What are hard drive overheating symptoms? Why does hard drive overheat? How to check HDD/SSD temperature? What to do when your laptop/desktop hard drive overheats? Now, you can find detailed answers to these questions from this post and MiniTool will offer a guide including signs, causes, fixes, and more.

What’s a Safe Hard Drive Temperature Range?

Can a hard drive heat? In computing, you may have heard of a word called overheat and you may ever suffer from computer overheat or GPU overheat. In addition, hard drive overheat is another situation that could happen on your PC.

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If you have ever touched a hard drive (either internal or external) after running it for some time, you may notice that it is overheated. As a mechanical component, a hard disk can generate some heat during the normal operation.

Well then, what is the safe hard drive temperature range? This varies from manufacturers and models but most hard drives can operate at a range of 5°C to 50°C (41°F to 122°F). For most Seagate hard drives, they can handle up to 60°C (140°F). After exceeding the maximum, the electrical components of the hard drive begin to degrade.

In addition to the traditional hard drive getting hot, you may ask: can an SSD overheat? Of course, an SSD can generate heat and is still overheating although it doesn’t have any moving parts. Usually, NVMe and SATA SSDs run at a range of 0°C to 70°C (32°F to 158°F) but you had better check the specs for the specific drive.

Hard Drive Overheating Symptoms

Any overheated components can slow down its performance to protect its physical integrity and cause some problems. If the hard disk always runs at extreme temperatures for an extended period, this could have a severe impact on the hard drive and the system. Next, let’s see some hard drive overheating symptoms.

  1. Hard drive damage: Overheating may break the information structure of a disk and cause damage. As a result, the drive is unrecognizable. In some cases, hard disks are designed to block access to data after they find a problem that may lead to file loss or damage.
  2. File corruption: The information stored on a hard drive is structured in a specific way and the structure may be damaged due to a sudden stop of the writing or reading process. Then, the file is corrupt and cannot open.
  3. System crashes/shutdown/freeze: Sometimes frequent system freeze/crashes or unexpected shutdowns appear. The response speed of the hard disk is very slow or interrupted since the exceeding heat limits the functionality.
  4. Bad sectors: When you run into the hard drive overheat issue, bad sectors may increase. To diagnose this problem, you can run specialized software like MiniTool Partition Wizard to perform a disk surface test.
  5. Constant screeching, clicking, or whirring sound
  6. Unusual heat to touch

In conclusion, when you encounter a symptom, especially when the hard disk is accompanied by the sense of hot, you are now having an overheated hard drive.

How to Check Hard Drive Temperature?

Don’t know if your hard drive is overheated? For ordinary users, it is not clear. Here in addition to judging the situation via the given hard drive overheating symptoms, you can check the temperature of this disk.

Now, see how to tell if the hard drive is overheating in this way:

Step 1: Press Win + I to access Windows Settings.

Step 2: Navigate to System > Storage.

Step 3: In Windows 10, click Manage Disks and Volumes under More storage settings. In Windows 11, tap on Advanced storage settings > Disks & volumes.

Step 4: Choose the target hard drive and click Properties.

Step 5: Under Drive heath, you can see the disk temperature.

check disk temperature

If the Temperature value exceeds too much of the range, it means you are suffering from the hard drive overheat issue. Well then, what causes the SSD/HDD overheating problem? Continue reading.

Why Does Hard Drive Overheat?

There are some common factors to cause the hard drive running hot:

  • The ambient is too high
  • Insufficient CPU cooling
  • Poor ventilation
  • Ignore the cooling system warnings
  • Thick and heavy dust particles
  • Malfunctioning fans
  • Disk fragmentation
  • Excessive disk usage by malicious or infected programs
  • Placing your laptop on heat-absorbing materials like carpets and bed sheets
  • Leave your computer in warm or heat places like on the fireplace mantel surface, near heat-producer materials or objects, under straight sunlight, etc.

What to Do in Case of SSD/HDD Overtemp

What should you do when your hard drive gets hot and exceeds the normal temperature? Or how to fix an overheating hard drive? This is the part where you can find multiple tips.

Lighten the Loading Burden

You can disable processes or apps that occupy most CPU resources and disk memory when your hard drive running hot.

Step 1: Press Win + X on the keyboard and tap on Task Manager.

Step 2: Under the Processes tab, find the processes with high CPU resources and click End Task.

task manager processes
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Step 3: Besides, go to Startup and disable some startup items.

Run Antivirus Software to Check and Remove Viruses

Sometimes Task Manager shows you 100% disk usage but you find nothing occupies the CPU. In this situation, you should be careful since the PC may be infected by viruses and malware, which drains your computer memory.

Thus, you should run antivirus software to scan the entire Windows operating system and remove viruses if it detects some. See how to do this thing in Windows 11/10.

