How to Recover Data From Crashed Hard Drive Sectors Using External Cases

by Rod Dunne on January 22, 2011

in Data Recovery, Hardware

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One of the more intricate ways to recover data from crashed hard drive sectors involves extracting the disk-drive and using a hard drive external case to access the contents. Here I’ll step you through how to do this and some of things which can cause problems for the process.

This solution is best suited to problems where the hard drive itself is still in good mechanical order. If the motherboard, OS or other components are the probable cause of the issues then this process allows you to extract the drive and reuse it. The drive can be used as a backup disk drive or external storage device for other systems.

This process does require opening up the PC so if you are not comfortable with doing this then seek professional help.

The process goes as follows

  1. Purchase a hard drive external case. These are widely available online and from PC repair shops. They are sold with a connecting USB cable (for attaching the drive to a secondary PC).
  2. Open up your PC and carefully remove the internal hard drive from the system.
  3. Place the internal drive inside the hard drive external case.
  4. Connect a USB cable to the case and attach it to another PC.
  5. Start up this PC and check in Windows Explorer if the drive has been picked up.
  6. You can now recover data from crashed hard drive partitions simply by copying the contents of the disk over to the PC.

Some problems you may encounter include difficulties with the hard drive mechanism. All drives quite a standard size so the casing/enclosure is built to handle most size/capacity disks. On rare occasions, you may have an odd brand disk with dimensions that cannot be accommodated by the drive casing.

If the disk has in fact got a mechanical fault then this will preclude the use of this process.

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