The phrase “it was working yesterday” or something similar is regularly muttered every day. Just because an electronic machine was working yesterday, or even just minutes ago, it may fail for no apparent reason at any moment. Even if it’s not visible, there will always be a reason for the failure.
Computers have an annoying habit of failing at the most injudicious moments, which can lead to panic decisions being made. It is important to determine the cause of the issue, but not put your valuable data risk. Any hard disk which fails should be sent for data recovery and repeated attempts at booting a computer with a failing or failed hard drive can result in further damage occurring.
There are often warning signs that a problem is imminent, but we as humans are often poor at noticing these. These can range from hearing unusual sounds coming from the computer, such scraping or clicking noises or fans becoming louder or noticeably running faster.
The computer becoming less responsive, such as slower to open an application or for example load an office document. Running software to monitor the computer may prove useful, but again it is easy to ignore any warnings it may give.
Power surges are still a fairly common occurrence, often noticeable by a slight flickering from the lights. In general, these are not bad enough to cause any harm, but once in a while, especially when a power cut occurs, these can be quite severe, especially if they are the result of a lightning strike.
There are many power boards which provide surge protection, but even the best ones may not be able to protect against the severest power spike. Most modern motherboards also have surge protection built in, but again this can only protect to a certain level especially the power supply is damaged, which may lead to damage occurring to the hard disk drives or other components.
At DiskEng we have seen a vast array of problems following a sudden unexpected failure. A sudden failure is less likely to have caused damage to the file system stored on the disk. However, if the underlying problem has existed for a long time without being noticed, the damage could be quite severe.
Following a computer system failure, it is important to seek professional advice, rather than attempt to recover the data yourself, which could result in more damage and in the worst case a total loss of data. At DiskEng our engineers are trained not take any risks which could lead to further unnecessary damage occurring.