Repair Crashed Hard Drive

A Complete Guide to Repair Crashed/Damaged Hard Disk

A Hard Disk Drive or HDD stores precious memories, essential business documents, song collection maintained over years. Such large storage of files cannot be uploaded to cloud. Hence, they are saved on a hard drive. It has got saved a plethora of information and its crash can lead to catastrophic results. At times, the system might not work due to its failure. In this post, reasons to what caused the failure and ways to repair crashed hard drive have been discussed.

Different Brands of Hard Drives

Seagate, Hitachi, Toshiba, and Western Digital are some of the leading manufacturers of hard drives. There are many others available in the market. An HDD measures and stores data in terms of the size of files in bytes. It is storage device store all kinds of data like images, videos, documents, music files, etc. Video files are the heaviest in terms of size.

Different Sizes of Hard Disk Drive

A Hard Disk comes in different sizes. There are ones ranging from few hundred Gigabytes and other in multiple terabyte sizes. Roughly gigabyte (or GB) is a billion bytes and a terabyte (or TB), a trillion bytes. A normal Excel spreadsheet is saved in a couple of megabytes which is a million bytes per file. Users can base their drive selection based on how much data they need to store on their hard drives. Many home users suffice with 500 GB of storage to save their movies and music collection. Enterprises prefer 2,3 TB of a disk drive to store important client and business data and communications.

Windows or Mac Drive

Most drives are pre-configured to work with either Mac or Windows system. Some of them are formatted to work with just one of them. One can easily format and reconfigure them to another type of computer. Make sure that all the data from the hard disk has been saved on a separate drive before formatting. This process will remove all the data on the disk drive and start from a clean slate. It is more difficult to use the same drive on different operating systems. Almost impossible without formatting and setting it up again from fresh.

Types of Hard Disk Drive

There are basically two types of hard drives. They are Internal and External. People can opt for either one based on their requirement:

  • Internal disk drive: This is used by a computer or laptop to save important user data. This includes files that needed to boot, program files, important user account information. It provides inbuilt storage and starts spinning whenever the computer is powered up. All documents and files are saved by default on an internal drive. It is physically installed on the user machine. Accessing this drive will require opening up the system physically and examining it.
  • External Disk Drive: This is an additional data storage device that is portable and can be accessed any-time. No hardware reconfiguration needed to know what is wrong with this device. Whenever an internal file is full or data from it needs to be moved to another system, an external drive is used. It can be connected to a computer with plug-in wires or over WiFi.

Crashed Hard Disk Causes

There can be many reasons as to what caused the hard drive to fail. There are two major reasons as to this:

  • Physical Failure: If there is a malfunction in the disk drive then it is categorized under this type of drive failure. Any clicking, clanking, whirring or grinding sounds all indicate a physical error in the drive. If this is what caused the crash, there a good chance the data within the drive can be recovered.
  • Logical Failure: This type of failure is caused when the hard drive is healthy but the operating system can not boot from it. This is mainly caused by a viral attack, system error, driver conflict or a software malfunction. It more of an issue with some software that prevents users to access their files.

Possible Solution to Repair Crashed Hard Disk Drive

There are many solutions based on the type of error that has occurred in the hard drive. Following are the some of the methods to fix crashed hard drive based on what caused the crash in the first place.

There are faults caused by faulty product manufacture of a drive. This kind of situation often is encountered in drives that are new. Sometimes, a hard disk in unable to detect the operating system and complete the boot process. The device is faulty has been issues without testing. Chances are within days of purchasing it, drives start acting up and the computer would not start.

Resolution:

Immediately contact the manufacturers and ask for a Return Authorization. Any kind of replacement can be made as long as the product is in warranty. At times, manufacturers admit a mistake and replace the drive. This kind of problem can be resolved without spending any extra penny. However, recovery of hard drive data is not guaranteed.

It is one of the most common cause of crashing a hard drive. Often the regular use of hard disk causes it to heat up. At some point, the heating reaches a threshold level. After which a hard disk crashes every 15 seconds after starting it up. Heating can also be caused by lack of proper ventilation or fault in CPU fan. This can be indicated by fans moving too slow, a clicking sound coming from the system, or heating of laptop or desktop soon after it is started.

Resolution:

  • Firstly, ensure that the cooling fans are working properly. Double check just to make sure it is not the fans that are causing the system to heat up.
  • Also, one can use thermal paste between the heatsinks. This will make the fans run smoothly next time the system is started up.

There may be many issues if the system is located in an area with constant power surges. This is one of the major reasons for hard disk failure. Even the alternative power source may become faulty at times. This will cause problems like abrupt failure of the boot process, undetectable drive and disk not spinning properly.

Resolution:

  • Firstly, make sure the hard disk is receiving ample amount of power. There might be situations where the UPS may be providing too little or too much power.
  • Now, check with the manufacturer about fixing UPS and troubleshooting it. Many hard disk issues may be resolved if the power supply is constant.
  • Also, shut down the system properly whenever away from the computer.

Over time the quality of the moving part in a disk drive degrade. This may cause internal failure of the drive. This can be indicated by the clicking and grinding sounds coming from the system. This may also cause black screens and freezing of the complete system. Often many virus files attach themselves to sectors in a hard disk. They take up space and make multiple copies which corrupt the boot files and primary data. This can lead to catastrophic results as the system fails to boot.

Resolution:

  • Firstly, scan the drive with an anti virus scanning software.
  • Next, Keep updating files and upgrading system regularly.
  • Now, make sure to replace the hard disk every few years to remove the possibility of internal failure of the disk.
  • Also, Windows 8 and 8.1 have internal UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) technology. It can detect malware files corrupting the boot files and preventing the system from starting up.

