Reasons for Failure Not Always Obvious

When a hard disk fails due a problem with the controller board, the reason for the failure is not as obvious as it may seem. Such failures can result from several problems, such as a power surge, heat soak damage or power supply issues.

Seemingly unrelated, issues can induce further faults, which in turn can lead to the terminal failure of a component. One example is a motherboard issue whereby certain connections have shorted out, which in itself may not cause the computer to fail, but will usually induce the capacitors inside the power supply unit to fail over the matter of weeks.

In such a scenario the capacitors will start to bulge due to the voltage not be regulated correctly, which in turn may cause fluctuations in the power being supplied to the other components, such as the hard disk drive. Data recovery from such a hard disk drive failure will most likely be successful, but the rest of the computer should be checked.

When such a problem occurs with the motherboard, replacing the power supply will only resolve the issue for a matter of weeks. For this reason, following the failure of the controller board you should have all components of the computer checked to ensure there is not an underlying problem with the hardware.

While such issues are fairly rare, they will result in multiple failures unless the problem is fixed. This is particularly important for RAID and server systems, where a large number of hard disks may be a risk.

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