How to Backup Failing Hard Drive: 3 Methods to Backup Data

Learn how to backup failing hard drive with expert tips and methods. Explore proven strategies on how to fix a dying hard drive and the best solutions to backup your treasured data, ensuring your digital assets remain secure.


By Sebastian Updated on April 8, 2024

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Facing a failing hard drive can be a nightmare, with the risk of losing important data looming over your head. Whether due to physical damage, software issues, or aging components, a failing hard drive requires immediate action to prevent data loss. In this guide, we'll delve into the reasons behind failing hard drives and provide detailed instructions on how to back up your data using three reliable methods. Don't wait until it's too late. Safeguard your valuable data now.

What is a Failing Hard Drive

A failing hard drive refers to a storage device that is experiencing issues or malfunctions, potentially leading to data loss or system instability. This could result from various factors such as physical damage, mechanical wear and tear, software corruption, or age-related deterioration of components. Symptoms of a failing hard drive may include frequent system crashes, unusual noises, slow performance, and difficulty accessing files. It's crucial to diagnose and address these issues promptly to prevent data loss and ensure the continued functionality of your device.

Some Common Symptoms

Drive Symptoms

To determine if your hard drive is failing, look out for these common symptoms:

• Frequent system crashes or freezes
• Unusual noises coming from the hard drive
• Slow performance and frequent error messages
• Inability to access files or folders
• Disk errors or bad sectors detected during system scans

Reasons for Failing Hard Drives

Knowing the causes behind failing hard drives is crucial to safeguarding data and preventing system disruptions. Many factors can contribute to a hard drive's decline in performance and eventual failure. Recognizing these factors underscores the significance of regular maintenance and backup protocols to uphold the integrity of storage devices. Let's delve into the typical reasons behind hard drive failures and discover effective strategies to mitigate these risks.

Physical Damage: Dropping or mishandling your device can cause physical damage to the hard drive components, leading to failure.
Software Issues: Corrupted system files, malware infections, or software conflicts can result in hard drive failure.
Mechanical Wear and Tear: Over time, the mechanical components of a hard drive can degrade, affecting its performance and reliability.
Power Surges: Sudden power surges or electrical failures can damage the hard drive's circuitry, rendering it unusable.
Manufacturing Defects: In some cases, hard drives may fail due to inherent manufacturing defects or quality issues.

Now that we've covered the common causes of failing hard drives, it's essential to determine if your hard disk is exhibiting symptoms of deterioration. In the next section, we'll explore various methods and tools to address hard drive failure effectively. Follow our step-by-step guidance on backing up a failing hard disk and proactively protect your valuable data.

Diagnose if Your Hard Drive Is Failing

Before delving into the methods to revive a dead hard drive, it's crucial to diagnose its condition accurately. Diagnosing whether your hard drive is failing is pivotal to mitigating the risk of data loss and system disruptions. By following these steps, you can effectively assess the health of your hard drive and implement proactive measures to protect your data. Regular diagnostics are essential, as early detection of issues can prevent hard drive failure and ensure the reliability of your storage device.

Diagnose Dying Hard Drive

1: Go to the search bar and insert cmd.

2: Enter: wmic diskdrive get status. Wait for it to process and show status:

Status OK: It means that there is nothing wrong with the hard drive.

Status Bad, Cautionor Unknown: It means your hard drive may have potential errors.

Once you've examined the status of your hard drive, ideally, you'll find that it's functioning smoothly without any issues. However, if your hard drive's status indicates otherwise, don't worry, we've got you covered. Keep reading to learn the next steps and discover how to backup a corrupted hard drive and repair it effectively.

Backup Hard Drive Before Its Failing

Once you suspect that your hard drive is failing, your immediate priority should be to back up your data. This ensures that you don't lose any important files or documents in case of a hard drive failure. Regular backups are crucial for protecting your data from potential loss. We recommend using AOMEI Backupper Standard, a professional application that allows you to take a full backup of your failing hard drive. With AOMEI Backupper, you have the flexibility to choose which disks or folders to back up, providing you with peace of mind knowing that your data is secure.

