disk crash


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

disk crash

[′disk ‚krash]
(computer science)

head crash

The physical destruction of a hard disk. Misalignment, faulty parts, contamination with dust, as well as excessive jostling and temperatures, can cause the read/write head to collide with the disk's recording surface. The data are rendered unreadable, and the drive has to be replaced. However, in some cases, the data can be recovered (see data recovery).

The read/write head on a hard disk hovers above the platter's surface at a distance 5,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. The analogy is flying a jet plane six inches above the earth's surface.

A Head Crash Is Destructive
The computer stops dead in its tracks with a head crash and also a regular crash, but "head crashes" are destructive to the hardware, whereas program crashes are not destructive to the machine (see abend).


Read/Write Head and Disk Surface
Head crashes used to be much more common years ago. However, they still happen, and that means the metal head scrapes the magnetic coating of the disk platter's surface. Bye bye bits.
References in periodicals archive ?
I never suffered a hard disk crash, but I was prepared and assured.
Network disasters come in many different flavors: disk crashes, viruses, cabling problems, power line problems, unauthorized users or uses and, of course, physical disasters such as fires or hurricanes.
Instead, you lose all your files because of a disk crash or some other major, computer-related problem.
All too often, the point is not driven home until users suffer a hard disk crash, lose all of their data, and discover it's irretrievably lost.
With SATA, all of your corporate and personal data can be inexpensively protected from a disk crash. This market is far, far larger than the current market for SCSI RAID.
I've had my own computer since 1980 and maybe I'm the only user in those 20 years who's never had a hard disk crash, but HDDs have become incredibly reliable nowadays.
In addition, the drive will ship with Tecmar's Fullback system-recovery software; two diskettes created with the software will restore data in the event of a hard disk crash.
Back up any encrypted file on which you store passwords to multiple sources in case of hard disk crashes or other problems.
Computer disasters run the gamut, resulting from such causes as computer viruses, hard disk crashes, accidentally erased files, accidentally reformatted disks, sabotage, theft, lightning strikes, fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and even terrorist bombings.
For years the storage industry focused its high availability developments on protecting data from technology failures such as disk crashes, operating system failures, or tapes that couldn't be read.
You can lose data from viruses and worms, disk crashes, data corruption, laptop loss, office break-ins, or even employee error.
But now, thanks to a new service from U S WEST and Connected Corporation, worries about lost data due to computer hard disk crashes or other hardware loss can be a thing of the past.