Step 1: Input Windows Security to the search box and click this app to open it.

Step 2: Click Virus & threat protection > Scan options.

Step 3: Choose a scan method and click Scan now. Here, we advise Full scan that can check all the files and programs on the hard drive.

Windows Security scan options
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Check Bad Sectors and Prepare for the Worst

As mentioned above, bad sectors are one of the hard drive overheating symptoms. If too many bad blocks are found, the hard drive may malfunction, making it strenuous to load files so more heat is generated than ever. Hence, you should check your disk for bad sectors and prepare for the worst.

To know if your PC has bad sectors, you can run the free partition manager, MiniTool Partition Wizard. This tool offers a tool called Surface Test that helps to test the entire hard drive. If bad blocks are detected, it will mark them in red. Just get this partition tool for a check.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to the main interface.

Step 2: Right-click on the overheated hard drive and choose Surface Test.

Step 3: Tap on Start Now and this tool starts scanning the disk. Wait for some time and you can see the result.

MiniTool Partition Wizard

If bad sectors are few, you can run the command – chkdsk /r in Command Prompt with admin rights to locate bad sectors and recover readable information. If MiniTool Partition Wizard finds a large number of bad sectors, the hard drive will fail soon. The urgent thing is to make sure the data is safe to avoid data loss.

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We strongly recommend backing up your important files on the hard drive with bad sectors. To do this thing, the free backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker can be a good option. It allows backing up files, folders, disks, partitions, and Windows to an external hard drive, USB flash drive, etc. Automatic file backup, differential backup, and incremental backup can also be created by this backup program. You can download and install it on your PC to start the backup.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 1: Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker and click Keep Trial.

Step 2: Go to the Backup tab, choose the items you want to back up, and specify a path like an external drive to save the backup.

Step 3: Start the data backup by clicking Back Up Now.

MiniTool ShadowMaker file backup

Clean Your Computer

If you use the computer in a settled place for a long time, especially the desktop, dust and debris in the air may accumulate but you don’t clean them. As a result, the hard drive overheat issue appears. To fix this problem, you should clean your PC regularly.

You can go to an open place to remove dust using compressed air. Besides, you can use a small piece of cotton rag and alcohol to clean the computer. For inside areas, a cotton bud can be a good choice. To clean the PC completely, you can seek help from a professional shop.

Other Tips to Do

In addition to these ways you can do when meeting SSD/HDD overheating, pay attention to some other things:

  • Keep the vents clean and clear: make sure no surrounding system components or parts obstruct the vents.
  • Check the cooling fan: if it’s slow or airflow is insufficient, consider replacing a new fan.
  • Keep sufficient distance or gap between your hard drive and other components.
  • If necessary, remove the computer case to cool down the hard drive.
  • Use a laptop cooler or a hard drive cooler on a desktop.

Hard Drive Overheating Still? Notice Data!

If you still run into hard drive overheat after trying the fixes above, the most important thing is taking care of the disk data. You should back up critical files and replace the drive before it fails. This may be because there is an electrical or mechanical error that cannot be fixed.

As mentioned above, you can run MiniTool ShadowMaker, the professional PC backup software, to easily back up your data in Windows 11/10/8/7. Just get this tool, install and launch it, go to Backup to choose files, and select a path. Then, start the file backup.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

If you find some files are lost due to hard drive overheating, don’t worry and you can run the professional data recovery software – MiniTool Power Data Recovery. It enables you to recover lost or deleted files with ease. Just get its free edition to recover 1GB of data.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 1: Run this recovery software to its main interface.

Step 2: Under the Devices tab, put the mouse on the target disk and choose Scan.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery

Step 3: After some time, the scan finishes.

Step 4: Find the lost files and recover them to a safe location. In addition to lost data, you can check the existing items to save to another place like an external hard drive.

Final Words

Is your hard drive overheating? You can identify the situation via some symptoms and perform a check to see the HDD/SSD temperature. Besides, you know why hard drive overheats and how to fix the overheating issue, as well as how to keep data safe in case of hard drive running hot.

This is a serious issue that should be handled promptly. If you have some other ideas on SSD/HDD overtemp, you can contact our support team – [email protected] to tell us.

Hard Drive Overheat FAQ

What happens if a hard drive overheats?
It may damage electrical components and lead to disk damage, and finally, data loss happens. Thus, you should fix the overheated hard drive via some measures.
How hot is too hot for an external HDD?
Usually, a hard drive over 50 degrees Celsius indicates it is too hot. The ideal temperature is 25°C to 40°C and the acceptable temperature can be 41°C to 50°C.
Do hard drives slow down when hot?
The write speed can be heavily impacted by the disk temperature. The hotter the disk is, the slower it writes. If you don’t cool down the hard drive, it may be slow, just like a tortoise.
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