Recover Hard Drive Data when it refuses to Work

Hard drives are the primary storage device for a modern computer setup. There are different types of storage devices now, with higher data transfer rate and more security. Yet, when it comes to a typical computer setup, this magnetic disk method of storing data seems the most viable option. It’s reasonably priced, faster enough and doesn’t require any maintenance.

But things could go wrong at times. When the hard drives decide to stop working and turn their belly up, the users fall in great distress. Not everyone does regular backup to their data, as a result the information stored in the hard drive gets lost.

Technology has a solution for everything and so for data loss. There could be several reasons a hard drive might not work, from less severe to very severe. Depending on what’s happened underneath, the data resurrection process might be different.

Data loss can occur due to software based errors, or hardware. Software related errors happen most often and they are easily solvable as well. On the other hand, hardware related data loss is usually very severe and data restoration can take a lot of time and effort. Professional help is required and it’s costly as well. Unless the data in a faulty hard drive is very important, performing a hard data restoration is not preferable.


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Recover Lost Data using Software

This method works only for hard drives that had a data loss due to software faults. To maximize the chances of getting your data back using a software method, you should immediately stop using the drive after the data is lost. The more it is used, the lesser the chance gets. Operating system uses the hard drive’s clusters to continuously write and erase data; hence all your previous directories are erased as well.

To recover, remove the hard drive from an active system. This doesn’t ensure recovery of the specific data; however, it increases the chances. If you have an extra hard drive then make an exact clone and try recovering the lost data from the cloned hard drive.

Hardware Based Recovery

This step requires professional hands. Taking off the hard drive covers and attempting to repair it without knowing what’s happening inside could destroy the drive once and for all. There are various different ways to perform recovery using hardware measures.

  • PCB: The hard drive has two basic portions; one is the magnetic disks and another is the PCB board that connects to the disks. Data is stored in the ferromagnetic as 0s and 1s, this PCB helps the computer interpret the data to human language.
  • Platters: The multiple circular disk shapes are called platters. The RPM speed mentioned on a hard drive packaging; it’s the rotation speed of these platters. A hard drive data recovery professional might take these platters away, put these into some other hard drive and try recovering data. Difficulty level – extremely critical.
  • Heads: The heads that read the data from the platters. Same recovery pattern as the platters, and extremely crucial as well.

And in case the hard drive is completely irresponsive, the professionals might try hot wiring them to components from some other drives.


Hard drive data recovery is costly, be it software or hardware method. Unless the data in the drive are precious, it’s not worth performing such a recovery. However, never attempt a hardware recovery on your own.


About Author
Matt is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on TechScour.


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