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What is a hard drive crash - and how do you fix it?

If you've ever pressed your computer's power button only to hear a spinning or knocking sound while the screen stays dark (or blue), chances are you've experienced the mini-disaster known as a hard drive crash.

A crashed hard drive is inconvenient to say the least - but it can often be fixed. In this article, we'll take a closer look at what's involved in rescuing your data and getting your computer up and running again.

Before we go there though, we do have one crucial tip to share with you – “Backup” your data regularly.

So, what causes a hard drive crash anyway?

It's more common for older hard drives to crash and the reason is quite simple. Data is stored on this type of hard drive using magnetic disks that are found inside the drive's casing. Sometimes the hardware that stores and retrieves data becomes damaged and well, the result is a computer that just won't start up.

There is also a kind of hard drive crash caused by something called logical failure. Basically, the drive stops working for software reasons and needs to be rebooted by a technician.

Fixing a hard drive crash

A hard drive that has crashed due to hardware failure may never work again - but the data stored on it can be recovered by an IT technician. If logical failure caused the crash, a technician can help too - and the drive probably won't even need to be replaced.

So, there you have it. Next time someone's hard drive crashes (and hopefully it won't be yours), you can save the day with some much-needed advice.

Oh, and remember that if you are regularly backing up your data, when you do take your PC to - or call in a technician (unless you're really good with PC hardware, you probably won’t need to splurge out the extra cost for data retrieval...