Recover all lost Data and Files from damaged Hard Drive
During my time being a student, I came by several damaged hard drives and USBs. This scenario is like the worst unthinkable nightmare for everyone using a computer. But fear not, the battle is not over yet!
Causes of lost data and what to do
Hard drive is recognized by the computer
Your Computer was probably saving some files on the Hard Drive and the connection got interrupted. The flash drive seems to be corrupted and lost all directions of the files. A data recovery software should solve this (continue with "Data recovery 101" couple of lines below).
Hard drive is not recognized by the computer
Hard Drives have, like every other technological device, a lifespan.
Or it got struck by a big force (slap, falling down,..) leading to internal damages. Take it to a recovery specialist as this needs advanced IT knowledge. Prices vary around 50€ to 400€.
Data recovery software
- R-Studio is the most recommended software by data recovery companies and recovers most of the files (if not all).
However, the tool costs 79$. Still worth the money if you think about the value of your lost files.
- EaseUs has the bigger marketing budget. It's not as good as R-studio but mostly does its job. The free plan (need to be signed up) offers 2GB of recovery. The unrestricted pro version costs 69€.
Data recovery 101
- Be ready that this can take depending on the storage size around 10min - 2 days.
- Make sure that both your pc and Hard Drive are connected to a charger, as this can take some hours.
- Make sure you have an additional Hard Drive in relation to the damaged ones. This additional Hard Drive should at least have 150% of the capacity than the damaged Hard Drive. Why? Because you should never try to recover files from a damaged Hard Drive onto the damaged Hard Drive. (E.g. I have an external Hard Drive of 100GB which is damaged. My pc has an internal hard drive with at least 150GB of free space which I can use to recover my files to).
- Only for Linux users: If you use Linux and are really tech-savvy, clone the damaged hard drive before any attempts of recovering data.
(Guide: Clone damaged Hard Drive)
- Open your data recovery software of choice, select the damaged Hard Drive and run a Scan/ Deep Scan.
- After the scan has been finished, select all the data and files and restore them on the additional Hard Drive.
If you wish to keep using your damaged Hard Drive, you should reformat it. Reformating a Hard Drive is the nearly the same as putting the Hard Drive to factory setting. There are many ways to achieve this, so please use Google to find the best option for your operating system. A recommended format to reformat it to is NTFS as this allows to store files bigger than the FAT32 with a limitation of 4GB file sizes.
WARNING: ONLY REFORMAT IF YOU HAVE RECOVERED ALL FILES. REFORMATTING WILL DELETE ALL FILES ON THE HARD DRIVE!
Note: I'm not affiliated in any way with the suggested services and software and they purely rely on research and experience.