Check if the hard drive appears in Disk Management and all the partitions do have a drive letter. Check if the hard drive is properly installed. Check if the hard drive is BIOS detected. Connect the hard drive to anther interface or another computer. Check if the hard drive is physically damaged.
Your hard drive has metal platters (as seen in the picture on the home page) that spin at very high rates of speed (5,400 to 10,000 rpms) and are sealed in an air tight chassis (what you know to be the hard drive.) If at any time within this chassis a spec of dust, smoke, or fragment of the platter(s) are exposed to the fine magnetic needle that reads the data off those platters it could create a "bump" in the road. If you only have a couple of bad sectors you may get away with it for a while, but if you have multiple, than it is time to get a new hard drive, because it will only get worse and eventually lead to a total failure and data corruption. By running scandisk (98,ME) or chkdsk (xp) the Windows O.S. will check for these bad sectors and mark them not be used again. This method is good for buying you some time to do a backup of your data and replace the drive. You can access these tools by double clicking on my computer, right click on the hard disk that you want to check, and then go to properties. There should be a tools tab to press scandisk or check disk for errors, etc. Hard drives will fail, it is just a matter of when, why, & how.
Data backup should be performed all the time. Realistically, it depends on your work load or sensitivity of data. If your data is general data like pictures, mp3's, documents, etc., but you only add to them occasionally, backing up at least once a month would be a good starting point. If you are daily adding to your library of files, doing a daily a backup is necessary.
This depends on what kind of data you have. If you have gigs of information, you may need to revert to a DVD-R, tape, or another hard drive. Other sources of backup are jump drives, CD-R's, floppy disks, zip drives, etc. This really depends on your needs. If you not sure, just email us with your data file sizes or about how many mp3 or pictures you have and we will give you our suggestion.
Very likely that the hard drive or motherboard is going bad or is dead. If you can access your drive from another computer (slaving) and retrieve your data, now would be a good time, however if this isn't possible and the drive is dead, you will need to have your data recovered professionally. Please see Drive Saver information on home page.
This is yet another broad question that I will say YES, but keep it to a point. If a quality hard drive like one from Seagate, is in your machine then it likely that it will last 3-5 years under average daily use. With this said, when they begin to fail, they may slow down, causing your data to take longer to get to what you see on screen. If your computer is running slower than it seemed like it did a month ago and nothing else seems to be apparently wrong (like spyware, virus', etc.) then your hard drive maybe trying to tell you it is on its way out. Now would be a good time to backup your data if you have not done so already and give RCCS a call or your local computer dealer/manufacturer for repair information if you do not know how to install a new drive and restore your software. Tip: I have seen time and time again, that a simple hard drive and memory upgrade do wonders for a system. It may even extend the life of your system for a couple of more years of use, before you have to shell out $$$ for a whole new system.
This can be the result of a couple of problems. The most common is that the virtual memory of the drive is being accessed more often because there is not enough system memory. I have seen this happen more often with a system running Windows XP with less than 512 megabytes of ram. Another reason for this could be that the drive itself is slowing down and isn't able to keep up with the data that is being requested from it. It may be time for a new hard drive at this point. Last thought would be there is too many programs running on your system. Try removing anything that isn't necessary to boot up your system or have a technician look at your start up files. Often spyware and virus' can be the culprit when software is heavy loading a system.
This can be a tricky question. The answer can be yes. Hard drives, especially cheaply built or aged ones make noises. The normal noise is a low (if a new or decent drive)crackling sound. A sign of a bad or cheap drive is a loud (loud meaning you can hear it clearly when the case is about 2 to 4 feet away from you.) clanking, clicking, maybe grinding sound. Often these noises can be confused with a fan going bad inside the computer case.
TURN IT OFF NOW! If your hard drive was physically dropped and is now squealing or grinding that means that it has a "head crash." These type of crashes are undoubtedly the worse type. What is happening is the metal magnetic reader that that is supposed to be floating above the disk platters isn't any longer. It is physically making dust of the platters and permanently destroying your data. If you have anything important on this drive that you don't have a backup of you will need to contact Drive Savers (information is on the home page). Don't keep attempting to turn it on with hope that it will fix itself, because it will only make matters worse.
YES!!!! During the shutdown process, not only is data being rewritten out of ram back to the drive, the drive is being told to spin down and seat (stop) itself. By cold powering off (like pulling the plug out of the wall) the drive does not get the opportunity to properly shut down. You risk data loss/corruption and/or forcefully causing physical damage to the drive. Remember it needs to slow down form maybe 7200 rpms to 0 rpms. Spinning all by itself down is like letting your car go down a mountain with out brakes and expect it to safely stop at the end.