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How To Recover Data From A Dead Hard Drive? | Failed Hard Drive Data Recovery

Is your hard drive corrupt or has been physically damaged? Chances are your hard drive might be failing or if the damage is severe your hard drive might be dead in the near future. If you are wondering how to recover data from a dead hard drive? Or are curious to know how to recover data from a failing hard drive. Then this article has everything that you need to know about data recovery from a dead hard drive.

Table Of Contents:

  1. What Causes Hard Drive Failure?
  2. How Do You Know If Your Hard Drive is Broken or Not?
  3. What To Do To Make Your Hard Drive Recognizable?
  4. How To Recover Data From Failed/Broken/Dead Hard Drive?
  5. How To Repair a Dead Hard Disk?

What Causes Hard drive Failure? 

Some of the common reasons why your hard drive fails or becomes dead.

  • Physical Damage:

Do you have a dead hard drive? Broken HDD, disk damage, and damaged Hard disk are one of the main reasons behind dead HD.

  • Since Hard drives are made of moving parts any damage to the disk platters can rearrange them and make them misaligned. 
  • Sudden shock or unexpected drop can also damage your hard disk. 
  • Environmental conditions and factors such as extreme heat or a humid environment can also damage your drive and make your data inaccessible. 
  • Failure of a hard disk may also be caused by overheating. A rise in internal computer temperature brought on either a broken fan or a buildup of dust.
  • Corruption:

Accumulation of bad sectors, File system corruption can make your hard drive corrupt. kindly follow this article if you are looking for a safe way to recover data from any corrupt hard drive.

  • Virus or Malware attack:

Thousands of computer users face viruses or malware attacks on a day-to-day basis. Connecting a healthy drive to any virus-infected computer can harm your disk as well. Apart from that, clicking on malicious links, opening email attachments received from unreliable sources, and downloading files from harmful sites can all lead to hard drives getting infected by viruses. Go through this article to find out how to recover data from a virus-infected hard drive and also find out how to remove viruses residing in the drive.

How Do I Know My Hard Drive is Broken? 

Following are the Signs of a broken or damaged hard drive:

  • The OS Doesn’t Recognize The Drive

When the Operating system of your Windows or Mac system doesn’t recognize the connected external hard drive it's a major sign that your hard disk has been damaged.

  • System Regularly Crashes

The presence of bad or damaged sectors on the drive hinders the ability of the drive to read and write data. So if your system crashes regularly when you are trying to access the external hard drive is another major sign that the device has some issues.

  • Grinding Noise or Whirring Sounds

When the external hard drive makes loud, odd noises like grinding or whirring, it usually means that there is a significant problem with the drive or that it has failed. 

  • Slow or Delayed Response Time When Trying To Access The Data Present In The Drive

Did you encounter a slow response time when you were trying to access the data saved on the drive? It is a sign that the drive is working incorrectly. 

A few signs of hard drive failure include sudden file loss, continuous error warnings, and suddenly being unable to use an external hard drive. All of these situations point to a hard drive failure issue.

If you are facing a situation where your connected external hard drive is undetected or unrecognizable. Then go through the following section to find out how to make the drive detectable. 

How to Make Your Drive Recognizable?

Here are a few ways to make your undetected hard drive recognizable.

  • Check The Connections:

Verify the connection to make sure the cable is securely connected to both the computer and the external drive.

  • Try a Different Cable:

Try connecting to a different USB port if your computer is equipped with more than one USB port.

  • Connect to a Different USB Port:

If a new cable is available, replace the current one. The issue could be brought on by a defective cable.

  • Update Device Drivers:

Although most operating systems update device drivers for you, it may be worthwhile to manually update them if your system is having trouble recognizing external devices.

  • Check the Power Supply:

Make sure the drive is plugged in properly and receiving constant power. 

  • Try a Different Computer:

 In case all else fails, try connecting the external device to a different computer.

How to Recover Data from Failed/Dead Hard Drive?

Recovering inaccessible data from any hard drive that has failed or has been broken, gotten damaged, or is dead is usually the most difficult part. At times the drive doesn’t get detected or the data is no longer available. Getting data off a dead hard drive becomes a daunting task. But thankfully as technology evolved, data recovery from a dead hard drive also became not just easier but also safer.

Data recovery from a dead hard disk becomes a cakewalk when you have a tool like Remo Hard Drive Data Recovery Software in your hands. 

Remo Recover is our most advanced software to date. The tool is built with dual-scan algorithms that are designed to perform a deep sector-by-sector level scan to retrieve data from a broken hard drive. The User-friendly interface makes data recovery an extremely simple and intuitive experience. 

Download and try the tool for free now!!!

Remo Recover offers you free 24*7 tech support to provide you with a flawless data recovery experience.

A Simple 4-Part Process To Recover Data From Broken Hard Drive 

Download and Install Remo Recover on Your Windows or Mac system. 

Part 1: Connect the External Hard Drive 

Step 1: Connect your Broken, Damaged, or Failed Hard drive to your computer and Launch the tool.

Part 2: Initiate The Drive Scan

Step 2: From the main screen select the drive from where you want to recover data. If your connected drive didn’t appear on your screen, kindly click on Can’t find the drive? Option.

Can’t find the drive? feature thoroughly scans the system to identify all the connected drives.

Step 3: Find and select the connected hard drive and click on the Scan button to start the drive scanning process.

Step 4: The tool starts scanning the drive. Once the quick scan gets completed the tool will automatically switch to deep scan. Click on the Dynamic Recovery View button.

The Dynamic Recovery View option lets you view the recovered files as well as save them even when the scan is in progress.

Part 3: Completion Of The Drive Scan:

Once the tool gets done with the scanning process it will display a comprehensive list of all recovered files.

