Losing a hard drive is no fun. The fact is hard drives fail all the time. While some are certainly more reliable than others, as it ages your hard drive is likely to fail at some point.
Thankfully, you've got a few options if your hard drive does go down.
Read on as we take a quick look at hard drive recovery and how to get your data back if your drive gives you trouble.
Assess the Situation
If you've just lost a hard drive, the most important thing to do is step back and take a look at the situation.
Does the hard drive appear to be physically damaged in any way? There are two types of hard drive failures - logical and mechanical. In a logical failure, the drive's components are in tack, but the data has been corrupted in some manner.
With a mechanical failure, if the hard drive has been damaged, you may be out of luck. There may be broken parts that aren't salvageable. Traditional hard drives have moving parts that obviously need to be able to move in order to operate properly.
It's best to first determine the severity of the damage and what has been broken before moving on to the next step.
Collect Your Tools for Hard Drive Recovery
If the drive seems to be in serviceable condition and has no physical damage, you'll need a few tools to attempt a repair.
First, you'll need a way to connect the hard drive to a functioning computer. If you've a USB drive enclosure available, this is one way to approach the problem. Simply connect the damaged drive in the enclosure.
A SATA connection can work too or even an old computer that you could install the drive into.
Once you've found a way to connect the drive to your computer, you'll need some data recovery software to extract any information that's still intact. There are many tools available, depending on your platform.
Connect the Drive
With your tools assembled, you can now connect the drive and take a look.
Most recovery software is great for browsing the damaged drive if the data hasn't been overwritten. Just be aware that you probably want to get in and get any files you need to save quickly, as the more you work with a damaged drive, the more likely it is to quit altogether.
Call in the Experts
If the hard drive is physically damaged, overwritten, or just won't respond to anything you've tried, it might be time to call in the pros. Hard drives can be fickle, especially if they've been damaged or corrupted in some way.
A hard drive recovery service will have access to tools and techniques that the average user just doesn't have. If the data on your drive is vital to you or your business, this service is well worth the investment.
Preparing for a Hard Drive Meltdown
As we mentioned above, hard drives don't last forever and it's important to have a hard drive recovery plan in place. Data redundancy, where the same data is stored in multiple locations, is a business' best friend.
If you rely on a computer for business or other critical needs, it's important to have a plan for keeping your data safe and secure in the event of a disaster. Make sure you keep vital information backed up both locally and at an offsite location, such as with a backup and disaster recovery service.
Need help managing and protecting your data? We're here to help.
Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.