This wikiHow teaches you how to diagnose and potentially recover a dead or dying hard drive (also known as a hard disk). Keep in mind that following these instructions does not guarantee that you’ll be able to recover your hard drive. Additionally, while opting for professional help is your best option, doing so will likely be expensive.
Put your computer away right away. It’s recommended to stop your hard drive from running as soon as you can if it’s still spinning but you’re having performance problems. Don’t restart your computer after you’ve shut it down until you can take it to a repair shop.
You can unplug an external hard disc from your computer if you’re concerned that it could malfunction.
Attempt connecting your hard drive to a different computer or port. If your hard disc functions well on a computer other than the one on which it is currently installed, the issue is likely with your computer’s ports or cables rather than the hard drive itself.
This is as simple as disconnecting your external hard drive from your computer and plugging it into a separate one if you’re using one. In case the current cable is broken, you should also try a replacement.
A more challenging issue is presented by internal hard discs. You must first remove your internal hard drive from your computer in order to do a connection health assessment. After that, you can purchase a USB cable converter or a hard drive docking station (Amazon sells both), which enables you to connect your external hard drive to another computer. Make sure your computer is unplugged and the battery is disconnected before removing a hard drive (if applicable).
On a Mac, removing a hard disc is a very challenging job. If you’re going to do it nonetheless, be careful.
Rarely, a hard disc that doesn’t function on your particular computer but does on others may be an indication of a deteriorating motherboard. Take your computer to a tech shop to get it checked out if you can get your hard disc to work on a computer other than your own.
Understand the many parts that make up a hard drive. Hard drives include three main parts that, if they break down, could result in a drive failure:
PCB – The circuit board, which is often located on the bottom of your hard drive, controls the majority of its operations and converts hard drive data into usable information. Typically, circuit boards are green.
Platters: Data-storing thin discs. The majority of the noise that you hear when your hard drive first starts up comes from plates. You won’t be able to repair your hard drive’s platters on your own unless you’re a specialist with access to a clean room and the required tools.
The head assembly is responsible for reading data from the platters. Again, without specialized knowledge and tools, you won’t be able to fix the head assembly.
Analyze the noises your drive was producing. Your hard disc will produce different noises depending on what’s wrong with it. To achieve a precise diagnosis, cross-reference the model of your hard disc with the noise it is generating.
For instance, if your hard drive was clicking, the head assembly is probably the cause of the issue.
Unfortunately, the majority of issues that can be identified by the sound they make require professional assistance.
Avoid utilizing do-it-yourself short-term remedies. These include forcing it or freezing your hard drive, among other things. Despite the fact that some users may have had success with these techniques, applying a temporary patch on your hard drive will inevitably reduce the likelihood of successful data recovery from a professional service even further than it already was.
Even if you are successful in making a quick repair job, the results are frequently transient. Your hard drive will eventually fail.
Consulting a Repair Company
Recognize that hard disc recovery is a task best left to experts. A hard drive’s extraordinarily intricate design means that unless you have a highly developed background in electronics, you won’t be able to repair your drive to the point where you can retrieve the data on it. You ought to give your hard disc to a reputable repair provider for this reason.
A dead hard drive’s chances of being repaired by a pro will be reduced if it is attempted to be fixed.
Even changing the PCB board needs extensive skills in soldering circuitry and finding replacement parts that are exactly the same.
You should budget a large sum of money for the repair. True hard drive recovery necessitates the use of clean rooms, specialized tools, and staff who have undergone extensive training. Consequently, you’ll probably shell out more than $1,000 to get your hard drive’s data restored.
Choose the repair service that most closely matches your needs. Drive recovery services are typically available through your neighborhood computer shop, but the following are a few excellent alternatives:
Best Buy – Data recovery is handled by Best Buy’s “Geek Squad” division. Depending on how badly the hard drive was damaged, you might anticipate spending anywhere between $200 to just under $1500.
Drive Savers – Drive Savers is a data recovery business with 30 years of experience that offers 24/7 customer assistance. They can recover hard drives from smartphones and cameras in addition to computer hard discs.
Decide on a business and stick with it. The likelihood that someone will successfully repair your hard drive lowers each time someone opens it and makes an attempt. This is due to the fact that accessing your hard drive makes it vulnerable to environmental threats like dust, static electricity, and other elements. You should refrain from requesting repeated consultations from various companies in order to reduce the risk. Ascertain the company’s expertise by asking what types of data recovery tools they employ. The use of PC3K or DeepSpar is a positive sign.