How to Solve Hard Drive Won't Spin

Updated to Troubleshooting Tips by Nancy on May 13, 2023 | Approved by Anthony Spadafora

Hard drive won’t spin is a big problem. You must learn the possible reasons and fixes, trying to fix it right away. Otherwise, you need to take it to a repair service, which might takes a weeks before it is fixed. During the process, if you have lost data, try iBeesoft hard drive recovery solution to recover them as soon as possible, preventing data loss issue.

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Whether external or internal, a hard drive can fail to spin because of different reasons. It may be an electrical or mechanical issue but whatever the problem may be, you can be sure that it can be resolved. If you experience a ‘hard drive won’t spin’ issue while your PC is plugged in, the best thing is to know what the issue is and look for ways to repair it. In this post, we will look at the possible causes and ways to solve the issue.

Part 1. Causes for Hard Drive Spinning Not Working

Usually, when you plug in a hard drive, you should hear the standard spinning sound that shows that the device is working. However, if you don’t get the spinning sound, you need to check the issue. If you have the issue of the hard drive is not spinning, there is a high chance that the firmware of the disk has some issues. Some common issues may be an insufficient power supply or heavy power surge. However, there may be other serious problems that may cause the hard drive spinning not working issues. Below are some of the possible causes:

When you experience any of the courses highlighted above, your computer will not recognize the hard drive and you would not be able to save or recover any data from it. You need to fix the issue before it can be used. The best way to resolve the issue of the external hard drive not spinning is to troubleshoot the hard drive. This post shares the different methods to do this.

Part 2. How to Fix Hard Drive Won't Spin

Before you can fix the issue, the first thing is to identify the specific cause of why the hard drive is not working. Here are some ways to troubleshoot the problems.

Check to see if the Hard Drive Failure is due to Electrical Surge

When you perceive a burning smell on the hard drive, you can be certain that it has suffered from an electrical surge. An electrical surge can damage the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) of the hard drive. If this is the case, it is recommended that you further troubleshoot to see the specific components that have been damaged. You will need to replace the damaged components to restore the proper functioning of your hard drive. However, if you don’t perceive any burning smell on the disk, check the power supply. To do this, connect the hard drive to your PC with another cable or connect the hard drive to another PC. If you experience the same issue as an external hard drive does not spin, it may have some electrical or mechanical fault. This will require a visit to the technician.

Troubleshoot the PCB

A PCB (Printed Circuit Board) is the hard drive’s component that enables electricity to seamlessly transmit between different other components that allow the device to function optimally. Some of the primary components on the PCB are the Main Controller IC, Cache Chip, Motor Controller Chip, VS Diodes, Board Number, and ROM/BIOS. If any of these components burn, the HDD will malfunction and the computer hard drive not spinning is one of the issues that may arise.

The Diodes are the components that usually fail on PCB. This means you should test this first before anything else. To do this, you need to have a multi-meter and a T8 screwdriver. Follow the steps to check the Diodes:

Step 1: Remove the PCB from the hard drive with the screwdriver.

Step 2: Touch both ends of the diode with the two probes on the multimeter.

Step 3: If you hear a beeping sound from the multi-meter and a display of number close to zero, then the diode is short.

Step 4: Replace the diode to continue using the drive or discard it if you just want to recover data from it. You can recover the data with a professional data recovery tool.

Fix Stuck Disk Head

A stuck disk head can also lead toa computer hard drive not spinning issue. If the hard disk is not in use, its head should stay on the landing zone. However, if it is stuck on the platter, it won’t allow the disk to spin. To fix the issue with a stuck head, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Remove the cover of the hard drive with a fitting screwdriver.

Step 2: If the disk head is located on the platter, you need to return it to the landing zone with a hook-like instrument and a screwdriver.

Step 3: Turn the screw to the middle of the spindle counter-clockwise with a screwdriver and pull the head with the hook-like instrument. This will minimize the pressure on the platter.

Step 4: Return the lid and connect your hard drive to the PC again. This should resolve the issue and the hard drive should start working again.

Fix Seized Spindle Motor

The hard drive would not spin when plugged in when the spindle motor seizes or the spindle is damaged. You will need to swap the platter when the motor or spindle is damaged physically. To do a platter swap, you need professional tools. It is recommended that you take it to a technician but if you want to give it a try, you will find detailed visual instructions on YouTube. Make sure you strictly follow the video instructions if you want to try to fix it by yourself.

Part 3. How to Protect the Data in the Hard Drive that Won’t Spin

If the hard drive is damaged, you may need to refer to a previous backup to access your saved data. If you don’t have a backup file on your PC and you need the data on your drive, you should take the hard drive to a technician to fix it. However, before you do that, you should backup your file with a professional backup tool like the iBeesoft DBackup software. If you are unable to perform the backup, you should recover the data from the hard drive. We recommend iBeesoft Data Recovery software as the best software to do it.

iBeesoft Data Recovery is a professional tool that is designed to help recover deleted/lost files from any device. It is 100% safe and secure, which means you don’t have to worry about your data. It is compatible with any hard drives.

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Step-by-step Guide to Recover Data from the Hard Drive

The first thing to do is to download and install the tool on your PC. Next, launch the data recovery software for failed hard drive and follow the steps below:

Step 1: Select the file types you want to recover. Since all files are selected by default, deselect everything, and manually select your preferred files. Click ‘Start’ to begin to recover data on a dead hard drive.

Step 2: Select the location to find or scan for the data. This can be a specified location or partition. Click Scan to find the lost data.

Step 3: Preview the files and recover them by clicking the ‘Recover’ button. You can also use the ‘Deep Scan’ if you want to find more data from the drive.

We have looked at how to resolve the hard drive is not spinning issues with four different methods. We also looked at how to recover data in the case that you lose data while trying to resolve the issue. Go through the options one after the other to find the best fit for your specific issue.