Pin Me

Getting Your Data Back From a Crashed Hard Drive

written by: ivalnaz•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/30/2009

A computer is a very complex piece of equipment. It is composed with a wide variety of components all performing complicated tasks. As much as the computer is very useful to a lot of our work, it can also be a great snap in the neck when files are lost in a hard drive crash.

  • slide 1 of 6

    A Crashed Hard Drive

    The computer is indeed a magnificent piece of technological breakthrough. However, it is composed by a wide variety of complex components that make it work for optimal results. Of all these components, the hard drive is considered as the one that has the shortest life span. Although there are a lot of ways of taking good care of your computer, a crashed hard drive is unavoidable.

    As you enjoy tapping away on your computer, a crashed hard drive often happens when you least expect it. This happens particularly when a person's computer becomes incapable of booting. Although there are some ways of retrieving data from a crashed hard drive, it still doesn't mean that you will be able to do so a hundred percent. It is basically a case to case basis and there are times that retrieving data is virtually impossible. However, then, no matter what went wrong on your hard drive, it is still best to raise high hopes and assume the possibility of retrieving at least part of your lost files exists.

    Mentioned below are 5 easy solutions that you can apply in getting back your lost files from a crashed hard drive:

  • slide 2 of 6

    1. Utilizing an External Case

    Of all the available solutions for the aforementioned computer problem, this serves to be the most basic, simple, and easiest. All you need to do is secure an external hard drive case from which you can use it to gain access to your crashed hard drive from a computer through the aid of a standard USB cable. So what you need to do is to remove the hard drive from your computer and then slip it inside the external case that you have earlier secured. You can then try plugging it into a different system to open the drive. In most cases, you have a high possibility of accessing your crashed hard drive and retrieving your lost files through this simple step.

  • slide 3 of 6

    2. Through the Aid of a LiveCD

    If the first solution doesn't happen to be working your way, then it would be much better to try a different approach. What you are going to need is full access over a computer equipped with an Internet connection and a DVD burner. From then, you must download a LiveCD application particularly a Linux LiveCD. One perfect LivedCD which can be compatible to use on an average computer would be Puppy Linux, which is known to support a larger file size.

    Once you have downloaded the LiveCD ISO, you can then burn it onto a CD and then insert it into your computer. Restart your computer and enter your computer's BIOS. In most computers, pressing F2 as soon as the computer logo appears is the most commonly used method. Once you have entered the BIOS, head for the boot sequence and then change it to CD first. Once done, save the newly applied setting and then exit.

    When the Live CD starts playing, simply follow all the directions presented on the screen. As the OS starts, you will soon find out that your hard drive is already being mounted onto your desktop. As soon as this happens, you can then start using the second hard drive to copy the folders from the crashed hard drive.

  • slide 4 of 6

    3. Using Data Recovery Software

    Another simple solution that you can use to get back all your lost files is simply through the use of data recovery software. You also don't have to worry if you are presently running on a tight budget as there are a lot of different data recovery software applications that are free to download and use.

    Although you may have a wide selection of options for these programs, the quality of each software simply varies. If you haven't used any of these before, perhaps it is best to make a good try on Data Disc Recovery. If it doesn't suit you, you can just simply move on to another one.

  • slide 5 of 6

    4. Freeze your Crashed Hard Drive

    Although this particular method may seem to be impossible as an approach to the problem, it has been proven to also work its own wonders. The basic principle here is that freezing simply constricts some of the parts of the hard drive that are loose, making the component function properly. However, before you do this, it is best to first set up a computer that is ready to accommodate the crashed hard drive through an external case. Pull out your hard drive, seal it inside a bag, and then store it inside the freezer through the night. In the following morning, take out your frozen drive and then plug it into the external case. You can then copy all your lost files but remember to do so as soon as possible before the drive warms up again and crashes.

  • slide 6 of 6

    5. Seek Professional Help

    When all the aforesaid solutions fail you and your computer, then perhaps it is time to reach for the right person. Although this step can be really expensive most of the time, there is a high possibility that a pro can get al your important files back.