How to differentiate between physical or logical failure of data media?Most types of data media failure will fall under these two categories.
Physical failure means that the hardware itself has suffered physical damage. It is normally caused and related to malfunctions due to electrical, mechanical and material deterioration. For hard disk, it has resulted in the most commonly coined terms - Hard disk Crash.
Logical failure means that the actual data, the bits and bytes have been altered or in some inconsistent stage therefore blocking the normal data access.
To use a simple analogy, take a piece of paper and write on it. If you tear the paper, it’s a physical failure. However, if you erase, smudge the writing on the paper, it is logical failure.
It is often possible that the data media can suffer both logical and physical damage simultaneously. For instance, physical damage may directly cause logical failure. In this case, the critical system data is not accessible due to hardware failure, resulting in denial of access to user data.
At times, it may be difficult to access the types of failure. You may want to follow this simple guide to determine the types of failure.