7 Stages of Grief for Hard Drive Failure

7 Stages of Grief for Hard Drive Failure

Hard drives are not equipment—they are pieces of our lives. There are those who see their hard drives as more than storage units, but as homes for all their photos, personal documents, writing, and games. For instance, the average guy, Joe, had a hard drive that held everything he would ever need for his entertainment or work. But when his hard drive died—so did a piece of his heart. Other than being extremely frustrating, hard drive failure is a huge loss. It may take time for you to come to terms with your lost data. Your recovery process may go something like this:

Shock and Denial

The laptop is smoking right before your eyes. The monitor is bright blue—as if all the life had been sucked out of it. All you can think is, "I have too many things on there for it to be dead!" That laptop was your best friend. It played movies for you. It was where you played World Of Warcraft, Sims, and Civilization. Now it’s gone, along with all of your precious data.

You try everything. You turn the computer on and off repeatedly, trying to get the hard drive to reboot. You take it to the computer repair guy, only to be told what you already know. You do not weep, at first. But you will have a dazed, shocked look for at least a day.

Pain and Guilt

Once you recover from the shock, you have to accept that your hard drive died. All the while, you couldn’t help but wonder what you could have done more. "Why didn’t I see the signs?!" you lament. You’re convinced that the malfunction is all your fault—why didn’t you defrag your hard disk more often?


But anger is so much easier than guilt. If you don’t want to blame yourself, get angry at someone else. You can’t help but want to kick the computer and call the company about your frustrations. How dare they sell you a faulty hard drive! And when the receptionist can’t help you, you promptly chew her out to vent your frustration.


You may try to bargain with your hard drive; you may tell it to come back to life and that you will be sure to defrag it every week and to take better care of it. "Come back with all my photos, and I’ll get you a dessert!" Of course, it doesn’t work. Your hard drive is still a doorstop. You go to your friend’s home to use his computer to fill the void, but you know it will never be the same.

Depression and Sorrow

You begin to truly know that your hard drive isn’t coming back to life. You find yourself reflecting on the wonderful times you had when Netflix was so available. Or how your laptop used to work so quickly and efficiently. This dwelling has left you in a depression--fantasizing of what life would be with your hard drive once more, but you know it could never be.

Testing and Reconstruction

You know that you will never get your old information back, and that you will never have the same, perfect set-up on your computer. But you know that it is time to move on. With sorrow still in your heart, you borrow the library’s computer for you essential needs, and a few online games. (Your friend would only let you use his computer occasionally.)


You are nearly at the end of your grief. You have finally completely accepted that you have lost every bit of information you had on that hard drive. And though you still regret your hard drive’s death, you decide to move on and jump back into life again. You buy another hard drive—better quality, faster, more data storage.  You move on to take more pictures and find new games.

Hard drives, while functioning normally, are part of almost every aspect of our lives. When it breaks, it’s like losing a piece of yourself—especially if you haven’t backed up you data. Before you have to go through the process of grief, go to Secure Data Recovery; you may not have lost as much as you thought.

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With extensive experience and a passion for data recovery, Scott enjoys sharing his knowledge and helping others understand the intricacies of data recovery, encryption and loss prevention.

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