Recovering Data from a Failed Hard Drive‍

If your hard drive has failed, there's no need to panic, data recovery is possible. In this , we'll take you through the steps that need to be taken in order to recover data from a failed hard drive.

What to Do Before You Start

Before you start any data recovery , you need to make sure that your drive is still capable of holding data. A test can help you to do this. First, connect your drive to a computer that has the same operating system as the drive.

If an automatic drive detection feature finds your drive without any , it means that the drive is still capable of holding data. If the drive does not detect properly or does not detect at all, it means that your drive is not capable of holding data anymore.

Basic Steps for Hard Drive Data Recovery

Once you have confirmed that your hard drive is still capable of holding data, you can move on to the data recovery process. First of all, you need to make sure that the hard drive's head has been removed from the drive enclosure. Only then can you start to try and access the data on the drive.

  • Power down the drive, take out the head, and connect the head to an external device.
  • Start a software program that can read the drive, such as the Data Rescue 3 Data Recovery software.
  • Connect an external drive enclosure to the computer and connect the external drive to the enclosure.
  • Connect the external drive to the software program and open the drive.
  • From the data recovery program's main window, select the drive that you want to recover data from and select the check box next to it.
  • When the scan is complete, the program should show you all the data that is found.

Gather Required Materials

You will need a few things before you start the data recovery process:

  • An external enclosure with a USB or eSATA port, your enclosure of choice can be either, as long as it is compatible with the drive that you want to recover data from.
  • A USB cable that is long enough to reach from the enclosure to the computer.
  • A 7mm or 8-pin data recovery tool, tool should be compatible with the type of USB cable that you are using. –
  • A screwdriver, it's recommended to always carry a screwdriver in your bag or pocket when with electronics. You can never know when it might come in handy.
  • A paper towel or cloth to wipe the head of the drive while you are recovering data from it.
  • A safe and dry environment to store any working tools and materials that you might have.

Wipe the drive and the platters

The first thing you need to do is to wipe the drive and remove the platters from the enclosure. Usually, this step is performed to prevent dust from building up on the platters which can cause read errors.

At this , you can to take the head out of the drive enclosure. You probably want to do this outside and away from any prying eyes as there's going to be a lot of dirt and debris on the head.

Perform a Bad Sector Check

Another thing that you need to do before any data recovery process is to perform a bad sector check on the drive. This is to make sure that there are no physical issues with the drive that may be causing it to fail.

Bad sectors are usually caused by physical damage to the drive. It can also be caused by improper use of the drive, such as writing to the drive while the head is still inside.

Physical damage can also be caused by a motherboard or power supply that may have caused the drive to short-circuit, resulting in physical damage to the drive.

Perform a Data Wiper Test

you have finished the bad sector check and the head wipe, you should perform a test on the drive to make sure that there are no data errors. This is usually done by running a test sequence on the drive. If data errors are found, you may want to try wiping the drive again.

You may also want to try a different technique.  In order to perform a data wipe on the drive, you need to perform 5 steps:

  • Power down the drive and take out the head.
  • Connect an external drive enclosure to the computer and connect the external drive to the enclosure.
  • Power up the external drive and open the drive.
  • From the data recovery program's main window, select the drive that you want to recover data from and select the check box next to it.
  • When the scan is complete, the program should show you all the data that is found.