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Symptoms of a failing hard drive

Some common symptoms of a failing hard drive (be aware, however, that some of these symptoms can be indicative of other problems, such as spyware or failure of other hardware parts).


  • rhythmic clicking, chugging
  • slowness in booting up and once logged in, with constant hard drive usage
  • "no entry" symbol on OS X boot
  • hard drive not listed in BIOS

Error messages

  • no operating system found (cannot boot into Windows)
  • corruption in \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM OR \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE (cannot boot into Windows)
  • data cyclic redundancy
  • delayed write error
  • bad clusters found in checkdisk


Documentation and information provided by the MIT Community

Last Modified:

January 22, 2015

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