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Hard Drive Crash Tips

Hearing a buzzing or clicking noise emanating from your PC? Screen reads: "Operating System Not Found?", or "Drive Not Found", or "Disk Read Error"? Have you encountered the evil "blue screen of death"? You could be experiencing a physical hard drive crash. Or, you could have simply just encountered some common operating system.

Starting out, take a look at the issue your computer is facing that may have created the hard drive crash. First of all, are their physical issues with your PC? Aside from very obvious physical issues, such as a system affected by disaster such as fire or flood, there are some things you should check.

Detecting The Danger Sounds

If your hard disk drive is emitting odd sounds such as clicking, scraping or grinding sounds, your best bet is to immediately turn your PC off. In most cases where actual noises are heard, this is critical, as your hard drive is likely damaging itself! Noises are typically symptomatic of protective hard drive head failure. If it is a physical problem like this, you may need hard disk drive recovery.

This can destroy the data on your hard drive, mainly because of the high rate of spin for most hard drives, which can range from 4,200 RPM for a newer laptop drive to 15,000 RPM+ for high end SCSI drives. When noises are being heard, the head can damage the actual hard disk platters very quickly. If you are experiencing a situation like this, contact us for a hard drive crash data recovery quote right away. It may be likely that you're working with a damaged hard drive, and may need to be serviced at our clean room.

Using Disk Utility Software

Currently, there are hundreds of data retrieval software products on the market, many of which are good, and many of which not so good. What you should understand about these products is that they are typically created for preventative maintenance, and not actual data recovery. These programs, often called Utilities, are fine for correcting minor day-to-day system problems, but in extreme cases of hard drive crash they frequently can actually cause more damage, and render data unrecoverable. Here are some of the most important things you should know when experiencing data loss:

  • When you hear strange noises coming from your PC, never use your utility software. This is critical!! Your attempts to use the software could actually further damage your hard drive, as the sounds you are hearing are most likely a physical problem. There is simply NO software that is currently available that will fix hard drive problems. It is likely there will never be such a product, so be warned!
  • If you are already booted up, you may want to attempt to backup your important data if you have not already. This is a risky move, depending on how far gone your drive is. If you have a S.M.A.R.T.-enabled system (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) running, see what it says. This system will typically warn you if your drive may be ready for imminent failure. If you want to take the risk, you may be able to pull the data from the drive, and avoid having to have a physical hard disk repair or hard drive recovery service performed.

In the end, your best bet is always to turn off your computer immediately, and contact a professional. Shutting down your computer prevents any further damage to both your hard drive and to the data it contains.

Saving An Undo File - A Critical Move With Utility Programs
Most disk utility programs worth their salt (avoid software with no "Undo" function altogether) will always ask you if you would like to save an "undo" file so that it can reverse any potential negative changes it may make to your hard drive.

Always ensure you click yes. In many cases, if your utility program does not prevent the damage to your data, an undo file will at least ensure that further damage is not caused. As well, by sending the undo file on a disk with your hard drive, we can better recover all of your data.

Logical Crashes Are Difficult, But Easy To Solve

The key issue for many people who experience a logical hard drive crash is the fact that the file system problem or partition table corruption occurs on their main, or C: drive. Obviously, this is usually the drive that contains your computer's operating system, so having a logical problem with this drive can mean that your computer may not be able to start up.

What you will typically need in cases like this is a data recovery software that will work in DOS or as a startup disk. If you can boot to disk data recovery software, you can often repair either your file system or partition tables without too much trouble. Feel free to contact us for any recommendations of high quality data recovery software, as we work with it on a daily basis.

A Physical Hard Drive Crash

The main type of hard drive crash recovery service that Hard Drive Recovery Group provides is that derived from an actual physical hard drive failure. This can be the result of many things, but generally the result is that the hard disk is not accessible via normal means. When you know for sure that you have a physical hard drive crash, you will typically want to do as little as possible to the drive. We typically recommend that our customers shut down their computers immediately, as often even applying power to the drive can further damage the data on the platters.

With a physically damaged hard drive, there is very little you can do personally. Many people attempt to use data recovery software on a clicking or buzzing hard drive, only to actually damage the data on the disk and make it almost impossible to recover. This is obviously a very poor course of action, so if you suspect physical failure you will probably want to contact a professional hard drive recovery company right away.

Assessing Your Data's Value

The pricing for hard drive crash recovery varies. But if you find that you have a physical hard drive problem, you may want to assess the actual value of your data.

As an example, if you have a good backup and have not actually lost a lot of data on the failed hard drive, you may just want to replace it with a new hard disk. And if your hard drive only contained MP3s, as an example, you're going to find that contacting a professional data recovery service is probably not worth it.

However, if you do not actually have a backup, and your drive contains important data such as business data or other critical files, you may want to consider contacting Hard Drive Recovery Group for a free data recovery consultation. A key thing to remember is that a call to us is always free, and we can at least help you determine whether or not you have experienced a physical or logical hard disk crash.

Data Recovery For Windows NT/2000/XP Server, Linux, Unix and NetWare

Attempting to recover data from systems based on professional level operating systems by yourself is not necessarily a good idea, no matter your particular level of expertise. Be warned especially about using disk utility programs for these particular systems, as they are expensive systems which should be treated with care. If you have hard disk problems with any of the OS flavors mentioned above, contact a professional first.

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