We are going to show you several methods that can recover data from a crashed hard drive. The techniques we will look at include using data recovery software as well as native Windows or Mac tools. We’ll also talk about professional data recovery services that can handle a physically damaged hard drive.
Chances are good that you can recover deleted files from a hard drive if you just accidentally deleted them. You can also get files back from a failed HHD if you follow these tips and take some very important actions as soon as the device starts to show signs of failure or corruption.
Here’s what to do if your hard drive crashes.
- ⛔ Stop using the hard drive immediately to save any new data. This risks overwriting the data you hope to recover. Once a logically deleted file has been overwritten, it cannot be recovered by a software solution. You will need to use a backup to restore the data once it has been overwritten.
- 🔎 Check the device for physical damage. If the hard drive is damaged to the point that it can’t be connected to your computer or won’t be recognized by your operating system, it will probably need to be handled by a professional data recovery service.
- 💽 If possible, make a byte-level copy of the disk to be used for the recovery. This protects you if the disk completely fails and may help you avoid a trip to the recovery service.
Recover Data from a Crashed Hard Drive Using Data Recovery Software
The most effective and efficient method of performing data recovery from an HDD is with a specialized software solution. Tools are available for most operating systems and are compatible with virtually all disk-based storage devices.
How does recovery software work?
Recovery software works by taking advantage of the way modern operating systems delete items. The data is not physically removed from the storage device. It is logically deleted by freeing the space formerly occupied by a file and making it available to the operating system for future use.
Until newly saved data overwrites a logically deleted file or folder, data recovery software can recover the file by repairing the logical links that make it available to the operating system. The most reliable hard drive data recovery software involves the following steps.
- You connect the hard drive to your computer and launch the software.
- You select the drive from the tool’s interface.
- The tool performs a scan and identifies the files it can recover.
- Users select the items they want to recover and a safe location where they will be stored.
- The tool recovers the lost data and saves it to the designated location.
Disk Drill is a commercial hard drive recovery solution that runs on Windows and Mac computers. Disk Drill is great at recovering files and folders from a crashed hard drive. It offers users a simple and effective way to recover data from a crashed hard drive. A user-friendly interface lets anyone recover data themselves with just a few clicks.
The tool provides advanced scanning capabilities that can recover hundreds of different file formats from any type of disk-based storage device. Disk Drill includes free data protection and management features that add significant value to the tool. A free trial version of the tool lets you scan a device to determine what can be recovered. Windows users can recover up to 500MB with the evaluation version of Disk Drill.
Recuva is Windows-specific data recovery software that offers users free and paid versions of the tool. It features an interface resembling Windows Explorer and can help get files back from a logically damaged or formatted hard drive. The tool also lets users securely delete data so it cannot be recovered by a software solution.
The free version of the tool provides decent file recovery capabilities. With the paid version, users also get virtual hard drive support, automatic updates, and priority customer support.
CloneZilla is free, open-source software designed for disk and partition imaging and cloning. It can serve as a valuable tool in protecting the data residing on a logically damaged or crashed hard drive. With CloneZilla, you can clone a failing hard drive and use the copy as the source for data recovery software.
The tool supports many file systems, including those that you will find on your Windows or Mac computer. If your hard drive starts to show signs of corruption or you suspect it is failing, using a tool like CloneZilla to create a clone offers you additional protection.
Check out some additional external hard drive data recovery software for Mac to see if these solutions fit your needs.
Try to Fix a Failing Hard Drive with a Disk Management Utility
If your hard drive has become corrupted or has experienced some other type of logical damage to its files and file system, you may be able to use a disk management utility to recover the lost data.
Let’s look at the options available for owners of computers running Windows or macOS. They both require you to connect an external drive to your computer.
The Windows operating system provides a Disk Management tool that may be able to help you recover a corrupt or failing hard drive.
- Press the Windows + X keystroke combination and select Disk Management.
- Locate the crashed hard drive in the Disk Management interface.
- If you can access the drive, use the tool to format the drive to fix logical errors.
macOS has a built-in disk management utility called Disk Utility that can fix logical hard drive issues.
- Press Command + Space and use Spotlight to start Disk Utility.
- Select the affected disk and click the First Aid button.
- First Aid will run and inform you if it has detected or fixed any errors.
You may be able to use additional methods of laptop hard drive recovery before going to a professional recovery service. It’s worth a little effort to avoid the cost associated with recovery services if possible.
Contact a Professional Data Recovery Service
In cases where your hard drive has experienced physical damage or cannot be accessed by your operating system, you may not be able to recover its data yourself. Your best bet is to engage a professional service that offers data recovery in your city.
The experts at a professional data recovery service use advanced techniques to recover data from an HDD, SSD, or other types of storage devices. They can often perform successful recovery of a physically damaged hard drive.
Depending on the type of device and the extent of the damage, the cost of hard drive recovery can run into thousands of dollars. For that reason, a reputable company cannot quote you a per-gigabyte price for their services. After an evaluation, they should be able to give you a reasonable estimate of the costs. A legitimate service will not charge you if they cannot recover your lost data.