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  • Writer's pictureViktor Dante

Why is My Hard Drive Corrupted? Solutions for Corrupted Hard Drive Recovery

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

A Windows error box message stating: Location is not accessible".
The drive not accessible warning from Windows is indicative of drive corruption.

Solutions for Corrupted Hard Drive Recovery:

Some may be all too familiar with this warning box, especially our PC users who are in need of corrupted hard drive data recovery services. I know it used to devastate me, thinking of all the irreplaceable data and work I lost. Little did I know, that this could not only be prevented (most of the time) but also, the data can be rescued. Let WDR show you how...


Hard drive corruption occurs when the hard disk drive fails to function correctly and data saved on the system will no longer be accessed. Hard disks damage for a number of reasons ranging from human errors to hardware issues.

What is File Corruption?

File corruption is the unintended absence and/or presence of data in files. It usually occurs when a file is written to a storage device or if a transmission goes wrong.

  • For instance, if you shut down your PC during an update at just the right time, your system files can be half-written. Or, if you are saving a document while the program handling it freezes and force-quits, you might be walking away with a corrupted file.

File corruption can cause many issues, including indecipherable data. Imagine if an ordinary sentence turns into a string of unintelligible characters! This will render the file completely unusable. What’s worse, files might become unreadable to computers, too. That occurs when a file’s metadata becomes corrupted, causing the app to be unable to recognize the file format.

Warning Signs Indicating Hard Drive Corruption:

  • Unexpected data loss

  • Slow System

  • Strange disk errors

  • Computer freezes frequently or crash (Blue Screen of Death)

  • System is too hot to touch

  • Strange noises such as clicking, beeping, screeching or grinding

  • System BIOS will be unable to detect the drive

  • Sudden startup failure

  • After booting, black screen appears which won’t let you start the system

  • Fans are moving too slowly or too fast

You can avoid most of the causes for hard drive failure with the little planning and also by identifying the warning signs. Learn how to protect your computer from accidental data loss, so that you can avoid drastic data loss which can occur after the hard drive damage.

Additionally, malware can cause these problems too. They can either render files worthless directly or mark working parts of the hard drive as bad sectors.

Causes for Hard Drive Corruption

  1. Overheating can be the primary cause of hard drive damage. This may be caused due to inadequate ventilation in and around the computer hard drive.

  2. Any type of physical force like, jarring, dropping or bumping may lead to damage the hard drive physically. Due to this, read/write heads may touch the disks and cause damage to platter’s surface where data resides.

  3. Hard drives can be damaged due to the power surge. Interference with power lines, lightning strikes or due to the interrupted flow of energy power surge occurs.

  4. Bad sectors are damaged sectors on the hard drive where the computer cannot read write the data. These are capable enough to cause damage to your entire hard drive.

  5. Severe virus or malware infection may cause damage to your system hard drive. As a result, data stored on the hard drive will become inaccessible or lost.

  6. The electric motor which lets the platter to spin fails due to damaged bearings or other components and results in corruption

  7. Installing unauthorized third party software, turning off system before closing files, improper installation or removal of files can also result in hard drive corruption

  8. Accidental removal of files imperative to the disk drive may be one of the reasons for broken HDD

  9. MBR is the table of content which contains information about files, folders, and partitions, so any type of damage to MBR may lead to hard drive corruption or whole system crash

  10. Formation of moisture caused by flooding or dropping a liquid onto your system will damage severely. This is because disk drives are not waterproof so it will damage the electronic parts and disk components of the system.

How to Fix Corrupted Files

The easiest way to recover from file corruption is to make backups. Ideally, you should store a copy on an external hard drive and the cloud. In that case, you can retrieve it whenever something goes wrong with your files to prevent data loss.

However, if you don’t have backups or all backups are corrupted, you need to use more advanced methods to get your data back.

  • For instance, if you’ve recently created a restore point, you can use System Restore to recover the previous state of your computer. However, keep in mind that all changes created after this point will be lost, so you have to choose the most recent restore point for this action. But before using System Restore, make sure that you have tried all built-in recovery options.

If even that doesn’t work, you have to use data recovery software, which can be more of a hassle. Look at what file types they cover and the customer ratings. Continue the search if the app seems unreliable, ineffective, or insecure.

If the corrupted files are system files, you might not be able to access your system to retrieve any of your backups. Try to let the computer recover itself through the Startup Repair function first. If it doesn’t work, use the System Restore function or uninstall updates that are added recently. Otherwise, you might have to take more drastic measures, such as inserting recovery commands or reinstalling your operating system.

If all recovery options are exhausted, and your only choice is to get rid of the file, it’s not worth it, especially if the file contains important or irreplaceable information. Therefore, your best option is to back up before something goes wrong!


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