A number of recent hard disk failures has highlighted how often the warning signs of an impending failure are often being ignored, particularly when odd scratching noises have been heard. It is alarming many drives have been heard to make scratching noises, which is ignored, many of which do not report any problems in the S.M.A.R.T. data.
With many cases now featuring sound proofing, allowing them to operate almost silently mean it is a lot more difficult to hear when a hard disk drive is making clicking or scraping noises. For such systems the first sign of an impending problem is often when the system crashes or an application or files takes a long to load or even fails.
It is clear though from our experience and questions asked online that many computer users do not realise that hard disk drives can fail, often only founding out the hard way when their computer refuses to boot up. Many also believe that it is therefore not necessary to make a backup of important files, meaning that important documents or irreplaceable photos may be at risk.
This ignorance of the situation can also lead to ill-advised attempts to recover the data, which if the disk is failing may cause more damage. In the worst cases it can lead to the data being completely unrecoverable.