Due to the use of mechanical parts and continuous vibrations, the hard drive is the first thing to fail in our computers, whether on a desktop or a laptop, and it would not be the first time that a system that works without problems suddenly stops doing so due to a hard drive failure. In this tutorial we will tell you how to solve the most common problems of internal hard drives, as well as how to prevent the problems that usually cause them so that we can prevent them.
What to do if the internal hard drive has problems?
Below we leave you a series of procedures that you should do if your internal hard drive gives you operating problems. On the one hand, we have brought together the most common hardware-related problems and, on the other, those related to software.
The PC boots, but tells me that it cannot find the hard drive
It is possible that the SATA cables for both power and data have been disabled, so you will have to open the computer and check if the cables are perfectly connected at all ends. In the event that the SATA ports do not work, then try others on the motherboard, today’s desktop motherboards have enough ports of this type. Unfortunately, if this interface does not work on any of your ports, then this could mean that the problem is with the motherboard itself and not with the hard drive. However, on a laptop the problem is much more serious if we are talking about a laptop-
Regardless of your situation, if you encounter this problem we recommend that you remove the hard drive, connect it to an external hard drive enclosure and try it on another PC. Just to rule out that the problem is not with the hard drive, but with the motherboard. In the event that the HDD does not work for you, then the problem will be in the unit that is defective and if you have it under warranty, then we recommend a replacement of it by the manufacturer.
Another problem so that the internal hard drive does not boot can be due to a BIOS malfunction. So we recommend you update it or, failing that, reinstall it. So try to keep it up to date.
Internal hard drive has overheating problem
We have said it many times, having good cooling in the PC is extremely important, not only for the integrated circuits that are part of it, but also for other components and this includes the hard drive, especially its controller. It is not usually a very common problem, but you may find that the high accumulated temperature ends up causing the circuitry in charge of controlling the transfers of the hard disk to end up being affected. So we recommend you keep your computer as clean as possible inside to avoid these problems.
In the event that you have a laptop, you have to bear in mind that the manufacturers’ industrial engineers take this eventuality into account, but a good cleaning is also recommended, in order to eliminate accumulated dust and reduce excess temperature and, therefore, therefore overheating. So it is not something you should do just to keep your RAM, CPU and graphics card in good condition, but for any other component. So try to also clean the fans that are in charge of air circulation inside the box.
To find out if your hard drive has declining performance issues, simply run a performance test with CrystalDiskMark. The use of this tool will help us to check the performance of the hard drive, it is important to do these tests once we have installed a new unit and then do them periodically, to check if its performance has been deteriorating over time.
The hard drive has error 0142 or problems with the drivers
To do this, we recommend that you start Windows in safe mode, from where the operating system will start with the basic drivers for its operation. This will help you to know if the hard drive really works or if it is not a problem with its drivers.
To solve it you will only have to go to the «Device administrator» select the drive you think has outdated drivers, right click and select update driver. We recommend that you let Windows look for the drivers in its online repository. After this you should see an increase in the performance of the unit, as long as this is the problem.
Remember that choosing a good driver is crucial, since these usually include optimizations to improve the performance of our hardware. Therefore, it is advisable to keep all the components of the computer up to date with all of them updated.
Don’t forget to defragment and optimize your hard drive
When it comes to storing information on the hard drive, it is not usually organized in contiguous sectors and it ends up happening that the data is distributed around it, not as a single block of data, but in a fragmented way.
That is why using the Windows defragmenter on a regular basis will prevent your drive from running out of space quickly, and it is a process that can extend the life of your hard drive over time. Of course, it is an extremely slow process and more with great capacities such as those that exist today. So you should forget about using the PC for a few long hours while the defragmentation process lasts. Although you should only do it if the units are defragmented. To find out, just put Optimize Units in the search box on the toolbar.
By the way, if you have an SSD, whatever type it is, then you will never need to defragment it.
Back up your data
To finish, remember to make backup copies of the contents of your hard drive on a regular basis. Although we do everything necessary to extend its end, that date will come sooner or later and we will not want to lose all our applications and personal files. So from here we always recommend having an external hard drive to make backups exclusively. You do not know when the problems of the internal hard drive can become insurmountable and it is much better to prevent.
And what happens if the hard drive is external?
The solutions in this case will be exactly the same, except for the fact that the unit will not use SATA connections to go to the hard disk but USB, so you will have to check the health of the interfaces of this type, both the cables and the corresponding connectors.
You also have to keep in mind that in many cases it will be impossible for you to clean the unit inside, but if you can and you are not afraid of losing the guarantee, disassemble the casing for cleaning periodically. And do not forget to use them in a stable area where the unit cannot receive vibrations from the environment. In any case, we have an excellent tutorial on repairing this type of unit.