What needs to do when your Mac HDD or SSD fails

A computer hard drive or SSD is one of the most important parts of your iMac or MacBook because it’s where everything is stored. Your hard drive stores all your operating systems, programs, applications, files, and photos, video, so it can be very stressful and frustrating if something goes wrong with it.

Almost every computer encounters a hard drive or SSD error at least once in their daily life. So don’t panic – there’s still a lot you can do to remedy the situation if your computer’s hard drive or SSD fails. But first, let’s take a look at some of the common causes and what obvious signs and symptoms you can look out for.

What causes Mac hard drive/SSD errors and fails

  • Electronic issue – this could be from a surge or fluctuation in voltage and is one of the more common things to happen.
  • Excessive heat – if your computer is left in the sun or used for longer periods of time without a break, or the airflow vent is not closed. Possibly,  it can overheat, causing damage to the hard drive.
  • Water damage & condensation – If you spill liquid on your keyboard and it gets inside your computer, it can damage the delicate electronics inside.
  • Faults in hardware – Something may not be working correctly in the mechanics of your hard drive (sometimes known as a ‘manufacturer’s fault’), yet this doesn’t happen frequently. But Normally HDD fails mostly 3-5 year period.
  • Corrupted files – likely one of the biggest causes of hard drive errors, corrupted files can happen when you don’t shut down your computer correctly. Either pull out a USB stick before it has been properly ejected, or virus.

Check if a Mac HDD/SSD is about to fail

You can check the health of many disks using Disk Utility. Many disks include Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (S. M. A. R.T) hardware, which lets a disk test itself for potential problems. https://support.apple.com/en-au/guide/mac-help/mchlp2548/mac

While hard disk drives, SSDs, and hybrid drives usually provide S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) attributes, the reported information may be not always enough to determine the real status information of the disk drive. The unique feature of Hard Disk Sentinel attempts to detect and report even further details to give a clear picture of the real health, temperature, and status. So in addition to the standard set of S.M.A.R.T. attributes, only Hard Disk Sentinel can display Extended S.M.A.R.T. Information, in the form of Ext. S.M.A.R.T. attributes. https://www.hdsentinel.com/extended-smart.php

If you see a message saying the disk has a fatal hardware error, the disk has an irreparable hardware problem that can’t be fixed by Disk Utility. Or any other utility that repairs software problems. Back up as much of the data on the disk as possible, then replace the disk.

About to fail symptoms of Mac HDD/SSD

If you suspect something might be wrong with your hard drive, there are a few warning signs to look for. You might only find a subtle symptom or perhaps something much more obvious like an error message. But when your computer starts acting strangely, that’s likely the first indication that something needs your attention.

Computer slowing down

If your computer starts working much slower than normal, there could be something happening with your hard drive. This can appear as long loading times when you click on files. On the other hand, your computer might take extra time to boot up or shut down.

Missing hard drive

If you can’t see the computer hard drive on your computer from File Explorer (PC) or Finder (Mac), chances are something is wrong. Similarly, if the hard drive is visible but you can’t click on it or see any of the files or programs, there might be some corrupted files at play.


Pay close attention to the sounds your computer makes when it starts up. If you hear anything unusual, like grinding or clicking. It’s a sure sign that the hard drive is having some trouble working as normal.

How to recover lost data?

We are experts in iMac, MacBook, iPhone, and iPad data recovery. Please click the link and have a look at what we can do to help your Mac’s data recovery.  https://mymaccomputer.com.au/common-data-loss-recovery/

Book an appointment with our tech expert to check your device’s required HDD/SSD health check!