Most common reasons for hard disk failure:
- Human Error: The most common cause, including accidental file deletion or physical mishandling of the hard disk.
- Disk Hardware Failure: Involving physical damage often due to head crashes, which occur when the read/write heads touch or gouge the disk's surfaces, causing permanent data loss. Additional failures can occur in the drive's controller board.
- Firmware Corruption: Issues with the drive's firmware can render a disk unreadable, leading to data loss. Notable examples include the BSY problem in Seagate drives.
- Heat: Excessive heat can cause disk platters to expand and contract, resulting in micro cracks on the magnetic surface and data loss.
- Water Damage: Liquids can cause electrical surges that severely damage the hard drive.
- Power Issues: Power surges from various sources can disrupt the function of read/write heads and potentially lead to data loss.