Will you ever even consider doing diy data recovery? Well, you love your computer and it has all your important files on it. It has precious family photos saved into a directory. You also have that novel you have been writing, those saved games you have been playing and a bunch of other videos, photos, documents and other stuff that you never want to lose.
Then, one day, your hard drive fails and you can’t access any of them. They now only exist as 1s and 0s in a digital space. How do you get them back? Well, you could go to a data recovery specialist but you don’t have that kind of money. No, instead you need to do a DIY data recovery. Now, a do-it-yourself data recovery is a lot easier to do when you have a backup so before we go any further, make sure you backup your data frequently!
Hard drive DIY data recovery using software
One way to recover your data would be using specialized software:
- Shut down the computer and do a clone of the drive using special software (Norton provides excellent software for this). Once you have made the clone, attempt a recovery from it. Some good cloning software includes DriveImage XML, Acronis True Image, Clonezilla and Ease US Partition Master.
- Scan the clone drive with several recovery programs to determine if there is any way to retrieve the data safely. Several good options for recovery programs include Recuva and Zero Assumption. Recuva is a free solution but you get more out of Zero Assumption.
DIY data recovery using hardware
Another way to try and recover your data might involve hardware solutions. Do the following:
- If the drive is not spinning at all, which is common, there is a problem with your PCB. This is the green circuit board at the bottom of the drive that houses the main controller for the hard drive. The hard drive PCB will have two TVS Diodes that act as fuses. If you have a shorted TVS Diode, just remove the shorted diode and everything should come back up for you.
- If the drive is spinning and making clicking noises, then you have a serious problem because you may have failed heads. This means that there may have been physical damage to the drive. In this case, it is best that you take it to a professional, because they need a clean room environment with no dust or hair to fix it.
- If your drive starts up, is detected and then hangs when accessed, that means that the magnetic media has been degraded somehow. This is a common problem that can occur over time. You will need a software imager that can work around the bad disk areas for you.
- If the drive makes a beeping sound when you power it up, that means that there is a serious mechanical failure. In this case, you need to take it to a professional because the drive has to be opened up.
- If the drive sounds normal but is not detected, then that is a problem with the firmware. Back in the day, the end user could deal with this themselves but with new drives, all you can do is take it in to a professional for help.
That is all there is too it. In the end, the more you back up and the more frequently you do it, the less problems you will have when your hard drive fails. All that data will be saved on DVDs, USB drives or even in some sort of cloud environment online. Either way, having a good backup strategy will save you a lot of stress if anything goes wrong and you won’t even have to worry about diy data recovery at all.