Common Toshiba Hard Drive Failures
All mechanical devices will fail sooner or later. Hard drives fail for various reasons. We will describe what we find to be the most common cause of failure with Toshiba hard drives.
In the last decade, the most common failure we have encountered with a Toshiba hard disk has been motor seizure. The bearings seize, thus causing friction or complete seizure of the motor. This type of failure can produce a multitude of problems to address after the failure has occurred. Depending on the severity of the seizure, the platters may or may not continue to spin. However, the consequence of the platters continuing to spin with a less immediate or a slow seizure is that the platters will spin up to speed at times; while at other intermediate intervals may spin down or spin slower. This slowing down of the platters can cause the head assembly to contact the data surface of the platters, causing damage. Additionally, the acoustic vibration makes it more difficult, if not impossible, for the heads to read even when the spindle allows the platters to spin freely. Fortunately, this is often recoverable with the right equipment and experience. It is also not as common as a complete sudden seizure of the spindle motor.
Toshiba Seized Spindle Symptoms
Symptoms of a seized spindle failure can include:
- Intermittent clicking sounds
- Hard drive spinning up and down
You may need to listen carefully to the hard disk to determine if it has these symptoms. Complete seizure of the spindle motor will sound as if the drive does not spin up at all. The platters are unable to spin and the heads are usually parked directly on the platter surface. Removing the head assembly from the platter surface without further damage to the platters is paramount to a successful recovery. Equally important is retaining platter alignment while replacing the spindle motor and base. The platters have a relational proximity from each other that must be maintained.
Fortunately these types of failures usually keep the drive from spinning up to its maximum RPM and limits the amount of damage done to the platter surface. However, if the initial recovery attempt is not performed correctly the first time, subsequent attempts are rarely successful. Feel free to experiment if your hard disk drive has failed and you have a full backup of your data. If you do not have a full backup and the drive has important data, your best bet is to send this type of recovery to a professional data recovery company.