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Understanding ‘Error Sector Not Found’ and Other Common Hard Disk Failures

If you are using a computer or laptop then getting hard disk problem is nothing new for you because it may happen at any time without prior notice. Not that it will certainly happen, but it might happen out of various reasons. A clear understanding of the reasons will help you in keeping them at bay. On that note, this article explains the reasons behind common hard disk failure.

Bad Sector

You might have seen or heard of error messages like ‘Error sector not found.’ These messages occur when there is a bad sector on your hard disk. In your hard drive, bad sectors might get created. These are those areas of the hard disk that get inaccessible. That means the data in those areas of your hard drive gets blocked, and you can’t access them.

Bad sectors usually happen because of the wear and tear of the platter surface. Manufacturing defects, tracking errors or head crash can be other reasons. For whatever reason, if the bad sector gets created on your hard disk, then you will receive hard drive error messages ‘Error sector not found.’

You can identify potentially bad sector by checking out its symptoms that are as follows:

• Hard disk remains accessible, but its starts getting frequent hang issues

• Constant Cyclic Redundancy (CRC) errors

• The visible files and folders get inaccessible

Electrical Failure

The PCB is a very imperative component that controls, communicates, and coordinates the reading and writing of data between the computer and the hard disk drive (HDD). But the PCB can get damaged because of power spikes or surges. As a result of that you might lose access to your data. Electric failure can also affect the pre-amplifier circuit. You must suspect a potential electric failure, when you get the following symptoms:

• Even if the Drive is getting power, it shows no sign of the function

• The motor fails to spin because of disk knocking

• Clicking sounds

Mechanical Failure

The most common type of hard disk failure takes place because of wear and tear. That leads to mechanical damage. If you mishandle your computer and laptop, then even without giving prior warning, the internal components such as motors and read-write head might become faulty. Unlike “error sector not found’ messages, in case of mechanical failure you don’t get any prior warnings. Thus, it is important to maintain proper wear and tear. However, the following symptoms will help in suspecting a hard drive mechanical damage beforehand.

• Grinding and clicking sounds

• No sound and complete silence because of “motor freeze’

• On powering the disk you get ‘music’ tone

Logical Failure

Logical failure is the word to describe all kinds of non-physical hard disk failure. Some examples are:

• Accidental deletion

• Accidental format

• File corruption

• Software bugs

• File system corruption

• Viruses and malware

• Many more.

This kind of failure can be the easiest or even the hardest to recover.

Firmware Failure

Firmware is the software program that is accessible only by the disk manufacturers. This program is useful in performing low-level disk testing. Also, it is effective in testing the functions that are responsible for the health and proper functioning of your hard disk drive.

If there is no firmware code, then there won’t be any communication between the PC and the hard disk. In modern disks, the firmware codes are usually placed on the PCB board and data platters. Hard drive error will surely occur if the firmware area gets corrupted. You can suspect potential Firmware failure on getting the following symptoms.

• Drive opens but remains unrecognizable by the computer

• Drive opens but gets wrongly recognized. Sometimes, it shows off as nonsensical characters

• During boot up the drive freezes.


It is not necessary that there will be only one reason for hard drive failure. Sometimes, even two or more reasons might combine and lead to a hard disk problem. And one kind of failure might lead to other kinds of hard disk failure also. For instance, if your hard drive is going through mechanical damage, then it can eventually get bad sectors. So, on getting any risky symptoms, you must work towards recovery. But most importantly, create data backup, so that even if something goes wrong the data remains safe.

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