Knowledge Base

Understanding and Troubleshooting Your Hard Drive


Table of Contents:

  1. What is a Hard Drive?
  2. Computer and Hard Drive Maintenance
  3. Dell Hard Drive Diagnostics
  4. Backing up and Restoring Important files and data
  5. Replacing or Upgrading the Hard Drive
  6. Common Hard Drive (HDD) Issues
  7. Downloading and Viewing Manuals

This article provides information on understanding and troubleshooting your Hard Drive.


Item 1: What is a Hard Drive?

A hard drive is a fundamental part of computers. The hard drive is where all of the applications, files, and data are stored on the computer. As this is such a key component in the computer, this article will direct you to articles that will tell you how to perform maintenance, diagnostics, and other important tasks for the computer and hard drive.

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Item 2: Computer and Hard Drive Maintenance

Performing Hard Drive maintenance will reduce the risk of hard drive failure and optimize the hard drives performance.

To view instructions on general maintenance of your computer, refer to the Microsoft Performance & Maintenance site (in English).

Note: Refer to the Defragment Your Hard Drive section for a link on how to defragment the hard drive within your Operating System.

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Item 3: Dell Hard Drive Diagnostics

If you suspect your hard drive of failing, you can run diagnostics to test the Hard Drive.

Click the following link to be taken to the Dell Hard Drive Diagnostics page for further assistance.

If you are unable to boot the system to access the Dell Online Diagnostics, use the Dell Pre-boot System Diagnostics.

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Item 4: Backing up and Restoring Important files and data

Backing up your files is very important, and the best way to prevent data loss.

Note: You should ALWAYS back up your data before performing an Operating System Re-Install (OSRI).

Click one of the following links for English-only videos on how to back up and restore important files and data for your Operating System:


Save Your Data Online (3:00) - English Only


How to backup your data (3:10) - English Only


System Backup (1:36)

Click the following link for information on how to How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft Windows on a Dell Computer after you have backed-up your data.

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Item 5: Replacing or Upgrading the Hard Drive

For instructions on how to remove and replace the Hard Drive, refer to the system-specific Service Manual, for more information refer on how to obtain the Service Manual refer to the Downloading and Viewing Manuals section (below).

To check if your warranty is active, refer to Dell Knowledge base article How to Check When Your Warranty Expires.

If your warranty has expired, a new Hard Drive can be purchased at the Dell Storage, Drives & Media web site.

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Item 6: Common Hard Drive (HDD) Issues

We have a comperehensive list of articles on common issues in our Knowledge Base Article How to resolve HDD (Hard drive) issues on my Dell computer? In addition to these we also have the following specific pieces of content which may be of assistance:

Resolving Hard Drive Noise on a Laptop, Microsoft Windows Locks Up or an Error Occurs and Computer Does Not Boot to Microsoft Windows .

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Item 7: Downloading and Viewing Manuals

This link will take you to the Manuals page to view or download the manual for your product.

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Article ID: SLN146180

Last Date Modified: 02/20/2017 08:44 AM


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