Why hard drives can stop spinning

When you start up your computer, you’ll be used to hearing a gentle emanate from it. This is the sound of the discs (platters) spinning and, when this no longer happens, your hard drive cannot read your data.

How a hard drive stores and retrieves data

All data that is stored on a hard drive is found within its disks. Everything that is stored here – whether a photograph, music file, word document or anything else – is comprised of ones or zeroes, each of which is written onto small sections of these disks. Each one or zero is known as a byte.

When a hard drive is relatively new, and a large number of these spaces is available, the individual bytes are placed close to one another. The more a hard drive is used, the more it is necessary for the bytes that form a file to be stored further and further apart. This is why, as a hard drive ages, it will become slower.

Hard drives also have a read/write head. This is used to, as its name suggests, both write data to and read it from the disks. When you open a file, the drive uses a motor to rotate these disks so that the read/write head can access them.

When a hard drive is no longer spinning, this means that the disks can no longer move. As a result, the read/write head cannot view the data that it needs to retrieve files, or even to boot the machine up.

Reasons a hard drive can stop spinning

A hard drive can stop spinning for a number of reasons, but the most common are:

A faulty Printed Circuit Board

A problem with the drive’s PCB is, in our experience, the most common reason its disks can no longer spin. When this component is damaged, the drive is not receiving power and the motor cannot turn as a result.

Naturally, the solution is to replace the PCB. This task involves opening up the drive and sourcing the correct board and, whilst it’s a relatively straightforward task for a data recovery company, it’s not something you should try at home.

Failed Motors

Hard drives use moving parts and, as we all know, moving parts can fail. More often than not, this happens because motors have failed due to insufficient lubrication.

Recovering data from drives with failed motors involves opening the drive so, once again, it’s something best left to a data recovery specialist like Fields Data Recovery.

Head Crash

A head crash occurs when the read/write head we discussed previously comes into contact with the disks themselves. In extreme circumstances, this can effectively hold the disks in place. The motor will continue to try and spin the disks but will be unable to generate enough force to do so.

A head crash is a serious problem that can cause data to become unreadable if not addressed quickly. If you suspect your drive may have suffered from a head crash, you should get in touch with us today.

What to do if your hard drive stops spinning

If you hard drive stops spinning, it’s absolutely vital that you turn off your device immediately. The longer you leave it, the more damage you’ll cause.

So, power the drive down and get in touch with the hard drive recovery experts at Fields Data Recovery for a free data recovery diagnostic and no-obligation quote today