Diagnose Problems Related to Hard Disk Spinning Intermittently

So after installing one of my old time favorite games Need for Speed : Most Wanted on my Windows 10 PC, I started to have some problems with the overall system stability. The hard disk started to spin intermittently (spun for a while then stopped and then spun again). The USB devices were also having problems being detected. So I had to diagnose the problem by checking each and every component of the PC step by step. If you are also having a similar problem, then you can also follow these steps and check these items in your PC to see if they are causing any problems:

1. Check File System for Errors
If you are lucky then file system corruption is the problem you could be having. Windows takes care of the file system errors by itself. But you can run a disk check on all the partitions visible in My Computer or This PC and fix the errors easily. You can do this by right-clicking on a partition, selecting Properties from the context-menu and clicking on Check button under the Tools tab in the Properties window.

Fix Hard Disk Spinning Problems

2. Reset or Update System BIOS/UEFI
Sometimes there are known problems in the system BIOS/UEFI version that was shipped with the motherboard. You can check the manufacturer’s web site for any updates available for your system’s BIOS/UEFI. Usually instructions are also available from their web site. For example, Gigabyte offers @BIOS utility to update the BIOS. Even if updates are not available, you can open BIOS/UEFI settings and load the default settings to see if it fixes the problem.

3. Check Power and Data Cables
Believe it or not, sometimes the SATA data cables through which the data actually flows between your hard disk and the motherboard become loose. The dust may also accumulate at or around the connectors. You should start by powering off the PC completely, removing both the power and data cables from the hard disk, cleaning everything and reattaching them again. If you have any spare or new cables lying around then you can also try them.

Fix Hard Disk Spinning Problems

4. Check Motherboard for Out of Shape Capacitors
The capacitors on your PC’s motherboard are responsible for making sure that all devices get the proper voltage and current. If any one of them becomes faulty, then one or more devices attached to your PC might stop working. You should power off the PC completely, open the case and then check for any swollen or out of shape capacitors. If there are some swollen capacitors, then you have to contact a technician to have them replaced or buy a new motherboard. (By the way, this was actually the problem with by PC and I had to get a new motherboard.)

Fix Hard Disk Spinning Problems

5. Replace Power Supply Unit (SMPS)
If you have recently added a new peripheral device to your PC (for example a new GPU) then perhaps your old power supply unit is not able to supply all the power needed by the new hardware configuration. In this case, you may have to replace your older power supply unit with a new one having a larger power capacity.

6. Hard Disk is Faulty
If all else is working fine, then by the rule of elimination, you can conclude that it is actually the hard disk that has gone bad. Before you toss the hard disk out of the window, you should have it checked with a PC technician who would attach it to their own PC and see if it works alright. If it is indeed the hard disk that has gone bad, then the PC technicians can also recover your data from it. There is no other choice in this case but to get a new hard disk or solid state disk.