An unstable hard drive can be annoying since it causes your hard drive to be slow, and may even cause computer crashes/freezes. Problems with your hard drive may be caused by a program or virus making it spin up a lot which can make your computer slow. You can try doing a disk cleanup, disk defrag, disk error check,disable un-needed startup programs and services and other disk related maintenance tasks. Some disk drive makers have a program which you can download from the drive company website which you can run to test the drive. After you tested your drive, and perform a disk defrag, cleanup, error check, etc, and your computer is still unstable. You may be infected by a virus, or spyware which is causing your Windows computer to make your hard drive spin up a lot by reading and writing data.
You can get TuneUp System Utilities 2012 and AVG 2012 Internet Security for under 50 dollars to make your hard drive have more freespace, error-free, defrag, disable un-needed startup programs and services, and get rid of all virus, spyware, and unwanted programs which can slow down your computer.
If your computer is still unstable after you use TuneUp and AVG to maintain and fix your PC of software and security problems.
You can try doing a clean install of Windows, or whatever operating system you use which usually fix all software problems which you are having with Windows.
If Clean Windows reinstall does not work, it may be a hard drive hardware problem related to your computer’s internal parts like hard drive data cable, hard drive, and hard drive controller which is used to let your hard drive communicate with your computer’s CPU by using a hard drive data cable to connect your hard drive to your motherboard.
Having too many programs open at once, can also cause Windows to read and write to your hard drive a lot since it uses your hard drive as RAM, when your PC is out of free RAM because you have too many programs open. You can close programs which you don’t need open on your desktop, taskbar, and system tray to free up RAM.
You first need to buy tools for fixing your computer, and a computer repair book if you are not experience in fixing computers.
You can try unplugging your hard drive data cable, and plugging it into another empty hard drive controller port on your computer motherboard. You can also replace the hard drive data cable with a new IDE or SATA cable depending on the type of hard drive you have.
If your hard drive is still unstable after changing your IDE or SATA cables, and using different hard drive controller ports on your motherboard, your hard drive controller on your motherboard, or hard drive may be failing or broken. You can buy a PCI SATA/IDE controller board to replace your broken motherboard IDE or SATA controller.
If replacing your SATA controller with a PCI controller does not work, you may need a new hard drive. Try testing out your hard drive on another computer to make sure it works on another PC to see if it works before you buy a new hard drive. Also make sure the jumpers are set correctly to master or slave if your hard drive is an IDE drive. Refer to your hard drive manual or computer repair book to learn how to set the jumpers. SATA drive usually do not need you to set jumpers. I recommend backing up your data as quickly as possible if you hear very loud clicks, and weird sounds since this usually means your hard drive will fail soon, and you’ll need a new one.
Many online and offline stores are no longer selling IDE drives, or selling them for very high prices because of the rarity of IDE drive. I recommend you get a SATA to IDE Converter adapter to make a SATA Hard drive into a IDE hard drive for older motherboards which do not have SATA drive connectors on them.
You can also re-use old IDE hard drives on your SATA motherboard if your motherboard has no-free IDE ports because they are being used by other hard drives, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM drives. But, you’ll need a IDE to SATA Converter Card Adapter to convert your IDE port to work with SATA cables. Re-using your IDE drives with a IDE to SATA converter card on a computer which only has SATA drive controller is a good way to save money since a IDE to SATA converter is cheaper then a new SATA hard drive, and you can reuse the cable from your old broken SATA drive, so you do not have to go out to buy a new IDE drive cable to make your drive work with your computer if its motherboard has IDE connectors on it.
Sometimes, your hard drives can over heat when your computer is too hot, or your hard drive does not have enough cool air cooling it. A over heating hard drive can make your computer crash, freeze, and break faster over time. Sometimes, you can’t restart your computer until your hard drive, and other computer hardware parts like CPU, and video card cool down.
You can install a Hard Disk Drive Cooler fan to blow cool air on your hard drive to keep it cool when it is defraging, scanning for viruses, copying a very large file, or making a large fine.
If none of these tasks work, you may need a new motherboard, power supply, memory/RAM, or other computer part which may be causing your hard drive, or your computer to act strangely when you use it.