"Windows detected a hard disk problem" error

There are a lot of reasons why an operating system can show the error message. However, before trying to detect the root cause, you need to back up the data stored on the failed device or partition to a safe location. To detect which device has failed, click Show details in the error window.

Windows detected a hard disk problem message error

Do not turn off, restart or disconnect the device before you copied the data because it may happen that the operating system won't recognize the drive next time. Prepare a spare storage device, say an external drive or USB thumb drive, and copy either all the data or the most important files and folders to it.

As soon as the data is copied, it is time to find out what caused such an error and how to fix it.

How to fix "Windows detected a hard disk problem" error

If the disk in question is not a boot disk, it is not neccessary to look for the root cause. A good way to solve the problem is to format the disk, then copy the data back to the device and keep using it hoping that the error will no longer occur.

If the error affected a system volume, you are most likely not willing to reinstall the system but just want to fix the error. Let's discuss the most common causes of this error and the ways how to fix it:

  • Viruses – run a scan of the PC for malware with antivirus software. As soon as scanning completes, delete all the detected threats and malicious files. Then restart the computer and check if the error appears again.
  • Damaged files of the operating system – to diagnose them click Start and type cmd in the search window.

    Cmd command

    In the appeared black window type sfc /scannow command

    sfc/scannow command

    This command launches checking all the system files. Any bad files found during checking are replaced with their cashed versions. Important: do not close the command window before the check is finished. The check results are displayed in the same black window once checking is done.

  • Mechanical or logical disk failure – to check the disk state you should use a special diagnostic utility, Cropel or Hard Disk Sentinel. These utilities check so-called S.M.A.R.T. attributes of the disk and assess the disk health. If the diagnostic tool informs you about the disk problem, the best decision is to get rid of the faulty drive and byu a new one. However, there are cases when the disk problems are associated with logical errors rather than physical damage and formatting such a device can solve the problem. But in general, disk errors are a bad sign pointing to the disk health problems.

How to recover data after formatting

Sometimes it may happen that Windows does not provide access to the data at all, or you formatted the disk and then realized that some important data was not copied: in these cases you can try to recover data using data recovery software like ReclaiMe File Recovery. Here is a detailed tutorial on how to do this:

  1. Download and install ReclaiMe File Recovery.
  2. Choose the device you need to recover data from in the list of available devices and click Start.
  3. Select the device in ReclaiMe
  4. Wait until the software completes scanning and check the files extracted using the preview function. Preferably, check image files - if they are OK, most likely other files are also OK.
  5. succesfull recovery in ReclaiMe
  6. Purchase a license key.
  7. Copy the recovered data to a safe location.

Still have questions?