Data is vital to everyone and hence requires a safe storage where it can be easily retrieved. Hard disk drives serve this function well and also enhance portability. However, data can be lost due to damage that results in failure of the disk drive that can cost one dearly. It’s however easy to retrieve the data through an expert, otherwise, it causes more damage to the disk. Failure could be mechanical, physical or logical. Either way whichever kind of failure negatively affects the disk drive.

Common physical failures of the hard disk

Physical failure result from physical damage to the drive due to the surrounding external environment, they are often caused by; heat, water, electricity, dust or tips/falls. The failures, however, result in damages both internally and externally.

Head crash

The head of the drive is at risk of damage from falls, being hit or it drops off. This affects the read and write head of the device, which is just proximately close to the external head. When the internal read and write head touches the platters or scratches the magnetic data storage surface, it causes severe data loss. as you try to retrieve or repair the device, more harm is caused. It’s advisable to consult an expert.

Failure of air filters

This is tiny holes found on the disk that equalize the external and internal pressure of the disk. When dust particles are not captured, they land on the platter and may cause a head crash on the drive. Exposure to water for a few seconds may not cause harm to the drive, however, if dipped in water for some minutes, water filters in because the drive isn’t fully sealed and hence damages the drive.


Hard disk drives also suffer from electronic failures. This mostly occurs if the spikes in the main voltage of the disk come in contact with the magnetic media on the platters. Once on the platter, the path to the head is so much clear hence on contact, magnetic damage occurs thus causing data loss to the device.


Well, it is a relief that high temperature up to 100 doesn’t cause drive failure. In some causes though, say your house is on fire it could be hard to save the disk exposing it to too much high temperatures of up to 300 or much higher. This causes corruption of data at 200 while at 300, the aluminum platters warp. On extinguishing the fire, due to the sudden change in temperature from the water used by fire fighters, the platters warp even further.

Failures occur and data is lost, but isn’t the end of the world, you still can retrieve your data.  From the cloud, you had saved or even from the hard drive itself. All you need is to consult an expert and you have your data though the drive at times may be damaged beyond repair. It’s also a better option to avoid data loss by always backing up your data. This will save the cost of data recovery.

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