Understanding & Diagnosing a Faulty Hard Drive to Recover Data

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Sometimes a faulty hard-drive can be demoralizing.

Computers are one of the best ways to store your data and keep it safe for years. On the other hand, hard drives are not very safe to keep data as it can get damaged at any time without any prior warning or signs. Therefore it is very important to keep your hard drive healthy and fit.

Tip: Ensure you keep backups of your data, stored in the cloud or your email so in the case of emergency you will find it without a problem.

How to recover lost data from your hard drive

When the hard drive is inaccessible, there are few things which can be applied to secure your data and recover the lost one. Firstly it can be done with a software. In case you are unable to recover the data with the software, you can use the other option- fixing the hardware.

Signs of a faulty hard drive

Data recovery from an Hard disk is usually done because of the following reasons:

  •     Different PCs are unable to detect the hard drive.
  •     The computer detects the hard drive but hangs after accessing it.
  •    The hard drive does not spin up and seems completely dead (Silent like a midnight graveyard)

If your hard drive is showing any of the problem stated above, it can be a hardware problem and data recovery can be done only by repairing or replacing the hard drive hardware.

Components of the hard drive:

Components of an Hard drive

  1.    PCB:

This circuit board usually in green color and it is attached to the bottom of your drive. This component is responsible for the electronic signals and work just like computer’s CPU.

  1.    Platters:

The hard disk consists of two or more circular platters, these platters spins and stores your data. The spins can be 5900 rpm to 7200 rpm.

  1.    Head assembly:

The data of your drive platter is read and write by the read and write head. These head are responsible for doing the job of reading and writing from the hard drive. In case this hard disk head is broken or smashed it will destroy the data instead of reading or writing it.

  1.    Firmware:

The drive works by its own small operations to deal with the data and operation that are required to work. The firmware helps the hard drive access your data, in case the firmware is damaged you cannot access your data properly and unfortunately unlike the mobiles and tablets this cannot be updated and flashed.

Issues which help you recover your data:
Inner view of a hard disk drive Seagate Medalist ST33232A
Understanding & Diagnosing a Faulty Hard Drive to Recover Data 2
  1.    If the drive in not spinning at all:

Most of the time the spinning of your hard drive is usually behind lost data, as your hard drive is not reading the data or deleting it. In case you have an old hard drive you can replace the PCB carefully, and your problem would be just solved.

  1.    If the hard drive is spinning but there is a clicking noise:

Once you hear clicking noise from the hard drive that sometimes can be a bad sign on the hard disk. This is caused by the platter of the hard drive as it has suffered from a head crash. This work must be solved by an expert. The platter must be changed in a clean environment i.e a lab and a replacement head assembly fitted in order to recover your data.

If you continue to supply power to the hard disk in this critical condition, there is a big possibility that your hard disk will suffer, which will reduce the probability of recovering all lost data.

  1.    When your drive spins up and the computer detects it but when you access, it hangs:

This is caused by a damaged magnetic media in the drive as a large percentage of the disk seems to be corrupted, the hard drive is trying to read it and has failed several times. This issue can be solved only by an expert using professional equipment, if you try to solve the issue by yourself you can cause more damage than you think and lose the data altogether.

The professional will help you not only repair the hard drive but also recover the previous data.

  1.    When the drive is making a beep sound when it is powered:

The beeping sound is coming from the motor, as it is trying to spin the drive and is failing as so many attempts. This can be caused by two reasons- head damage and been unable to read data.

The data area of the platters might not be in contact and in another case the hard drive head is not working properly. This way the head or the other parts of the hard disk needed to be replaced or repaired by a professional because this cannot be done if you don’t have the required expertise or experience or else you might lose all your data.

  1.    When the drive makes normal sound but computer cannot detect it:

When the hard disk is detected in wrong capacity or the computer is unable to detect it. This problem is commonly caused by the firmware and it is causing the hard disk not to read it’s data. Therefore the drive’s firmware needs to be replaced and repaired immediately.

This must be done by an expert as they understand the right procedure to secure your data.

This post was submitted by Muhammad Shoaib of Top10BestPro.

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