There are several clues that could indicate that your media may be at risk of failure.
If there is physical damage involved, it is best not to try to repair it alone as you may cause further damage and data loss without the proper tools and instruction.
- Have you spilled any liquids on or near your computer? Immediately turn off your computer and clean the affected area as carefully as possible. If you suspect that any liquid may have gotten inside your computer (between the keys of your laptop, for example), refrain from turning on your computer to prevent further damage, otherwise hard drive recovery may become necessary.
- Is your data disappearing or not saving properly?This is a strong indicator of a much larger logical problem. If you keep getting disc error messages or your files simply do not open or freeze, you need to check for any harmful malware or viruses immediately.
- Does your computer freeze or run much slower than normal?This is perhaps the most obvious indicator of an impending hard disc failure. When your operating system doesn't run optimally or crashes, back up your data immediately. If you cannot access it, you need to run a data recovery service on your hard drive before your information is lost completely.
- Are you hearing strange sounds coming from your computer? When your computer makes bizarre noises, a mechanical problem is often the culprit. Hard drives have individual components that run mechanically, and when you hear grinding or scratching sounds, it's usually your hard disc drive. If you hear your hard drive clicking, this is almost a sure giveaway that your hard drive is failing. Back up all your files immediately and if they cannot be accessed, a hard drive recovery may be necessary.