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#5: Recover Data from Faulty Hard Disks
Have you experienced a hard drive failure? Looking for data recovery tools to help you get your data back? This article explains your choices, allows you to estimate the possibility of successful recovery, and covers software-based, self-serve data recovery tools.
Can I Recover Lost Data Myself?
The most important question in data recovery is, of course, the possibility to do the job at home. Quite often you are able to fix things up and recover data and the corrupted hard drive without even removing the disk from the PC case.
If your hard drive has failed and is not functioning, you cannot recover that hard disk yourself. How can you tell that the drive is not working? If the disk is not spinning when you power on the PC, or if you see a BIOS error when booting the computer, or if Windows cites a hardware problem trying to load a driver for the damaged drive, the disk is probably dead. Don't despair, there are data recovery services out there that can take your hard disk to the lab and recover your data from the spindles - unless they are physically destroyed, that is.
Things are much brighter if your drive can spin up and you see no errors when booting your PC. And of course, if you can see the drive letter in Windows, you can definitely attempt to recover the hard disk and rescue data completely by yourself!
If the hard drive is in good working order, but you cannot access the volume because of a corrupted file system or accidental reformatting, you can recover the disk and restore data. If just a few files or folders are missing, corrupted or inaccessible, you can recover lost data by yourself easily!
What Can I Do to Recover Data from a Corrupted Hard Disk?
You won't need a screwdriver to recover data or a corrupted partition. You won't need anything but software dedicated to hard disk and data recovery. You probably encountered partition and file system recovery tools built into Windows, namely "checkdisk". Using ckeckdisk can fix partition errors by removing inconsistencies in the file system, but it does not do anything good to your data. Lost files will remain lost, and corrupted data will remain corrupted unless you use software data recovery tools more sophisticated than checkdisk.
Dedicated data recovery tools such as HDD Recovery Pro offered take care of your data first, and repair system structures later. Unlike ckeckdisk, dedicated data recovery software can use a separate hard disk or partition to hold the files and data you recover from the corrupted partition. In particular, HDD Recovery Pro scans the disks and partitions in order to locate data that it considers to be of most importance such as Office documents and digital pictures.
HDD Recovery Pro won't leave you with an inaccessible hard drive or corrupted volumes. It finds and corrects damaged partition tables and corrupted file system structures, repairing logical inconsistencies in the disk structures.
All-in-all, HDD Recovery Pro is a highly regarded data recovery tool. Evaluation version is available at www.the-undelete.com
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