If there's one constant truth about hard drives, it's that all hard drives will fail sooner or later. One day your hard drive is going to stop working, and any data stored on it will inaccessable and possibly lost if it isn't backed up. It could be the result of a head crash, a computer virus, an accidental deletion, a a stroll through a magnetic field, or simply wear and tear. Luckily for you, there are ways to rescue the data stored on your hard drive, if you do the right things and in the right amount of time. Regardless of what happened, you most likely want to have any lost data retrieved as soon as possible so you can access your lost files and get your digital life back on track. Follow our tips below for having the best chance of getting your valuable data back from your hard drive.
If you are serious about rescuing the data stored on your failed hard drive, then you shouldn’t save the issue for the weekend, or wait for when it is convenient to look into the problem. Data recovery should become the primary concern for your hard drive, particularly for hard drives that have gone through physical damage. For hard drives that were affected by water damage or viruses, the longer you wait the more difficult it will be to try and recover the data on your own.
Determine the Issue
Data can be lost from a hard drive for many reasons, and it is important to identify why the hard drive may no longer be functioning. Sometimes it’s obvious when the drive was physically damaged, like being dropped or being victim to a power surge. If you accidentally deleted data from your hard drive or reformated it, try and note what files are missing, when they went missing and if you have any files backed up in other locations on the computer, on a different storage device like an external hard drive or computer, or through an online backup service. The more information you can provide to a data recovery professional the better chance they have at rescuing your lost files.
Shut Everything Down
Regardless of the problem, if your hard drive starts making clicking noises, shows the “Blue Screen of Death”, or stops working entirely after physical damage like being dropped or going through a power surge, then it is time to shut down your computer. There is no point in trying to resurrect a dead or dying hard drive on your own, because your hard drive is designed to stop functioning to avoid causing further damage to itself. If it doesn’t automatically shut itself down, then you risk further damaging the hard drive and making data recovery more challenging.
For example, a head crash can occur when a hard drive is dropped or the hard drive receives a sudden impact. The read/write head, which reads and writes data to your hard drive comes into contact with the platters of your hard drive, which stores your hard drive’s data. That causes a scratch on the platters, which can become much worse if the hard drive continues to run.
Don’t Try DIY Methods
We’ve outlined an article on common DIY data recovery methods and why they should not be attempted. If you want ot try your own experiment, or don't care about rescuing the data stored on the hard drive it's fine, however we do not recommend trying them if you are serious about rescuing the files stored on the hard drive. Nearly all DIY data recovery attempts make it more difficult for a data recovery professional to recover the data, which will often make it more costly for the hard drive owner to get their data back.
You may not be knowledgeable about hard drives, but there are plenty of professionals who would be more than happy to help out. Data Recovery Group has over 25 years of experience in the industry, and has really seen it all when it comes to hard drive failure. Before you try anything drastic, give us a call at (877) 315-7111 or email us, and we can help identify the issues with your hard drive and provide guidance so you can get your digital life back on track.