Did you know that data on your hard drive is stored in the form of 0s and 1s and is stored digitally in the form of tiny magnetized regions on the hard disk platter? It seems complicated, which is why most hard drive users have no idea and don’t care how their data is stored, as long as it is always accessible when they need it.
But what if your hard drive fails? Maybe you left it in a high humidity area for too long or perhaps you dropped it on a concrete floor by mistake. The reason for the failure doesn’t matter.
What does matter is restoring the data on your hard drive by getting it fixed. Keep reading for some steps you can take to recover documents and get your digital life back in order.
Try Some Hardware Troubleshooting
Sometimes the solution to a hard drive failure is as easy as some technical troubleshooting or repairing some user error. For example, perhaps you were using a USB port that’s failed and it’s not the hard drive that’s at fault. Using a different USB port could fix this asap and prevent you from throwing out a hard drive that works perfectly fine.
Also, check the connecting wire for any defects or damage, and use a different cable if that’s possible to test if it’s the wire that’s broken rather than the hard drive.
Or it could be that your hard drive has some virus or malware on it, and using anti-virus software or anti-malware tool will make it function perfectly fine.
Place the hard drive close to your ear to hear if your hard drive’s internal mechanism is functioning properly – is it rotating continuously? Is it making a screeching or clicking noise? All this will help you gauge if it’s an internal mechanical failure or a software error.
Hard drives are electrical gadgets with moving parts and those moving parts can fail, so it’s not always a software or driver issue. Once you establish that it’s not a mechanical error, you can move on to the next troubleshooting step.
Reinstall the Hard Disk Drivers
If you are technically inclined, or even if you are not, it’s easy to reinstall hard disk drivers to fix corruption or any damage to the disk drivers. You can do this by reinstalling or updating device drivers via ‘Device Manager’ in Windows and ‘System Preferences’ in Mac.
- Click on ‘Device Manager’
- Click on ‘Disk Drives’
- Right-click on the name of your external hard drive
- Choose ‘Uninstall’ and click ‘OK’ – this should start the uninstallation
- Restart your computer
- Disconnect the drive and then connect it after a few seconds – that will begin the device driver installation
- Then open File Explorer and check the drive to see if it works now
It’s a similar process for a Mac, except you go to System Preferences and Disk Drive to uninstall and reinstall disk drivers.
You can also go to the hard drive’s manufacturer website and download the latest drivers available for your operating system and hard drive model. Install them manually and restart the system.
The problem here is that if you are not technically savvy, you might be afraid of making a mistake. Hopefully, you have backed up the data on your hard drive already, so if anything does go wrong here, you have nothing to worry about. Your precious data will not be lost.
Reformat the Hard Drive
You can also use the disk management tool to fully format the drive. Again, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this on your own, get some help you someone technical around you or find a technician capable of helping you.
The disk reformatting takes a while to complete, but once it’s done, if it was a software error, your hard drive should be fixed of all disk errors and any malware or virus-infected files, and ready to go once again.
Use a Data Recovery Service
Most people aren’t technical enough to know what to do when their hard drive fails. They are more likely to panic and start doing the wrong things that could make things worse.
If you are unsure of what your next steps should be and you are worried about losing the data on your hard drive, then consider contacting a data salvaging service who are experts in ensuring your data is recovered properly and without any flaws.
They deal with hundreds of failed hard drives every year and they will know exactly how to fix yours, no matter what the problem might be, whether it be software-related or hardware.
Don’t worry about costs (although data recovery is pretty affordable in most cases) and get your hard drive looked at as soon as possible. Of course, you ‘should’ have backed up all your data, but most people are not in the habit of doing so and that’s the reason why too many of us end up with precious data that is lost and unrecoverable.
Recover Your Documents in the Most Expedient Way Possible
The modern era is the age of data and information. Every one of us has thousands of bytes of data in our hard drives, be it on our computers or desktops or external hard drives, that is precious to us and that we could not do without.
That’s why it’s so important for you to know exactly what to do when your hard drive quits. It’s not a nice scenario to be part of, to be sure. But it’s more common than you would realize.
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