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How to Troubleshoot Hard Drive Errors

It may be hard to believe, but a completely dead hard drive may be the best option for a hard drive failure. When your drive is dead, it could be a problem with the computer power supply or the cables, or the drive itself could have just stopped. Either way, the drive is no longer accessing its platters and writing over or corrupting your data.

How to Recover a Hard Drive

Hard drive recovery is necessary for failed drives in computers without scheduled backups.

Step 1

Pay Attention to the Sounds the Drive is Making

If the drive makes clicking and grinding noises when it starts up, then shut your computer down immediately and contact one of our certified technicians to have your data preserved. Those clicking and grinding noises indicate damage to the read/write heads of your drive, and that is a mechanical issue that an expert should fix.

If you turn your computer on and it makes a series of beeps, then turn it off and give us a call. The key to understanding how to recover data from a hard drive is understanding how to preserve what data you have.

Step 2

Turn Off Your Computer

The operating system on your computer is constantly scanning, accessing, and writing data to your hard drive. When your hard drive starts to fail, your operating system could wind up interpreting bad sectors as blank sectors and start writing to them. That means that your drive will sustain more damage and you will lose more data by the second.

Step 3

Check Your Connections

Open up your computer and make sure that the power and data connection cables for your hard drive are plugged in and working. Look at your cables and make sure that they are not frayed or damaged in some way. It is always best to start with the obvious things first when you are trying to figure out how to recover data from a damaged hard drive. If you are having problems opening your case, then check online for the instructions. You should have no problem finding a good video that will let you know how to open your computer.

Step 4

Look For Your Drive in Your BIOS

When you first turn on your computer, a message will flash for a few seconds that will tell you what button to push to access your computer’s BIOS. Press that button and then follow the on-screen instructions to find your hard drive listing. If you want to learn how to recover a hard drive, it is important to first make sure that the computer can see the drive.

If you see your hard drive listed in your BIOS, then you have a chance at being able to recover your drive through your operating system. If your drive is not there, then turn the computer off and open the case. On the back of your hard drive will be a power cable and a data cable. Make sure they are both plugged in properly. If they are plugged in, then replace the data cable as a precaution. If your BIOS can see your hard drive after replacing your data cable, then you probably just solved your problem. If it does not see the drive, then you will need to move on to the next step.

Step 5

Put the Drive in an External Enclosure

To recover hard drive data safely, you need to connect your hard drive to a second computer that has a working operating system. Remove your damaged hard drive and put it in an external enclosure that can be connected to a second computer through a USB port.

When you connect the hard drive to a second computer, you will be able to:

  • Mirror the damaged drive to a fresh drive to salvage your data
  • Scan the damaged drive with scanning software you can find online to see if data can be recovered
  • Analyze the drive with computer software without damaging the data
Step 6

Don’t Ever Open Your Drive

As certified hard drive technicians, we know how complicated these little devices are. We understand the platters, the read/write heads, and the circuit boards. That is why we are telling you that opening your hard drive to try and retrieve your data is a bad idea. There are many different moving parts in your hard drive that you could damage, and you may lose all of your data for good.

Your best approach is to give us a call and we will quote you a price on retrieving that data for you. Even if the platters in your drive are damaged, we can still recover your data for you. If all of the safe options have been exercised, then we strongly suggest that you call in the experts and let us retrieve your data for you.

Contact a Professional

Sometimes it is hard to admit that you aren’t able to recover data from your hard drive yourself. We understand. When your hard drive clicks when it spins or your computer won’t boot up, you want to be able to solve the problem without needing to rely on external help. The data on your drive is important to you. You cannot lose it. You should not lose it.

However, keep Secure Data Recovery in mind, because the longer you wait to recovery your data, the better chance that it will be harder to recover. Our facilities and expertise are second-to-none. They will provide us with the best chance to recover your damage hard drive successfully. We recommend that you give us a call and allow us to quote you a price on what it would cost to have us recover your data for you. Consider it an option in case you are not able to recovery the data yourself.

Our SSAE 18 SOC Type II certification and security and control procedures are internationally recognized and our employees are among the best in the world at failed hard drive recovery. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us right away. Is there an emergency that cannot wait for long? Secure Data Recovery has same-day expedited service in many locations.