How Can You Fix a Dead Hard Drive to Recover Lost Files and Data?

We store nearly all our important files on the computer, from homework assignments to tax records to 20,000 pictures of your cat. But computers are machines, and sometimes machines can go a little…haywire. And when your hard drive dies, years of photos, projects, and other documents are seemingly gone in an instant. So, what options do you have for hard drive data recovery if your hard drive is dead?

Never fear; NerdsToGo is here! By following tips straight from our expert Nerds, you will find ways to recover data from hard drives that you once thought were gone forever. Who knows, you might even turn into a Nerd of your own!

Do You Need Hard Drive Repair or Is It Something Else?

The first step is to find out if your hard drive is dead or just glitchy. If your dead hard drive is inside a PC and you have access to another computer, you can remove the hard drive and connect it as a second drive to the second computer using a USB universal drive adapter. If you have a nonworking Mac and access to a second Mac, you can use a FireWire cable to connect the two computers and press down the “T” key while you turn on the non-working computer. This is a “target boot” and will display the contents of the malfunctioning hard drive on the working computer.

If your files show up on the second computer – yay! Your hard drive isn’t dead. You can copy your files to the second computer to preserve them. If your files aren’t showing up, you need hard drive repair.

Hard Drive Disk Recovery for PCs and Macs

If you are unable to view your files and copy them to another computer, you will need to find out if the issue is hardware or software-based. Before performing any work for internal disk recovery, always make sure to turn your computer completely off and unplug the power cord. It’s also important that you do not write anything on the drive during the repair process! A drive that connects to a running system is at risk of further damage.

First, check your hard drive’s physical condition. Are the hard drive connections firmly in place on both ends? Is there any noticeable damage to the hard drive? Was it making any weird sounds before you unplugged it? If so, there may be hardware issues with your hard drive, and it is best for a data recovery company to repair it. If the hardware looks fine, you can run the data recovery software. Do not install this software onto the dead hard drive itself, or you may lose all your data for good! Instead, clone your drive using cloning software and run the recovery software on the cloned drive.

There are plenty of free cloning and hard drive data recovery software options you can download online for both PC and Mac computers. However, file recovery is a delicate process and many factors can contribute to a hard drive’s failure. If you’re unable to find a solution after trying these options yourself, you should visit a data recovery company like NerdsToGo.

External Hard Drive Data Recovery

External hard drives connect to your computer, usually via USB cables. To recover data from an external hard drive, you will need to determine if the issue is hardware or software. Examine the physical condition and connections on your hard drive – if connections are firmly in place and no damage is present, the issue might be software. You can use the same recovery software for internal disk recovery as you can for external hard drive recovery.

Always make sure to back up your files and make backups of the backups! Built-in data recovery software can help give you peace of mind for next time. Subscribing to a cloud-based storage system and having an external hard drive or two never hurts anyone, either!

If you have followed the above tips and still can’t succeed in your file recovery, you may need to schedule an appointment with an experienced data recovery company. NerdsToGo provides quality data recovery services with expert Nerds who can easily sniff out and snuff out issues involving a dead hard drive. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!