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How to Recover Data from a Damaged Hard Drive

written by: D Lamberti•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 3/28/2011

Recovering data from a damaged hard disk is not as difficult as many believe. In this article I will tell you why a disk is damaged, what you should do to avoid further damage, and how to recover data from a damaged hard drive.

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    Your Hard Disk Damaged

    damaged hard disk 

    So your hard disk crashed? You must be wondering how it happened, and seeking information on how to recover data from a damaged hard drive. I remember when my hard disk crashed a year ago and I lost about 2GB of data. What I did not know at that time was that I could easily restore lost data from my damaged disk.

    If your hard disk is damaged and you did not create a backup, read on because later in this article I will tell you a couple of ways to restore data from your damaged disk quite easily.

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    How a Hard Disk Can Be Damaged

    A hard disk could be damaged due to many reasons. A virus can take hold in your computer and corrupt your hard disk, fire or water can damage the hard disk, problems in the Windows registry can cause disk failures or bad sectors on the hard disk can cause severe damage to the disk. Whatever the reason, you’ll need to recover your lost data soon before it is too late.

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    Precautions

    The very first thing you should do before taking any action to recover data from your disk is to protect the disk from further damage. The data is still in the disk, but it can be lost if you do not take the necessary steps. You should not make any changes to the disk whatsoever. Be careful with how you handle the disk and do not try to open it yourself. A damaged hard disk is very sensitive to changes and it can be hard to troubleshoot, so you should try to handle your hard disk with as much care as possible.

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    Recovering Data

    Usually, physical damages to a hard disk such as head crashes or failed motors cannot be repaired by a typical computer user. Physical damage is the worst form of damage to a hard disk and it often results in some, or all, of your data being lost. In most cases it is not possible to recover all the data.

    If your hard disk has minor physical damage, you can use data recovery programs such as PC Inspector File recovery and see if they can recover your data. Most of the data recovery programs for hard disks are easy to install and user friendly. However, when you decide to purchase data recovery software, it is a good idea to go for something from a trusted software vendor.pc inspector file recovery 

    However, if your hard disk has suffered severe physical damage, then you need to approach a technical expert or seek a data recovery firm to recover data from the disk. Many disk data recovery companies use modern instruments like magnetometers to recover every possible bit from the disk. These companies charge a large sum of money to recover data from a damaged disk so you should decide whether or not the data on your disk is crucial and whether you really want it back badly enough to give them a lot of money.

    You can get data recovery deals by contacting local forensic data recovery companies that do most of their jobs for people involved in small court cases. These companies work on a smaller scale, which is why they charge less, making the job more affordable for small clients.

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    Conclusion

    In this article we learned why a hard drive is damaged, what we should do to protect the drive from further damage, and how to recover data from a damaged hard drive. If your hard drive is damaged, make sure you protect it from further damage as much you possibly can so that data recovery can be done easily and successfully in the future, and if the drive contains very important or sensitive data like passwords, bank details, credit card information, etc, I would recommend you do not compromise on data recovery options, and buy the best data recovery program to recover your data.

    -- If you ever lose data by overwriting your document (doc, txt, xls, ppt, etc), find out how to recover information from an overwritten hard drive.