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What is the failed hard drive?
The basic issue of data loss is the physical failure of a hard disk drive (HDD).
When your drive is no longer functioning properly as it used to, and acting as dead, not spinning, or clicking - that is the obvious diagnose that your disk is failed and required an immediate professional help.
If the data on the drive is vital, critical, valuable or useful and it is worth of spending somewhat of $$500-1000 USD do NOT delay and try to access the data by yourself or getting a help from a "good technician/ IT specialist" - a friend of yours - all that the old wives tail stories how-to-recover-yourself is not nearly the option we recommend, basing on so many years of experience in data recovery field. The ending of such stories is always the dame - NOT happy.
It may seem as too hard to believe that some users or computer "specialist" might undertake in a way to retrieve data from physically damaged hard drive, by applying their skills and all sorts of software products and successfully making the drive damaged beyond recovery. Do NOT fool yourself that you "can" and if the data is real value to you - without delay, hesitation or a second thought - seek for a professional data recovery company.
On the other hand, not all hard disks when failed have a visible signs of failure; some failed drives have hidden failure issues and are not so obvious for an average user to run a conclusion.
For instance, the drive still spins and looks OK, but you are loosing the data, when hard drive is left connected to the running computer, so in a few hours you come to the inaccessible hard drive making weird sounds and questioning yourself: How did this happen? When you left it, everything seemed so normal.
Even then, you just try running the diagnostic tests, or retrieving the data with any of software recovery tools you are making irreversible further damages to the disk, that eventually lead to the complete disk's death.
So, back to the square one: if the data is vital - do NOT attempt any unprofessional remedies! That includes that same old "good specialist from the computer shop around the corner".
As professionals, we do appreciate a great deal done by many software programmers in data recovery industry. However, it happens each and every day: the vast amount of completely ruined hard drives because of delayed actions of users, who firstly decided to try running the data recovery software or the other testing utilities on the failed drive.
Yes, we do know it is a tough and never an easy decision to apply for professional data recovery service, especially if you never dealt with this kind of problem before.
It might look expensive compare to the local technical support and you are tempting to find out, sort of "give it a shot": what if it can be done cheap way. Once again, at the end of day: it only works if you can take a chance to loose your data permanently.
Well, you may ask: Is there anything I can try myself on the failed hard drive without further damaging it? Just to check that it's really failed?
Strictly speaking, we do NOT and canNOT advise running any tests or even power on the hard drive, NOT even leave the disk in the computer.
We realize that advice is not for everybody and if you'd like risking not much, but a little bit, maybe you can try this one thing: Check if your drive is seen by your computer. As a minimum, it must be correctly recognized by your computer BIOS/CMOS.
If it is not recognized correctly by computer or drive produces any of suspicious clicking-ticking-etc. sounds, your hard drive is the first candidate for professional data recovery service.
It is not an assurance, that your drive is OK, but, at least, it will give you some chance not to ruin the drive too much if you decide to retrieve your data locally.
Overall, we insist on the only one approach in recovering lost data - Apply to professional data recovery service ONLY. No ifs, buts, no substitutions!
From Sean C. Richmond, Virginia United States: Fujitsu MHT2080AH laptop - Compute froze up and after powering down and then back up it was not able to see the hard drive. Apple removed the hard drive and I would like to ship to you for data recovery.
Thank you very much for recovering all my data. I highly recommend
From Matt M. Mt. View, California USA: Western Digital WD1600BEVE 160 Gb laptop - Wasn't a failure. Our tech backed up when slaved, and documents were not backed up, then drive was re-imaged with corp. image. We used ONtrack recovery software. Only recovered a portion of the files. Did not really help much.
Many, many, thanks for recovering my data.
From Dane R. Corvallis, OR USA: Western Digital WD5000BPVT WD Scorpio Blue 500 Gb laptop - Failed in BIOS or CMOS. Drive spins up on power on but fails to be recognized by bios. No head slamming noises. Failed one morning when house was cool. That afternoon, tried again and booted fine. Wrote off some data to CD but had a system hang when connecting to a large backup drive. Had to power down and it has never booted since. I was mfg engineer for HP laptops and have recovered many drives myself. Even opening them sometimes. I uncovered the hidden screw, thinking I might open this one, but decided against it - It has NOT been opened. I suspect a firmware chip on the board has failed.
Thank You very much for what appears to be a near perfect recovery from a damaged hard drive.
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