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What To Know When Your Hard Drive Dies

There’s no worse feeling than heading to your computer, pressing the power button and getting the message from your system that the boot device has failed. When that happens, you can pretty much guarantee that the hard drive has gone the way of the dodo bird. While that’s unfortunate, it’s not unexpected. If you’ve worked with computers, you know that nothing lasts forever, especially hard drives.

Your Drive Died. Now What?

Knowing that your hard drive will eventually fail doesn’t take away the heartache when it does die. After all, think of what you store on there. There are pictures, home movies, and documents; all of these things that are very nearly irreplaceable. Thankfully, in most cases, most of the data is able to be recovered. When something like this happens, you need to speak to a data recovery professional. These types of companies specialize in retrieving the important memories and data that you cannot be without.

Data recovery specialists can recover most if not all of the data on a hard drive provided that there’s no gross physical damage. That is, don’t run over it with a truck. When you know that your drive has died, you want to leave your computer alone. Unplug it and turn off the power supply by flipping the switch in the back. That helps to ensure that you won’t get a power surge that will scramble the data even more. If you are comfortable doing so, remove the hard drive from the computer and put it into an anti-static bag. Store it in a cool and dry place until you can ship it to the professionals that will do the work.

Will They Recover Everything?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to know how much of your data is recoverable. This depends on whether the failure was caused by a physical problem or by a software error. A physical problem is where the mechanical parts of the drive have failed. This includes the arm of the drive that reads the individual discs as well as the circuitry on the drive. If this is the fault it’s usually a good bet that your data is still accessible. The data recovery professionals will dismantle the drive and put the hard drive platters into a new housing so that the data can be read.

If it is a software issue that plagues your hard drive, it can be one of several issues. It could be a virus that has deleted key information. It could also be that the program that tells your computer where to find things on the hard drive has been corrupted. Other types of issues that fall under the software fault category also include driver conflicts or even good old-fashioned human error. With this type of issue, you won’t know how much of your data is recoverable until the data recover pros have had a chance to do a full diagnostic of the hard drive.

In the end, a hard drive failure can be difficult to recover from. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom who only uses the computer to store photos and recipes, or if you’re a webmaster who uses the latest iteration of Flexbox to craft the latest and greatest web pages. Losing a hard drive can set you back both professionally and personally. However, with the aid of data recovery, you can be back on track quickly and efficiently.

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