Data recovery from corrupted external hard disk
Sometime last year I had an experience that made wish I had taken the advice to back up files in my hard drive seriously. We had booked for a studio recording with some musicians and everyone was prepped up and ready. I plugged in my external drive, and just like that, it refused to respond! I had used it the night before for crying out loud! I cannot even begin to share the frustration and panic I went through at that moment.
For those of you that have gone through this before, there are actually ways you can recover your data if your hard drive fails. But before we delve into the solution, let us understand the modes of the problem. There are various ways external hard disks can fail and they are briefly outlined below.
The firmware code enables communication between the computer and the hard disk. So, if your drive powers up but is not recognized by your computer, or the drive powers up but is not properly recognized (drive name shows up with nonsensical letters/characters), then you may be facing a firmware issue.
This kind failure is caused by power surges which cause damage to the PCB, and hence, loss of access to data stored on the disk. Signs of this kind of damage could be that your disk is powered but not functional, disk ‘knocking’ as the drive motor fails to spin, or clicking sounds as the heads search or initialize.
This defines problems that are not caused by physical damage to the storage media, but rather on the data itself. Examples include file corruption, accidental deletion of files, or accidental formatting of files, viruses and malware, file system corruption/errors, software bugs etc.
Mechanical failure refers to physical problems in the drive and is caused by impact/shock (when the drive is dropped or hit), wear and tear, water or heat, etc. A sign of this is clicking or grinding sounds from the hard drive among others.
A hard disk failure may be as a result of a combination of more than one of the above named types of failure. The method of data recovery to be used on a disk depends on the kind of failure that occurs. It is important to note that whenever a file is deleted, it actually still stays on the hard drive until another file is overwritten on it.
Doing anything on the drive before data recovery process is initiated may cause data overwrite on the hard disk, and this may cause irreparable loss of data. So when ever your external hard disk fails for any reason, the first thing to do to ensure data is not permanently lost is to switch off the computer system and remove the hard disk.
Best External Hard Drive Data Recovery Methods
Data Recovery Software
Data recovery software is used to get back lost data with maximum possible result. In a data recovery operation, the software scans the failed storage device to find specific information, and also assembles components of a damaged file system.
Data recovery software can aid in the recovery of data lost via logical or firmware failure - file corruption, accidental deletion of files, or accidental formatting of files, viruses and malware, file system corruption/errors, software bugs, drive powers up but is not recognized by your computer, or the drive powers up but is not properly recognized, etc.
Visit data-recovery-software-review.toptenreviews.com for data recovery software reviews to get information on the best data recovery software available in the market. Most of these data recovery software boast of up to 99% data recovery rate.
Professional Data Recovery Services
In the case of mechanical failure-problems in the drive and is caused by impact/shock (when the drive is dropped or hit), wear and tear, water or heat, etc., it is strongly advised that the services of a professional be called upon.
The reason is that it is very difficult to take a drive apart without damaging it. Data recovery professionals do this in controlled environments that are free of environmental pollutants. A single speck of dust that settles on a hard drive’s plate can cause more problems. Static electricity can also damage the drive. Hence, the rooms, equipment used, the clothing worn by the technicians, are designed to minimize all these risks in the course of data recovery.
A data recovery specialist could do a number of things which include rebuilding parts of the hard drive, or repair of corrupted pats using advanced software. Getting the services of a data recovery specialist could be costly, but they get the work done effectively and minimize the risk of permanent data loss.
Back Up Your Data
The best and safest way to recover data is to back it up! Hard drives are unreliable and they don’t announce their failure dates. In order to avoid being caught between a rock and a hard place, always back up the data you have on your hard disk on a system, another hard disk, DVDs, the cloud, or any other storage media within your reach. It is advisable to have your data backed up in at least two separate media and updated periodically.