-sized disks. Check the box next to “Quick Format” and click “Next” .
- As a final step, you will be shown a progress report. Click on "Done" .
Option 3: Hard disk is not displayed in BIOS
This problem takes place in more serious cases, since the BIOS displays all connected devices by default, even if they are not visible in the interface of the operating system.
There are only two reasons why a hard one is not visible even in the BIOS:
- Mechanical failure of the disk. A sure sign of a problem of this kind is that the device makes some sounds, that is, it tries to start, but it fails. In this case, you yourself can not cope with the problem. The hard drive will either have to be changed completely, or contact a specialist to fix it. The chances of saving information are very small;
- The disk was installed incorrectly. If you have just connected a hard drive, then check how correctly you installed it. Perhaps you loosely plugged the cable or mixed up some connectors on the motherboard. This option is the safest, since you just need to reconnect the drive;
- Damaged cables with which the disk is connected to the motherboard and power supply. Perform a visual inspection of the cable and contacts. If they have any damage, replace the cable. A new cable can be bought in a specialized component store;
- Motherboard malfunction. Any connector may have failed. Try to reconnect the hard drive to another connector.
Option 4: Hard drive knocks when working
If a hard disk produces strong tapping sounds during operation, this means that its controller has failed. In this case, the HDD can work for a short time more or less stable. However, soon it will no longer be recognized by the system, and then the BIOS.
At home, it is impossible to replace the controller, so you will have to contact the service center. However, it is worth weighing all the pros and cons, since repairing a controller can cost as much (if not more) than a hard disk. If you still have a valid warranty, you can request a repair, but most likely you will be offered to replace this disk with a new one.
Repair is advisable to carry out only if the disk contains very important data, since after it the risk of repeated breakdowns will greatly increase.
Option 5: Strange sounds
In addition to knocking, the drive may emit other sounds that are not typical of it, which also speaks of problems. However, in this case, it is much more difficult to determine their source, since the problem can be diagnosed only by sounds. For example, a disk may squeak, buzz, pop, etc. In addition, for carriers from different manufacturers, the same sound can mean different problems.
The HDD that makes these sounds may work stably for a while, but if you notice them, it is recommended that you immediately back up all the information stored on it. Take the disc yourself to a specialist so that he can disassemble it and make a diagnosis.
Based on the results of diagnostics, you can find out the final cost of repairs. If you rent a disk under warranty, then the diagnostics should be free, but you may not be able to repair it, and instead suggest replacing the HDD with a similar one by properties.
Option 6: The hard disk is slow
Over time, the speed of data processing by a hard disk may slow down, but this does not mean that it fails. Most likely problems lie in the hardware and they are easy to solve.
The most common reasons that eventually lead to a slowdown in the PC are the following:
- Software garbage, that is, data of remote programs, temporary system files, etc .;
- HDDs, unlike SSDs, are subject to fragmentation over time. If its percentage is too high, the speed of the device will decrease significantly. The only solution in this case is a defragmentation procedure. This procedure should not be abused, as frequent defragmentation harms the work of the media;
- Autoload crammed with various applications. In this case, the operating system will be loaded for a particularly long time;
- Operating systems are poorly configured to work with HDD;
- The disk has "broken" sectors and other software errors;
- Connection via obsolete connectors, for example, through IDE.
The solution to each of these problems is the topic of a separate article; you can find a solution of some of them on our website:
How to defragment your hard drive
Because of its specificity, a hard disk is a fragile device that can be damaged even if you just shake it lightly for a while. Therefore, in order to avoid breakdowns and other problems, try to handle the hard drive as carefully as possible. The stated service life of many HDDs is 5-6 years, but it can end earlier, so do not forget to regularly make backup copies of important information, or store it on another disk.