What’s that saying? All good things must come to an end. This is true of all things in life: friendships, employment, romantic relationships and even television shows like Lost. The question then becomes: is death truly the end? For most things, yes, once Death has you in it’s icy grip there is no coming back. Pets, people, relationships; once these die there is no bringing them back. There are other things, however, where death is not the end. A broken cup can be glued and a broken hard drive can also be fixed, of course depending on any signs of hard drive failure we may come across.
There are different types of issues for hard drive failures; physical and logistical. A physical break for a hard drive can generally be fixed by replacing the broken part. This is obviously a simplistic example, and requires real professional analysis. A logistical break can also be fixed by replacing the broken software. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs of a pending issue with your hard drive. Once you know the possible issues, you can school yourself on the ways to fix it.
So what are your options? It depends on what the issue is:
Too commonly people lose a hard drive that had data on it that was not backed up. These are the people who are then scrambling for ways to recover the data from a crashed hard drive. In some cases, this can be done. You should know up front, though, that it is going to cost you some money. Perhaps a lot of money. As of now, a quick Google search shows typical price ranges between $300 and $400. It isn’t cheap and you need to weigh out the cost of the service versus the cost of losing the data.
The art of data recovery depends solely on the nature of the drive failure. For example, if the electronics of the drive died but the mechanics are OK, then replacing the electronic board can revive the drive. Also, if the read/write head died but the platters still spin and are intact, then the data is still there. A new read/write head is needed to get the data.
The first thing would be to have your drive evaluated by a data recovery service. Since data recovery is very custom to the nature of the failure, prices vary.
And since I know people will ask, no, there is no software utility out there that can recover data from a crashed hard drive. If the drive is not really crashed, then perhaps a disk utility can help you recover something. But, a true crash is a problem with the drive itself, and no software can overcome that one.
The data recovery software one finds when searching for it is designed to recover from accidental deletes or corrupted file structure. If these thing happen, there is a chance you can recover it on your own. Once the drive actually dies, though, your only option is to use a data recovery service.
It’s not impossible to resurrect your information and your hard drive in the sad event of a death. While there may be times when you have to use the services of a data recovery company, it’s better to trust professionals if you aren’t comfortable troubleshooting the issue yourself. You don’t want to make the problem worse and risk losing everything completely. Each day, Hard Drive Recovery Associates has to turn away drives that have had do it yourself recovery attempts performed, and it’s always quite heartbreaking for the user.
Prevention is the best medicine so try to make sure that you’re backing up your data often so that in the event of a failure you only have a mini-heart attack instead of a full-on stroke. Don’t leave yourself needing a necromancer to revive your data so you get full marks for that essay that you’ve been putting off.