How to recover data from a damaged hard drive

With the mechanical problem, surely you find recommendations like freezing the hard drive. Affirming that the problems of warping due to overheating can be corrected by putting it in the freezer, these manuals have been reproducing since the beginning of time. In addition to the possible problems with condensation and humidity, there are dozens of reasons to ignore these tips. Nor will we drop it to see if the blow magically fixes the problem , that of tapping the TV is a thing of the past.
The hard drive is one more component of our computer so it can fail at any time. Although making backup copies is the best solution to unforeseen events, we may find ourselves in situations in which we need to recover the information from the hard drive that was damaged or corrupted.

Having problems with your hard drive can become a nightmare. The rest of the components of the computer can be replaced without problems, beyond the financial outlay but it does not happen the same with the hard disk, where we have all our information stored. Before going to see the ways to recover the data, we invite you to know three simple and cheap ways to make a backup of the PC. In this way, we will be more protected against an eventual problem.

Things to check before panicking

Before panicking and thinking that we have lost all the data stored on the hard drive, we have to perform a series of checks to determine the problem. Faults can occur at the physical level or at the software level. The first ones are more complicated to solve but not impossible, since their cause may be in a third component such as feeding.

Check whether the problem is electronic or mechanical is something available to everyone. To begin, open the computer case and remove the hard drive without disconnecting it to have it more at hand. When you turn on the computer, you will have to pay attention to see if it turns. You will notice this with the vibration and noise produced, obviously we excluded SSD from this point. If it does not sound strange or does not turn, it is possible that you are facing an electrical failure, otherwise, the problem could be mechanical.

If the hard disk does not turn and has no activity, try to connect it with another power cable. Another solution to rule out that the problem is on the motherboard or power supply, is to “puncture” the hard disk in an external base or in an external USB connection box. In case all this fails, the electrical problem is almost assured.

How to repair electrical or mechanical failure of HDD?

On the Internet there are hundreds of tutorials that explain how to repair a hard drive with electrical problems, although it is best to go to experts in the field, either directly to the manufacturer or any specialized technical service. Unless we are “a few hands”, we do not recommend the replacement of electrical components of the hard drive itself.

Ok, the hard drive works but your data is not!

Once we have ruled out physical failure on the hard drive, it is time to focus on its logical or software part. In such cases, you will surely need file recovery software to gain access and edit the files you store in your hard drive. With few steps it allows you to recover files deleted by accident, formatted or simply lost from your desktop computer, laptop or external removable disks. The data may have been lost for several reasons, such as the existence of bad sectors, accidental deletion or presence of malware in general (or ransomware in particular).

If it is the main disk from where the operating system starts, surely you will not be able to start and you will have to resort to a Live CD or Live USB to be able to execute the most common recovery tools. In case of having another computer, you can extract the damaged hard disk and connect it to the second PC, either internally or in an external box. Then use a tool such as hard drive recovery software to recover data and repair logical problems on the hard drive. Such tools usually allows to fix the bad sectors that your hard disk may have.


Professional writer with more than 7 years of experience. Joseph has worked as a content creator and editor on different web pages. He has been coordinator and content manager in various editorial teams. He also has extensive experience in SEO and digital marketing.