How do you recover data from a Hard Drive?
Hard drives are mostly broken down into two types, FAT or NTSF. FAT used to be the standard, coming in 16 and 32 formats. After Windows 2000, NTSF became more common. This is a more secure and stable format for the drive that applies to both partitions and individual files. If you don’t know what type of drive you have, look it up on line by finding the specs of the original computer. If that is not a realistic option for you, take the drive to a professional who can detect the type. You will waste too much time and money trying to figure it out yourself. The type of drive will influence how the MBR is read, and that in turn determines if you can recover data from a hard drive.
Read the Master Boot Record (MBR)
The Master Boot Record, or MBR, exists on every drive no matter what type it is. If you want to recover data from a hard drive the MBR has to be returned to the condition that allows it to boot the different partitions of the dive. You may only be able to boot certain partitions, which means that the FAT or NTSF files associated with another partition are damaged and cannot be read by the MBR. You have to fix those first before moving on to recover the data on that partition.
Recovering the drive
Recovering the drive can be complicated. Yes, you can use FDISK, but that is going to wipe the data and is no guarantee that the damaged parts of the disk will be repaired. What you are looking for is to repair the FAT or NTSF files, as well as the MBR. These are the core files that are needed to be in good running order to consider a drive recovered. If you can recover the dive and it will boot again, move on to recovering the data. If you can’t recover the drive but can view the data via a file shell on another computer – you can also move on to recovering the data too.
Recovering the data
If you can get to the data, either by shelling to another drive to see it, or by reactivating the drive itself, you may want to consider moving it to another drive. If you intend on reusing the drive that has crashed then you should also run a repair on the drive and the data too. After a major hardware event individual files can be corrupted. This is generally an easy fix but sometimes takes more time and effort. It is a good idea to open up the recovered files too, as that will be the only way that you will know for sure that the files are good. You don’t have to open them individually but can run an automated data recovery software program that can recover data from hard drive. It will look for logic errors in the data and correct them. If it can’t, it will flag the files but there will be far fewer to deal with than if you are reviewing each file by itself.
Now you know why backups are so important
Whether or not you are successful with recovering the data from your hard drive you probably learned just how important making frequent backups can be. That said, few people actually get into the habit of creating backups and have to use data recovery service for a hard drive again and again. A good way to remember to do a backup is to make it a part of either your saving protocol, or to tie it to another action that you remember – like turning off the lights. Put a reminder where the other action is and you will quickly form the habit of saving. You can also opt for an automated backup software system too. These can be expensive, but well worth the investment.
Need help with recovering data from your hard drive? Click on the link below to get started.