Home Tips & Tricks How To Spot A Failing Mac Hard Drive

How To Spot A Failing Mac Hard Drive


The modern MacOS is touted by many Apple devotees as the best operating system ever created. While it’s true that it has some advantages over Windows and Linux, much of its performance still depend on your system’s hardware – including your computer’s internal hard drive. If this device fails, you could be left scrambling for a backup. 

If you know what signs to look for, however, you can often spot failing hardware before it’s rendered completely useless. Some devices, like malfunctioning hard drives, are even easier to diagnose than others. 

What Are The Common Signs Of A Failing Hard Drive? 

. Loud Noises:

Some amount of hard drive noise is normal, especially from traditional, disk-based drives. If you’re using an SSD, however, or if you notice a constant sound that is louder than normal, it’s likely a sign of a malfunctioning hard drive. In this case, it’s best to backup your important files and install a replacement drive as soon as possible. 

. Software Errors:

In some cases, malfunctioning hardware can actually manifest itself as software-based errors. These effects are particularly noticeable in Mac’s built-in programs and apps, like Disk Utilities, which may experience limited functionality., but they might appear in other software, too. If you can still access Disk Utilities, try to perform a scan on the affected hard drive for a possible quick diagnosis. 

. Missing Or Inaccessible Files And Folders:

Some users experience missing or inaccessible files, folders, or even entire partitions in MacOS when their hard drive first starts to malfunction. If this happens, your only option is to backup the data that you can access and install a replacement drive as soon as possible. While you can try to gain access to this missing data, either through third-party software or simply by turning your machine off and then on again, such actions could potentially cause even more harm to a malfunctioning hard drive. 

. Frequent Or Recurring Problems With MacOS:

Hard drive issues often affect MacOS. While it’s widely recognized as one of the most efficient, stable, and reliable operating systems available, it simply can’t operate correctly if it’s not able to access the necessary data on the hard drive. If you notice frequent system crashes or freezes, even if your files are all updated, the problem might be a malfunctioning hardware. 

. Extreme System Temperatures:

In certain situations, a malfunctioning hard drive might cause your entire computer to become excessively hot. While this is typically more noticeable in laptop computers running MacOS, it can occur with desktop systems, too. Depending on the severity of the issue, you might even notice the faint smell of burning plaster or solder during extreme temperature spikes. However, it’s important to note that this is not always the result of a malfunctioning hard drive. In any case, it’s critical that you’re able to diagnose the problem, backup your important data, and install a replacement as soon as possible. 

As you can see, there are some telltale signs that are indicative of a hard drive failure that all Mac users should be aware of. If you suspect your hard drive is malfunctioning, the best course of action is to backup your data and install a replacement device as soon as possible. 

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