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Your Hard Drive is Failing—Now What?

Uh oh, your hard drive is exhibiting all the signs of physical failure! Prepare yourself to increase the odds of a successful data recovery operation.


Don’t panic, don’t lose your cool, and above all, don’t resort to violence—especially against your computer. Data recovery is more difficult if you take a bat to your laptop. The paradox of a failing hard drive is that the most frustrating event in human history requires the greatest calm. So, stay calm and follow these four simple steps to turn a catastrophic event into an inconvenient one.

1. Unplug!

When your hard drive begins to fail, stop. How do you know if your hard drive is failing? Some hints include, louder than normal clicking, an unresponsive or frozen screen, files that become inaccessible or disappear completely, and even the blue screen of death. A failing hard drive doesn’t repair itself. A hard reboot won’t raise the dead and can actually cause more damage. Depending on the problem, even trying a quick back up can toast your data. The best course to take for a failing hard drive is unplug; as in pull the surge protector out of the wall socket, remove the battery, or if you live in a green home, stop pedaling.

2. Take Inventory

Do you know what is on your failing hard drive? Is it critical? Have you backed up the drive? Is the data replaceable? These are all trick questions because if you can’t answer them with 100% certainty then you shouldn’t even be asking them; and when it comes to data, you can’t remember enough to be 100% certain, that’s why we have computers. Maybe 98% of the lost data isn’t a big deal, but we often find people forget about the 2% that when lost, elicits the primal scream of data loss.

We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t take inventory but it should be focused differently. Your inventory should determine the time sensitivity of the data. How soon do you need it? If you have backed it up, do you need to start the process of retrieving data from back up? If you haven’t backed up the data, you will usually find that you need the data sooner than you think. How crippled are you until you have the data? Most of the important inventory questions should be time related questions because we seldom find a hard drive that doesn’t have at least some irreplaceable data. Even your grandma will store something precious and irreplaceable on her computer. Our experience is that few, if any, ever regret recovering data.

3. Trust us

Everyone knows a computer genius. They will know how to recover your data, and because they are your friend, they will do it for free. Wait for it... there’s that primal scream again. Yeah. There goes your data. If data recovery were that easy, we wouldn’t exist. Your friend not only doesn’t have a Certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom, he or she probably doesn’t know that you need one. Secure Data Recovery has been in the data recovery business for over 15 years. We know what is needed.

Data recovery is like brain surgery, you need the right training, equipment, and experience. But even if you could trust your friend to perform brain surgery on you, you shouldn’t trust them to recover your data. Trust us. We know all there is about data recovery. We don’t cut corners. We have the right equipment, a Certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom, and the experience to handle your secure data recovery. We also do it as quickly as possible so you can...

4. Get back to work

Our economy runs on data; and so does your business. We know how critical your data is to your bottom line. When you can’t access your most important data you are out of business.

Now that you have your data back, you can get back to work. This time keep us on speed dial. Talk to our technicians and bookmark our website to get caught up on the latest ways to protect your data. However, even with all of the failsafe options available to you, hard drives fail and data becomes corrupted, sorry. But even if that happens, we can help you remain calm and above all, we can help you cut down on the frustration.

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