The hard drive is one of the fundamental components of your computer just like its CPU and memory. It is basically a storage house of your entire data that contains Operating System (OS), program files, software, and every files and folders that you created and saved on your computer in your day to day working. If in case, it gets corrupted or damaged, then all your data saved on it becomes inaccessible. Nothing is worst than losing your months or sometimes even years of hard work in the form of data saved on your computer. It could mean disaster!
[Recommended read: Tips for Storing Essential Data]
Generally, you can get to know that your hard drive has failed or damaged by an error message that you receive when you try to access hard drive partition or data. However, if the damaged is severe, then the whole hard drive would be inaccessible. Sometimes, you become unable to check your disk with disk checking utilities provided by Windows which indicates that your hard drive needs replacement and for recovery, you need to take help of any disk recovery utility or professional data recovery firm. You can try few methods in these kind of situations and see if it can help you in making your hard drive working one more time so that the data can be extracted.
[Read also: Why Erasing Your Hard Drive May Not Be Enough]
How to fix damaged/inaccessible hard drive?
It is recommended to attach your hard drive as an external drive to any working PCs, and follow the steps mentioned below:
After inserting your affected hard drive to your computer, if you get a message indicating that whether you want to format the drive, click ‘No’.
Click ‘Start’ and then select ‘My Computer’ or ‘Computer’ icon provided here. You will find the icon for attached hard drive, however if you do not find attached drives icon there, then directly go to step 5. But, if you can see icon for attached drive, then right click on it and select ‘Properties’.
A window showing the properties of your attached hard drive opens. Click on the ‘Tools’ tab of this window.
Select the ‘Check Now’ button provided under ‘Error Checking’ to start checking the attached drive for errors. Check the option that pops up on a window displaying if you want Windows to fix the errors that are found. Further check the box that is displaying ‘Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors’ and click ‘Start’. However, if Windows complain that it is unable to read the drive and it wants to format this drive, then click ‘No’.
If above mentioned steps failed, then you have to take the help of command prompt. Click ‘Start>>Run>>CMD’ or type ‘CMD’ on search area after clicking ‘Start’.
Here on the command prompt browse for the directory of your attached hard drive by typing the drive letter assigned to it followed by a colon (:), such as if your computer assigns drive letter E to any attached drives, then you should type ‘E:’. After typing the drive letter, you will get a message saying ‘The System Cannot Find the Drive Specified.’
Then further type ‘chkdsk’ on the command prompt and wait for the error checking utility to check for errors (generally it is a quick process). If the errors are found in this process, then your Windows system offers resolutions to fix them. Select ‘y’ on the command prompt to repair errors.
However, if the above steps failed to do any needful for you, then you can use professional disk recovery tool to recover data from corrupted hard drives. Some efficient tools provide their bootable disks, which enable you to boot your unbootable or inaccessible system and recover your data.
[Read more: Retrieving Deleted Files from Hard Drive – Methods and Precautions]
About the Author: Abhayjeet is a professional writer and advises best things about hard disk data recovery software.