AOMEI Backupper
Easy-to-Use Hard Drive Backup Software
  • Diverse Backup Solutions: AOMEI Backupper presents a comprehensive range of backup options, including system backup, disk backup, partition backup, file backup, and even cloud backup functionalities.

  • User-Friendly Interface: AOMEI Backupper boasts an intuitive interface, guaranteeing a smooth experience for users, regardless of their level of proficiency.

  • Extensive Compatibility: AOMEI Backupper seamlessly integrates with all prevalent Windows operating systems, such as Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP, and Vista, ensuring widespread accessibility and usability.

1: Install and Open this tool. Follow Backup >> Disk Backup.

Disk Backup

2: Select the failing hard drive and another healthy hard drive to save the backup image.

Add Disk

3: In the last step, Click Start Backup to process this backup task.

Start Backup

If you want to schedule backup, it is like a breeze using AOMEI Backupper. You can customize the frequency, choosing between daily, weekly, or monthly backups, or triggering backups based on specific events or USB drive connections. Utilizing the backup scheme feature is advisable, as it automatically manages outdated backup files, freeing up valuable storage space. Unlock this feature instantly by upgrading to the professional version.

How to Repair a Corrupted Hard Drive: Possible Methods

Now that you've identified whether your hard drive is failing or encountering other system issues, it's time to address the situation. If your hard drive has indeed failed or you're experiencing related issues, consider using the following methods to resolve the situation effectively.

Solution 1: Update the Hard Drive

Updating the hard drive is a crucial step in fixing a failing hard drive. By ensuring that the drivers are up-to-date, you can potentially resolve compatibility issues and improve the performance of the hard drive. Below are the steps to efficiently update the hard drive on your device:

1: Choose Device Manager from the Start menu.

2: Select the target drive from the Disk Drives option.

3: Lastly, tap Update Driver >> Search automatically for updated driver software.

Update Driver

Solution 2: Scan for Viruses and Threats

As previously discussed, viruses can contribute to the damage experienced by your drive. Scanning your drive for viruses might be the key to restoring its functionality. If you lack an antivirus program, you can use Windows Security for this purpose. Follow these steps to scan your drive for viruses using Windows Security:

1. Input Windows Security in the search bar and open it.

2. Follow the instruction: Virus & threat protection >> Scan options.

3. Select a scan type from this list. Choose Full Scan is the best choice for that matter. If you are ready, Click Scan Now.

Full Scan

Solution 3: Scan and Repair Using Disk Check

If you're still facing the issue, it could indicate unveiled issues on your hard drive device. Performing a scan and repair using Disk Check may be the solution to repair a hard drive. Follow the steps below to try this method effectively:

1: Right-click on the target drive and select Properties.

2: Go to the Tools tab and click on Check under the Error checking section.

Disk Check

3: In the Check Disk window, ensure both options—Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors—are checked.

4: Click Start and process the scan and repair.

FAQs about How to Repair a Failing Hard Drive

 If you still have doubts about how to fix a failing hard drive, You can check out the following frequently asked questions for solutions and tips.

Q: Can I recover data from a failing hard drive?

A: Yes, once you have already made backups in advance, you can totally use AOMEI Backupper Standard to restore your data from backup images.

Q: How do I know if my hard drive is failing?

A: Look out for common symptoms such as frequent crashes, unusual noises, slow performance, and disk errors to diagnose a failing hard drive.

Q: How often should I backup my failing hard drive?

A: It's recommended to create regular backups of your failing hard drive, preferably daily or weekly, to ensure that your data remains protected.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, backing up a failing hard drive is essential to safeguard your valuable data from loss. By following the methods outlined in this guide, you can effectively backup your failing hard drive and ensure that your data remains safe and accessible. Don't wait until it's too late – take proactive steps to protect your data today with AOMEI Backupper.Also AOMEI Backupper Standard is available to create Windows 8.1 image backup, so, why not try it now?

Sebastian · Editor
Sebastian, a professional editor at AOMEI, brings personal product experience and a user-focused mindset to solve data protection issues. With valuable technical insights and a dedication to user experience, he simplifies complex concepts and provides reliable solutions. Sebastian's expertise and skills make him an invaluable resource for readers seeking technical guidance.