Handy Tips for Recovering Data from Permanently Damaged Hard Drives

In today’s world, hard disk drives are the main elements of a laptop or a desktop PC in charge of safe data storage. They are gaining popularity with each passing second as a perfect backup destination. No matter what their type is, they have the largest capacity compared to other storage devices. Regardless of being internal or external, they have a wide range of use, and they are prevalent. Even though they are absolute perfection when it comes to storing all the crucial data, there are instances where some technical glitches and issues can lead to severe problems of data loss. People generally fail to realize the risks and threats associated with using hard drives.

It is not rocket science that if a hard disk is broken, damaged, or has some operation issues, all the information becomes inaccessible for the user. There could be several things that can go wrong with a hard drive. For instance, a day before the hard drive was working just fine, and the next day, you plug it in to discover absolutely nothing. All the files got accidentally deleted, and the data is refusing to be recognized. The sight can be daunting and panic-triggering at the same time.

Before delving into the details on recovering data from a damaged hard drive</b >, it is worth taking a look at how a disk is arranged inside. This would give you a better understanding of possible problems.

The design of a hard disk

Being a mechanical mass storage device, a hard disk drive is meant to write, retrieve, and store various user information. You can store everything ranging from music, videos, photos, electronic messages, projects, and presentations to scientific and literary research works.

If we talk about the main elements of the hard disk, they are rigid glass or aluminum platters coated with exclusive stuff. The special magnetic heads make it easy for writing and reading any information. These magnetic heads do not touch the platters while working. This practice tends to improve the hard disk’s lifetime. The PCB board has the primary function of administering and controlling all the main features of the hard disk.

The issues in the hard disk drive

Even though hard disks are considered to be very reliable, they too have a specific durability resource. And the worst part is that the resource is limited. It is a well-known fact that the lesser the resource remains, the higher are the chances of a hard disk breaking down. If under such conditions, the drive is no longer operable, there are many methods to recover the data that is still inside.

That is why creating a disk backup copy is vital. Taking into account that your disk may get damaged at any point in time, you can use any of the possible ways to create a backup copy in a cloud storage device. As this method saves you a lot of time, in case of abrupt hard drive failures, this can be used to attain access to your data at any time.

Now that you are familiar with the structure and the insides of a hard drive, it is time for you to delve into the basics of data recovery.

Two ways a hard drive can be damaged

You might think that this segment is rather useless, but you need to understand what kind of damage has struck your hard drive if you want to know how to deal with it.

  • Mechanical failure

Even though magnetic hard drives are more susceptible to this kind of failure, there are chances that it might happen to some SSDs as well. A mechanical failure points to the condition when there is something physically wrong with the drive. Mishandling or dropping the hard drive, wear and tear over years of continued usage, mishandling, breaking, or short circuits can be some of the most common reasons behind such damage. If on trying to access the data on the hard drive, you hear a distinguishable clicking sound, there are chances that your hard drive might be suffering a mechanical failure. And when this happens, the best thing you can do is seek professional help.

The professional technicians are answerable to you if the safety of the data is in question.

  • Logical failure

When compared to mechanical failure, logical failure in the hard drive is as soothing as good news. That is because logical failures point to something wrong on the software front. These damages usually arise due to:

  1. The accidental format or deletion of data.

  2. Sudden power surges.

  3. Improper ejection of the hard drive.

  4. Abrupt computer shutdowns.

  5. Interruption during data transfer

What should be your immediate action after the hard drive fails

If you accidentally format the hard drive or delete the data from it, there are instances when the data does not disappear. It stays on the drive until you overwrite something else on it. Therefore, the most significant step after the accidental formatting of the hard drive should be avoiding working on the hard drive. You need to stop working on it completely. Your computer is probably writing something to the hard drive, even if you are not directly accessing the data on it. There are no chances of getting the lost data back once the data is overwritten. So as soon as  you discover the corrupted hard drive , shut down the computer that is connected to the hard drive and unplug it.

And the next step would be connecting the hard drive to another computer as a secondary drive and seeing if it is recognized there. You can try to clone the hard drive even if the hard drive does not show up there.

Data recovery from dead or corrupt hard drive with software

Once the faulty hard drive has been repaired or you’ve managed to create its clone with the help of some software, recovering the data on it becomes relatively more comfortable than before. There is a plethora of software available in the market that can help you recover the data.

Recover damaged hard drive data with the help of hardware

You will need to assess the severity of the issue the hard drive has if you wish to know when the hard drive needs some hardware replacement to get it back to life. Here is a list of a few scenarios you need to consider.

  • Is the drive making clicking noises on accessing or connecting

If the answer to this question is affirmative, then you might need the assistance of a professional data recovery service . CBL Tech has got your back every time something like this happens.

  • Is the drive making no sounds on being accessed or connected?

You will know that the drive is not spinning at all if it is not making any clicking or other sounds at all. This directly indicates an issue with the drive’s PCB. And when this happens, the least you can do is replace the PCB with a matching one from another matching hard drive.

There are chances that this technique might not work with most modern drives, especially the ones that have a unique microcode attached to them. In such hard drives, you need to locate the fuse or the TVS diodes and test them with a multimeter. This helps you to check if either of them has shortened or not. These diodes tend to fuse if you mistakenly attach the wrong power adaptor to the drive or experience a power surge. The diodes are considered to be shortened if they read 0 ohms on the multimeter. In such, replacing the PCB might be the only option.

  • Does the drive hang on accessing but is detected by the computer and is spinning as well?

This issue indicates a large number of bad sectors. This is most likely to happen after years of continued usage. Either send the drive to  a professional data recovery service center or use free BIOS accessing utilities. The latter can skip bad sectors to read the data.

  • Does the drive make beeping sounds on powering up?

This issue directly indicates a mechanical failure. There are chances that the drive is suffering from a seizure of either the motor spindle or the station. No matter what the cause is, both the failures require the drive to be opened. Therefore you must send your hard drive to a professional recovery service center.

Summing it all up

While you might be tempted to opt for handy DIY fixes, it is recommended you avoid them. If you don’t have an expertise in recovering the data, you might as well not plunge into it. Relying on a professional data recovery service center  is a much better option. If you opt for self-recovery, you might end up worsening the situation. CBL Tech is home to some professional technicians who leave no stone unturned in resolving all your data recovery issues.