Hard Drive Crash During OS Upgrade

It is common to hear of hard drive problems happening as a result of a system update, or operating system upgrade. We have a theory that could possible explain this.

First of all, you should always make a full backup of your system before installing an update. It’s not unheard of for updates to go wrong, so this is crucial.

Hard Drive Crash During OS Upgrade / Update

During a software update, a large amount of data gets read and written to and from the hard drive. If the hard drive is functioning fine, this happens without issues. Installing updates is a normal (and necessary) part of computing.

If the hard drive is not quite 100%, then maybe running a software update is the last straw. It puts the failing drive under a bit of extra strain and bang. The hard drive fault which had been lying dormant for months, now rears it’s head and the hard drive gives up, leaving you stranded from your data. Bear in mind that the drive would have failed eventually anyway, but the heavy disk usage probably accelerated the failure.

There are a couple of things to look out for, that may predict an imminent hard drive failure. (Please don’t wait for these signs before backing up. Do it now!)

  • Warnings or messages during boot up
  • Computer being unresponsive / slow at times
  • The dreaded beachball animation (On the Mac)
  • Clicking / chirping noises

If you are running any computer with important data, you should back up immediately and as often as possible. That way it doesn’t matter if your hard drive fails; just throw in a new drive and reload it from your backup.

2 Replies to “Hard Drive Crash During OS Upgrade”

    1. As I said above, “If the hard drive is not quite 100%, then maybe running a software update is the last straw. ”

      I basically mean that you can easily use a computer for weeks and only write a few hundred megabytes to the drive, but during an update you could burn through a few gigabytes in a couple of hours.

      That extra load could mean extra work for a weak head, or more bad sectors to remap, both of which could cause the drive to fail.

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