Computer is no longer detecting HDD?

I should first say I'm not the best with tech so I'll try explain as best as I can, and I really appreciate any help you can give:

About a year ago I bought a gaming PC. Everything was fine when I got it.

Later the screen used to just turn black for a split second and come back on, and since it was so brief and rare of an event it never bothered me.

Then the screen would turn black, and the fans would start spinning really fast. I waited and nothing else happened, so I'd restart the PC and all would be fine. (I was only watching youtube, nothing else running, but during the crash the vid kept playing)

In the past couple of days this issue has kept happening more frequently. Then today, as I was downloading a game on Steam, suddenly Steam freezes and stops responding. So I restarted the PC again because it said it couldn't find the programme. But now, the PC takes much longer to load up, and when it does, it doesn't detect my 2TB HDD.

It does however detect the 250GB SSD (Local C) and my empty 50GB SSD (F).

I have no idea what to do, searching the internet provides many different answers from replacing RAM / PSU / thermal paste. I've removed any dust I could find to no avail (Though there wasn't very much at all)

A PC reset would be less than ideal as my dissertation is saved on there, and stupidly I have no backups.

Specs:

AMD Ryzen 2200G with Radeon Vega Graphics

16GB RAM (4x4GB)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 6GB

Antec High Current Pro 850w

5 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    it might just need a tune up that is a virus scan and a cleaning out of  useless files 

  • Lv 7
    1 month ago

    how did you "restart the PC"? if you hold the power button to shut it off, it actually damages the hard drive. each time you do it, it damages it.

    so yeah, it is probably toast. if that ever happens, you should run chkdsk on ALL the drives, and let it find and fix problems. it takes a long time, but it will prevent future problems.

    and you NEED to know what is CAUSING the problem, to stop it from happening. if you're having a problem with Steam (who doesn't?) why not try uninstalling/reinstalling Steam?

    again, i realize it takes time, but if you want to keep horrible events like this from happening, you need to SPEND the needed time...

  • 1 month ago

    You have been overheating the GPU or the CPU its difficult to decide which. There could be many reasons for that from having a PSU which has a wattage rating which is not enough, or the gpu fan is not working fully, or the CPU fan is not working fully. The overheat can also be caused by poor software such as bad webpages or web based social media programs over working the cpu keeping it at too high use for too long. To get back to the other problem with the drive. Because of the Instant Freezing of the system, any hard drive configuration data may be placed at risk of data damage due to data corruption from suddenly stopping a system in an unclean manner like you have been experiencing especially if any files were Open or under Modification by using say a word processor when a freeze happens. You should look to see if the Drive shows in Disk Management as a BLANK drive or as a Partitioned Volume as you had it before it went wrong. Do not attempt to alter it.

    Your system PSU far exceeds the needs of the system a 500 watt system would have been fine provided it has the appropriate GPU card cables which MUST be connected to the GPU card. If the wrong cables or no cables are fitted to the GPU card then it will try its best to suck the amps from the mainboard GPU slot and this battle wont go well but the card may start and work for a while doing simple stuff until you run a game or other 3D application and then the system will heat up very quickly and freeze. So make sure it is connected properly as this sounds like your issue.

    If you quick format(takes 10 secs) the drive(im not suggesting you do that yet) if it is displayed in disk management and you do it in an Identical way to its previous settings NOT full formatting it then your data is still there and and low level data file scanning software such as RECUVA can get file data back. A full format would erase that data. That process is slow and you may get mangled generic filenames for the files. You are best of trying disk partition recovery software first.

  • 1 month ago

    ok -- the HDD has a bad sector or missing pointer or similar.  SOMETIMES a high quality hard disk manager program can correct this or at least recover your data, AND it is a sign that the HDD needs to be replaced [abundance of safety].  With a new internal 2 Tb HDD costing under $100 ... a replacement isn't out of the question, nor is getting two of them so you can use one to backup your data regularly.  -- grampa  {The one used for backup can even be an external drive that connects via USB ... but avoid drives larger than 2 Tb -- too many reports of issues with them}.

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  • David
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    It reads very much as though the 2TB drive has failed. If the data on it is precious you would have to send the drive to data recovery specialists where they can rebuild the drive and recover what they can, however they are not cheap. 

    You also mention black screens, restarts and fans spinning, so there maybe multiple problems. 

    As you are not great with tech, I would take the computer to a local workshop and ask them to replace the 2TB drive and service the rest of the computer.

    It’s not clear if you still have access to your dissertation, if you have buy a USB flash drive and copy it over as a backup. If the dissertation was on the 2TB drive there is a high chance it has gone but tell the workshop you want it recovering if possible.

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