You are halfway working on your computer and your hard disk fails abruptly. Or you might have deleted an important file by accident. Perhaps you have even emptied the recycle bin. Oops! Now you are wondering what to do next. Should you send your disk for a service repair immediately? This article will now discuss some of the causes of a failed disk and suggest various alternatives to recover your data.
Troubleshooting For Not So Serious Problems
The first situation happens when you are unable to boot into Windows. After powering up your computer, you're ghastly greeted with a blank screen or a series of error messages that tell you that certain files are missing or corrupted and therefore Windows is unable to boot up. Such problems are typically attributed to system files corruption and can be resolved without incurring high cost from a computer technician. Learn to troubleshoot Windows bootup problems see Data Loss Situation and Recovery. To quickly determine what could have gone wrong, you could also go through our summarized steps to determine the failure mode of hard disk.
For more serious system corruption, you may need to purchase some special recovery software or consult some data recovery engineers.
The situation occurs when you delete your computer files by accident. Typically when this happens, you only have to do one thing. Go to your desktop and double click on your recycle bin. If you're able to see that your files are still inside, simply restore them by selecting them and then click the Restore button. The files will then be copied or 'restored' back to the location before the deletion was made. If you have deleted some files in MS-DOS or are unable to find your deleted files in the recycle bin or in some cases, have accidentally emptied the recycle bin, read on.
You can restore all/selected files from the recycle bin after deleting them away.
Emptied Recycle Bin
This situation takes place either when you have used the Shift command during the deletion or emptied the recycle bin after file deletion. Also take note that files deleted using the DOS command are not first moved into the recycle bin. Your deleted data is still residing in your disk and you need to stop any data writing process to prevent overwriting.
You can do two options at this point. First, remove your disk and install it as a read-only drive on a separate computer. You can then purchase a recovery software and work on the recovery yourself. Not too bad if you have no budget for data recovery but bear in mind you may do the wrong thing and render your data files unrecoverable. Alternatively, you may consult a data recovery specialist.
The shift + delete command will permanently remove your files and it will not be send to the recycle bin.
This situation can be extremely frustrating when you are locked out of your operating system, application software or even hardware due to credentials that you're unable to produce. Perhaps you have lost or forgotten your password. In some simpler situation, you may be able to use certain commercial applications that may help you to regain control again. In other situation such as a hard disk password lock, fail to access corrupted Windows Encrypting File System (EFS), it may not be so easy and you may really need to consult a data recovery expert.
The next situation is slightly more severe. While operating on your computer, you suddenly hear loud clicking or grinding sounds and notice smoke or a burning odour emitting from your hard drive. Trust me, you would want to switch off your computer immediately. Generally, these symptoms suggest that a physical damage has occurred and can result in permanent damage. Do not attempt to power up your machine. Because by doing so, it can cause further physical damage which will complicate the recovery process. You may need to learn more about hard disk head crash.
The failure of physical disk component may range from a simple damaged circuit to a nasty mechanical head crash. This is usually seen as the disk drive produces weird grinding sounds or stops spinning totally. In some cases, you might notice smoke and a burning odour emitting from the drive. These symptoms reveals a physical failure and software recovery at this stage will not be helpful or at worst, it will do more damage than good. In this case, recovery must be done by hardware fixes. If drives have to be opened up, they have to be done in Class 100 clean room environment.
Failure of Firmware Code
The firmware is a microcode that provides instruction for the drive to function properly. It can be prone to corruption (such as development of bad sectors on factory reserved area) and render the disk unusable and undetected by the BIOS which may refuse to recognize your boot drive and displays an array of strange drive model or error messages when you power up your computer. Degree of difficult is generally extremely high. You should seek a data recovery expert if you have such problem.
As an example, some Maxtor drives failure are characterized by BIOS detecting the drives as Maxtor Athena, Maxtor Romulus or Maxtor N40P, Maxtor Athena, Maxtor Ares64, Maxtor Calypso, Maxtor Proxima etc and there is no access to them. Fujitsu MPG drives may also lose their name, size and access to user's data. The same happens with Western Digital drives. In fact, drive failures are not limited to any particular brands or models as all hard disk drives will eventually fail when you use them long enough.
|DATA RECOVERY RESOURCES|
|Do-it-yourself troubleshooting tips and knowledge on storage media types.|
|ADRC provides data recovery services for a wide range of storage media.|