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How Can I Recover My Data from a Failed Hard Drive?

How Can I Recover My Failed Hard Drive?

Like most computer users, at some point you’re going to find yourself in a moment of panic that all of your hard work and cherished memories are gone due to problems with the system. A catastrophic hard drive failure strikes fear in the hearts of many – you’re not alone! Often times, this is the result of the user failing to do basic hard drive maintenance and backing-up their data. Here are a few tips that can help when trying to recover your precious data from a failed hard drive:

Identify Why the Hard Drive Failed

Take an inventory of the important data you may lose if the drive cannot be recovered. You may have sensitive tax information, irreplaceable family photos & videos, a collection of hard to replace, vintage software, or personal information that cannot get into untrusted hands. Regardless of whatever you lost, the important thing is to remain calm. There is a chance you will be able to recover your data on your own (without possessing a Master's Degree in Computer Science). After you’ve made an inventory of the important stuff, your next step is going to be trying to figure out what happened in the first place.
  • Is your system extremely old and the hard drive failed physically?
  • Did you just recently install a new piece of software?
  • Did one of your children accidentally download a virus or some other nasty malware?
  • Maybe, your wife knocked a glass of ice tea onto your laptop?
  • There are a million things that could have happened, but don’t worry, something can always be done to fix it.

    Hard Drive Recovery Basics

    Based on what happened, you can narrow down to an issue of physical or software-based breakdown. Physical hard drive issues are called "mechanical drive failures" and software issues are known as "logical drive failures". There are plenty of recovery tools available that will make software (or logical) recovery much easier. As for the hardware based (or mechanical) issues, those are typically a little bit more complex and often require professional help, such as professional hard drive repair, or hard drive recovery. At this point, cross your fingers and hope for a logical drive failure because mechanical failure can be somewhat pricey depending on the situation and what company you decide to go with. If you are not 100% certain the problem is logical or mechanical in nature, you are probably going to want to remove the drive from the system and try to test it on another. If your drive is installed in another system (or in a USB disc cradle), can you hear the plates inside spinning? Listen closely and you should be able to hear a slight "whirling" noise as the drive plates begin to operate. If you have a SSD drive, they are "solid-state" in nature so you won't have the benefit of sound and will have to run some diagnostics tests to determine if the failure is logical or mechanical.

    Hard Drive Recovery Tools

    Next, you are going to need to download some hard drive recovery tools that can run an initial diagnostic on the device to determine our next course of action. There are several options available, but stick to one of the best programs on the market, Secure Data Recovery Hard Drive Repair Software. After you’ve read up on the software program of your choosing, the next step is going to be putting it into action. If for some reason you are just unable to get your data restored or you realize you are looking at a catastrophic, mechanical hard drive failure -- it may be time to throw in the towel and call in the professionals. Secure Data Recovery is unmatched in our ability to meet customers need and get back data when it matters most. Give us a call at 1-800-388-1266 today if you need our help.
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