Nothing can be as annoying and scary as losing important data. As our technology keeps on pushing forward and we make use of it more and more in our daily life, we also transfer, save, and store important files on various gadgets that we own – whether it be the photos during the last holiday, your curriculum vitae, or even more important documents from school or work.
When you face such a situation, you may easily succumb to panic and lament the untimely disposal of your files and you may be wondering if it is possible to recover data even when your hard drive has already failed. While most technical problems require expert help from computer experts, you can actually recover lost data on your own. You’d be surprised that the web is full of helpful how-to guides for people who have the guts to do things on their own, no matter how challenging something may be.
Hard Drive is the most basic and integral part of any computer unit. This primary storage hardware unit has a number of disks associated with it, each having its own memory reader as well as a writer head. Thereby, it is considered as a perfect option to salvage your data and maintain its integrity.
Like all other devices, this indispensable unit has a limited shelf-life; however, it is still prone to damage or crash, regardless of the model and make of the hard drive which the user is using.
It may happen when you start your system to resume work on your PC and see a Blue screen of death. It can also happen when you start up your system, it starts producing some abrupt electrical fizzing sounds. These are some of the situations that users can encounter. There are more hard drive failures too. And, for this, a proper analysis is required.
Even in such situations, you may assume that your priceless photos and videos, business-critical documents, and other important files are lost forever, and may run to a state of despair; however, there is a reason to look up as they can still be recovered.
For your ease and convenience, you can refer to these hard drive recovery steps to save yourself from unnecessary stress and worries.
Step One: Assemble Your Tools and Examine The Drive’s Condition
The first thing to do is make sure you have the tools required to connect this drive to another computer safely. Ideally, you’ll have some kind of SATA/IDE to USB cable or USB drive enclosure or sled that you can mount the drive into and connect it to your computer easily.
Next, take a look at the drive itself. Is it damaged in any way? Are the pins bent or broken? Make sure that the drive is in good enough condition to actually use before you try anything in the first place that may damage it even further. If the drive is too physically damaged to attempt recovery, you may need more drastic measures that we’ll get to later. If everything looks good and you have the equipment required to connect the drive to your system, we can proceed.
Step Two: Grab Some Data Recovery Software and Connect the Drive
Before you do much else, make sure your antivirus and antimalware tools are up to date. You don’t know what you’ll find on this drive, and you don’t want it to start misbehaving once the drive is connected to an active system. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to download and install some data recovery tools.
Recuva (Windows, Free)
FileSalvage (OS X, $80)
TestDisk (Win/OS X/Linux, Free)
If nothing else works, that’s when you throw in the towel and call the pros to intervene or risk damaging your hard drive even more and lose your precious data forever. But to save yourself from going through the same ordeal again, better back up your data or purchase an external hard drive if your budget permits. You can even count on the cloud to provide extra storage space. After all, better be safe than be sorry.