Hardware

The Science Behind Corrupt Hard Drives

The fact that it is impossible to access a corrupted hard drive and all files stored on it scares the imminent threat of data loss. Not only that, but the lack of clarity as to why the hard drive is corrupted also puts the user in a state of confusion and constant fear of data loss. Read the following article for a detailed explanation of what a hard drive actually is corrupt.

What makes a Corrupted Hard drive?

Before delving into the actual topic, you need to understand two main concepts

  • File systems
  • Master Boot Table
File Systems

A file system can be thought of as an organizational program for storing, accessing and managing data stored on the hard disk. Operating systems can only access the storage drive if the file system is running. NTFS, ExFAT, and APFS (Apple) are a few examples of a file system.

Master Boot Table

The master boot table or master boot record (MBR) is an icon that carries complete file information stored on your hard drive. If the MBR is corrupted, there is no other way that the operating system can access the volume on the drive. If the file system or MBR becomes corrupted, the computer will fail to access the hard drive or any volume. Therefore, when your hard drive is corrupted, you cannot access the hard drive.

Signs that a Hard Drive is Corrupted

When your hard drive becomes corrupted, when you look at File Explorer (This PC), the respective drive will be marked as RAW or not accessible. In some severe cases, the drive will not be displayed in Windows File Explorer or This Computer. In such cases, you need to use Disk Management to repair the corrupted drive. You will learn more about fixing a corrupted drive in the next sections.

Why do hard drives become corrupted?

There are some common causes of hard drive corruption:

1. Virus or Malware infection

MBR is vulnerable to viruses and can be easily damaged. There are also a few viruses that are specifically programmed to infect the master boot record and corrupt your hard drive. Hence, if your antivirus won’t update, there is a possibility that it corrupts your hard drive.

2. Sudden interruption

Also, sudden interruptions that occur during hard drive operation can damage the hard drive. Because when the hard disk drive stores or writes data, it modifies MBR at the same time. So suddenly interrupting the write process could damage MBR and lead to hard disk corruption.

3. Bad Sectors

Bad sectors are a collection of bad storage sectors on the hard drive that are no longer responding to commands. Large number of bad sectors will change the hard disk structure resulting in hard disk corruption.

4. Long term usage

If you use the same hard drive for a longer period of time, a lot of wear and tear can accumulate along the way. This wear and tear may not appear to the naked eye, but if you have been using the hard drive for a very long time, there is a high chance that the hard drive may become damaged.

Can a corrupted hard drive be fixed?

Yes, you can repair a damaged hard drive, however, that shouldn’t be your first priority. First you have to rescue the data stored on the damaged hard disk. Since the corrupted hard drive is inaccessible, the best chances to recover data from damaged hard drive are with the help of data recovery software.
Integrated with the latest recovery drives, Cat Hard Drive Data Recovery is a highly recommended solution for this data recovery program.

How to Fix a Corrupted Hard drive?

Note: Before repairing a corrupted hard drive, make sure that you restore all important files from it.
Depending on the condition of your damaged hard drive, there are different ways to fix it. For example, when your hard drive gets corrupted and becomes invisible or is marked as a primary partition, you need to assign it a drive letter. If your hard drive is damaged due to bad sectors, then you need to run a disk check or if your hard drive is damaged due to sudden interruptions, normal formatting will fix it.

How to Fix a Corrupted Hard Drive that is Marked as RAW?

When your hard drive is marked as RAW, you need to assign a new drive letter with the disk management utility. The following steps explain how to do this.

Go to Start> Type Computer Management> and then click Run as administrator.

In the right option of Computer Management, you will find the Storage option to select it and then click on Disk Management.

  • Generally, when any storage drive gets corrupted it will be marked as RAW or Unallocated and will be black in color.
  • Right-click on it and select New Simple Volume option and follow the steps.
  • When you get to the drive letter assignment step, select the desired drive letter and also specify the file system and click next.
  • Wait for coordination to complete and after that, driving should be effective.

You can follow the same process even to repair a damaged hard drive due to bad sectors or virus infection. But you should also run a disk check. Here’s how to run a check disk scan on your drive.

How to Perform a Check Disk to Fix a Corrupted Hard Drive?

After assigning a drive letter, your damaged hard drive or any storage drive should be available in This PC, My Computer, or Windows File Explorer. Follow the steps listed below to perform a disk check.

  • Right click on the drive and click on properties
  • Under Properties, select the Tools tab.
  • Now click on the radio button and wait for the process to complete. This process will fix all bad sectors or any logic errors present.

How to Avoid Hard Drive Corruption

When your hard drive is about to wear out, your computer might start to show some symptoms. This can include slow performance, sudden termination of apps or even some of your files getting corrupted or corrupted.

When you start noticing songs like this, you should take some precautions like:

  • Update your antivirus program
  • Use a scan disk (generally, disk check is used to repair bad sectors, so using Check Disk may fix any upcoming errors that may corrupt your hard drive)
  • Keep your operating system up to date at all times
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