What to Do When a Hard Drive is Not Working?
What to Do When a Hard Drive is Not Working?

What to Do When a Hard Drive is Not Working?

s one of your hard drives not working? If so the first question you should ask yourself is whether or not there is any important data that you need stored on it (and not backed up elsewhere). Assuming there is it is safe to say you’re going to want to try to restore that data – but be warned that can be a bit easier said than done.

Identify the Problem and First Steps
It is important to note that your hard drive may not be working for a number of reasons, ranging from a mechanical failure of one of its part to a bad connection, damage to the hard drive, or something else entirely. In each of those cases a different approach will be needed – so you need to identify why your hard drive isn’t working.

Either way it is important that you make sure your chances of recovering data are as high as possible. To do that you should disconnect the hard drive and remove it so that there is no further accidental damage. If it has been damaged physically in any way (or by water) you should also place it in an air tight bag.

Try to Recover Data
To try to access your files you can connect your hard drive to a different computer using a USB drive adapter. If you’re able to read the files on that computer then it is probably an operating system issue – but you will be able to access and back up any important files right there and then.

On the other hand if you can’t access your files but you hear a faint ‘whirring’ sound then it may be a mechanical failure such as a head crash. That is almost impossible for you to fix on your own and you will require expert data recovery assistance.

Aside from a mechanical failure however, it may be that the data is unreadable because the file system is corrupt or there is some other logical failure. To fix that you will need specialized software and there are several options available that will let you scan your hard drive to determine whether or not they will be able to recover any files.

As you can see it really isn’t an ‘easy’ task to recover files – but it is possible to do so in many cases. That being said it is much simpler to make sure you back up all your important files constantly so that you never end up stuck and have to go through this ordeal. At very least now you know what needs to be done, so you can go about it step by step and see if you’re able to recover any files.

About Haider Khan

I'm an Independent Cyber Security Researcher, a geek who loves Cyber Security and Technology.