An abrupt closure of the system may corrupt some files and damage the drive. This may cause the hard disk to stop in the middle of work. A blue screen may appear and restart the system or shut it down completely. For this:

Resolution:

  • Firstly, make sure that PC is shut down in a proper manner each time.
  • Secondly, Avoid using malicious applications that are free but causes the system to shut down.
  • Also, avoid opening any email attachments from an unknown sender.
  • Make sure to close down all open windows and application before shutting down the system. This can prevent crashed hard disk drive.

In some situations, the drive may be highly damaged and there are no sounds of grinding that indicate cause for the damage. Sometimes the issue is with a faulty wiring or bad connections. Such cases prevent access to hard drive and need to be resolved immediately. At times, physically checking what is wrong may be able to resolve the issue. Follow the steps below:

  • Firstly, check all the connections between the PC board and the hard disk. Unplug the wires and plug them back in again. Then, try to start the system and check whether it is able to work properly or not.
  • Then, try replacing the SATA cables or firewires that connect hard drive to the computer.
  • Also, If using an external hard disk, try and change the USB port used to connect the drive. AT times the fault lies with the port that is being used.
  • If the issue still does not resolve itself, try changing the hardware case or the USB wire of the external drive.
  • Also, one can try to check whether the fault is with the system ports by connecting the drive to another system.
  • Now, check the drive controller board. Often the fault lies on the controller board which can be easily replaced. This can be done by mounting the drive on another board. Users must perform this step carefully and have a complete knowledge of what they are about to do.
  • Also, make sure that the controller board is the same make and model as that of the hard drive.
  • Next, ensure that there is sufficient equipment and drive parts to move to the next step.
  • Now, change the controller board and try to connect the drive and check whether it is working.
  • If it is, then, backup and move all data on another drive.

A check disk or chkdsk is an inbuilt tool provided by Windows operating system. It scans all the parts of a hard drive to identify the bad sectors. Bad sectors are mainly of two types, Soft and Hard sectors. The soft ones are logical errors causing the hard drive crashed error messages. Hard ones occur due to physical damage to the drive. In either case, chkdsk works to recover bad sectors and can ensure smooth working of a system. It is same in all versions of Windows and is the preferred method to repair crashed hard drive. Follow the steps below to perform the check disk procedure in command prompt:

  • Firstly, go to Start by clicking the windows key and then type Command Prompt in the search bar.
  • Now, Right click on the search item and then Run As Administrator.
  • Next, type the command ‘chkdsk /p’ and short test to scan all sectors of a hard disk will start. If there are errors detected in the volume move to the next step.
  • Following this, type ‘chkdsk /r’. This will repair hard drive errors found during the scan.
  • Alternatively, this tool can be accessed from C: Properties>>Tools Tab. Just click on check button to start the scan and fix system errors.

Often the manual approach seems lengthy and time-consuming. Handling physical drive and identifying logical errors can be tiresome. It can take hours to find what is actually wrong with the drive and fix it. It could be anything ranging from a corrupt file, viral attack, physical damage, bad sector to name a few. Users always look for a workaround to performing the manual procedure. Often professional tools like Hard Disk repair tool is highly recommended by data recovery agents worldwide.

A HDD repair software is an easy-to-use, simple but efficient tool that can be used by both technical and non-technical person. At times, the hard disk may be gone for good and there is no way to recover the file stored in the drive. This tool is proficient enough to recover all lost data and repair crashed hard drive on laptop or desktop PC. It can retrieve data from both Internal and External drives. It can get the lost music collections, photo albums, movies, videos in no time. It is compatible with all versions of Windows Operating System including Windows 10. Here is how the tool will work:

HDD Repair Tool Download

  • Firstly, launch Hard Drive repair utility from its default location in C:/Program Files. Click Scan to generate a list of partitions on the system.

hard-drive-data-recovery

  • Now, all the partitions and drives connected to the system will be displayed in the software interface. Both internal and external drives will be there. Click on a crashed hard drive to access it. And then, click Recover Partition button to start recovering data from that drive.

recover-partition

  • Next, a Recovery Options dialog box will appear. Select the radio box according to the type of recovery option needed for recovering a crashed hard drive.
  1. Normal Data: For normal recovery of files and folders.
  2. Deleted Files & Folders: Retrieving files that were once deleted from the drive.
  3. Formatted Partition: Recovering data from a formatted drive or partitions.

Having done that, click on Recover button. A scan of all the files on the partition will start.

choose-recovery-options

  • Now, click Search to identify files to get back.

brief-summary-of-files-folders

  • Now, the search process can be performed based on File Name, Last Modified Date or Creation Date. Tick the “Include Deleted Files Only” check box to recover files that have been deleted by mistake.

search-option

  • Now, a list of all the items based on keyword search will be displayed in front of the user. One may choose to preview a folder item by right-clicking on it and then select Preview Selected File.

preview-selected-file

  • To save one or more files, select them and right-click. Select Extract Selected Items and configure a folder path to save the extracted files.

extract-selected-files

Wrapping It Up

Users find it difficult to work in a smooth manner if the hard drive seems to be crashing all the time. There are many solutions that can work based on what was the cause of these issues. Sometimes these work but at times they may not be able to repair a dead hard drive. Some points have been mentioned in this post that contributes to better understanding of what caused the crash and repair crashed HDD. Most prefer the alternative solution of using a third-party Hard Disk repair software. This is easy-to-use and can even recover lost or deleted items from a partition.