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A Guide to Recovering Data from a Failed or Failing Maxtor Drive

written by: Steve McFarlane•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/16/2011

If your hard drive fails you may be able to recover data from it using special software, in more extreme cases you may need to seek the help of professionals. This article outlines what you need to consider in both scenarios.

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    Maxtor is a reputable manufacturer of hard drives. Despite their reputation their hard drives, like others, can crash. So what do you do if your Maxtor hard drive crashed? How can you recover your data? Here are the possible solutions to your problem.

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    DIY Recovery Solutions

    There are basically two options for recovering data after a hard drive crash, you can try to recover files with data recovery software or My Maxtor hard drive crashed how can I recover my data you can send the drive to a professional data recovery service. Deciding whether to use file recovery software or to send the drive off to a hard disk data recovery service will depend on what caused the crash, how serious the hard drive fault is and how much you are willing to spend to recover the data, which in turn will depend on how important the lost files are to you.

    When to use data recovery software – Trying to recover data using DIY data recovery software solutions may be your first option, if retrieving the data in a timely manner is of utmost importance. You may try to recover the data yourself if:

    • The hard drive was accidentally formatted.
    • You lost data due to a software malfunction.
    • The files were simply deleted by accident.

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    Using Professional Services

    Using a data recovery service is usually considered when the data recovery software route and other solutions fail to retrieve lost data. Using data recovery services is often considered to be a last resort option because these services can be expensive and can take several weeks between when you send the drive and when the recovered data is actually received.

    However most services are quite good, to the extent that they can recover data from severely damaged hard drives. Some services, such as the Seagate owned i365, even have a ‘no data- no charge guarantee’ that ensures that customers don’t have to pay if their data can’t be recovered.

    When to use professional data recovery services – You may need to use a data recovery service if your own effort to use off-the-shelf data recovery software has failed, or the hard drive is physically damaged. You may also need to use a professional service if the lost data is of high value and can’t be replaced or easily reacquired.

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    Other Data Recovery Methods

    Panic sometimes causes users to forget to look toward simple solutions to fix their problems.Data Recovery Hard Disk 

    • Try to recover data from backups - You may be able to recover your data from backups, especially if your IT department has been doing a good job of routinely backing up files, there may be a copy of the files you want somewhere.
    • Raid Backups - You should also be in good stead if you are using a redundant RAID configuration. In such a case recovering data from your Maxtor hard drive should be as easy as replacing the defective hard drive. Once this is done, the RAID system will automatically re-copy the lost data to the new drive.
    • Try making the drive a Slave - In some instances, especially when the drive controller is faulty, you may be able to recover data from the crashed drive by configuring the drive to be a slave on the controller it is using. It doesn’t always work but it is worth a try.

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    Summary

    Losing valuable data can be disconcerting. Luckily there are options available to you no matter how bleak the situation looks. Where data was lost because of a user error or a software glitch, you may consider using data recovery software, but for more serious cases where the hard drive is physically damaged and recovering the lost data is of great importance, using a professional hard drive data recovery service may be the only option.

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    References

    • i365, http://www.i365.com/uk/index.html
    • Image "My Maxtor hard drive crashed how can I recover my data." http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyjwood/172810124/
    • Image "Data Recovery Hard Disk." http://www.flickr.com/photos/mac_users_guide/3589562324/in/set-72157619176146698/