Broken Hard Drive Data Recovery

by Rod Dunne on January 14, 2011

in Data Recovery, Hardware

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Broken hard drive data recovery is a non-trivial technical task to complete even for specialists. In this article I’ll show you some of the standard ways to try and retrieve your data.

The first check you should always make with broken hard drives is whether or not there are mechanical faults. There are no software utilities or data recovery tools capable of working on broken disk drive so this is worth checking first.

Mechanical damage is usually indicated by odd sounds from the drive wise is running. This could be a clicking noise if the motor is damaged or scratching/grinding sounds if components are starting to seize up. Your best bet is to contact a data recovery expert to attempt to complete a mechanical recovery of the data (using disk reading devices). I don’t recommend making these repairs yourself as you could cause further damage the disk and even data loss.

If mechanical faults have been ruled out with your broken hard drive then you can proceed to the following software checks.

If the broken hard drive is a secondary partition then you should be able to install a data recovery tool such as Remo Undelete onto the primary partition. Once installed you can then scan the secondary drive for signs of your data and copy it onto the primary disk.

Remo Undelete: FAT/NTFS support, All Windows OS; Free trial scan.

Remo Undelete | PC Maintenance Software | Click Here For A Free Scan

If the hard disk is a primary partition then your system may not be able to start up correctly. In this case there are some tools/software utilities which can scan the hard drive from a secondary computer. However, these require additional connections.

Instead, you could try removing the hard drive and installing it into a secondary computer directly. The hard drive will be picked up on the new PC and you will be able to read it like it was an additional partition. This does not require any additional costs so may prove to be a good interim solution.

One final option for broken hard drive data recovery is to remove the hard disk and place it in an external hard drive enclosure. These drive cases are relatively cheap and widely available from online stores and computer repair shops.

These effectively turn your internal drive into an external hard disk that can be reused for storage and connected to other systems via a USB cable. Once connected, you can copy the disk contents to a safe location.

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