Step 4: Make use of the Advanced Filter option to sort the files based on file types, file status, file size, date modified, etc.

The Advanced Filter option allows you to recover only a specific type of file(s).

Step 5: Double click on any file to Preview the recovered files.

The Preview option lets you have a quick look at the recovered files (Word documents, Excel files, Audio and Video files, and various other file types) and evaluate the data recovery result.

Part 4: Data Saving Process

Step 6: Select the files that you want to recover. Click on the Recover button and select a safe location or folder to save the recovered files.

The tool will notify you once the data-saving process gets completed.

Now that you have safely recovered data from a broken, damaged, or failed hard drive. Now is the time to try to fix and restore a dead or failing hard drive.

How to Repair a Dead Hard Drive?

Following are the tried and tested methods that are proven to fix any dead or failing hard drive.

1. Run an Antivirus software to Fix a Failing Hard Drive

Regularly running an antivirus scan is one of the best ways to keep your system safe and sound. Using antivirus software helps you detect and prevent any virus or malware from penetrating into your system thereby significantly reducing the chance that the external drive will become infected with malware or a virus. Because sharing external storage devices with other users is so simple, there is a risk of unintentional virus infection from another computer. Use caution if you decide to share the device, and insist on connecting to only known virus-free PCs.

2. Fix Damaged Windows Files To Revive A Failed Hard Drive

Your system might not function properly if any of your Windows files are corrupted or missing. You can employ the System File Checker (SFC) tool in such circumstances. The SFC utility is another tool that comes with Windows, similar to CheckDisk. However, it can search for missing or damaged Windows system files and restore them rather than repairing file system-related problems.

Follow these steps to use SFC to recover corrupted or missing Windows files:

Step 1: Type "cmd" into the Start menu.

Step 2: Right-click Command Prompt and choose "Run as Administrator" from the results list.

Step 3: Enter "sfc /scannow" to begin the SFC scan.

Once the scan is completed your corrupt Windows files will get repaired.

3. Repair the Disk using CHKDSK To Fix Damaged Hard Drive


A basic Windows hard drive diagnostic tool called CHKDSK examines the hard drive's integrity. Additionally, it has the ability to fix a number of issues with the hard drive, including faulty sectors, file system failures, unfound clusters, and file directory errors. 

 Here is a guide on how to run a hard drive's CHKDSK.

Step 1: After the computer boots up, click on the Windows button and type cmd into the search box.

Step 2:  Choose the Run as Administrator option.

Step 3: To scan the relevant volume, enter the chkdsk command in the command prompt window and press Enter. Replace C with the drive letter of your connected hard drive.

Step 4: The report presented below follows a five-stage HDD scan.

Step 5: Your hard drive is in good condition if the final report appears as shown below.

Prevent Data loss in the future by following the tips mentioned below

You must take necessary precautionary measures to prevent the loss of your important data due to drive malfunctioning or other issues. 

Here are the top suggestions that you can try to protect your data.

1. Create Regular Backups

Maintaining crucial data backups on external storage devices or the cloud is extremely necessary to protect your most important data. One should never store data in a single location. Where severe data loss scenarios might lead to permanent loss of data. 

So we highly recommend you save multiple copies of data on different storage devices. Alternatively, you can also make use of Remo Backup to safely store the data in the cloud.

You might look back and be quite glad you did.

2. Handle External Storage Devices Carefully

Be careful not to shock or drop the disk, and keep it away from extreme dampness or heat. Environmental conditions can cause the hard disk's platters to become misaligned or deformed, making the drive unreadable.

3. Regularly Run Antivirus scan

Having antivirus software installed on your computer will reduce the chance that the external drive will become infected with malware or a virus. Because sharing external discs with other users increases the risk of unintentional virus infection from another computer. Use caution if you decide to share the device, and insist on connecting to only known virus-free PCs.

Alternatively, you can also use Windows Defender Firewall to find and get rid of uninvited guests aka viruses and malware.

4. Be Cautious While Performing Data-Losing Activities (Formatting, running certain Commands, etc.)

Formatting the drive or a section of the device falls under this. Before inputting that command, make sure it's actually what you want to do. 

At times, you might run the wrong commands on the right devices or the right commands on the wrong devices. Thereby accidentally deleting files or unintentionally formatting the drives.

Be extremely cautious while working on such tasks. This might look really simple but can help you save a lot of time and effort in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How To Get Data off an Old Hard Drive?

As explained earlier Remo Damaged Hard Drive Recovery software can not only help you extract data from old hard drives but also extract data from damaged hard drives.
All you need to do is connect your old hard drive to your Windows and Mac system and use Remo Recover.

2. Can You Recover Data From a Failed Hard Drive?

It is quite difficult to recover files from a failed hard drive if you do not have a backup of the files. However, Remo Recover can make failed hard drive data recovery possible. Remo can easily detect any failed hard drive and also effortlessly recover data from failing hard drives.

3. What Makes Remo Recover the Best Software To Recover Data From Damaged Hard Drive?

What makes Remo Recover the best external hard drive recovery software? Here are the top 5 reasons.

1. Remo Recover is made to recover files that have been lost for whatever reason. (Deleted, missing, formatted, even corruption)
2. The utility can recover 500+ file types from more than 1000 devices.
3. The tool makes the process of recovering a failed hard drive utterly smooth. Simply choose the drive, begin the scan, and save the retrieved data.
4. More than 15 million happy users from more than 100 countries have chosen Remo Recover.
5. Remo Recover can be used for free; only if you are happy with the outcome you will be required to pay. Moreover, Remo provides a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the data recovery process.

Closing Thoughts:

Hopefully, you have found this article helpful in recovering damaged hard drives. We have talked about everything you need to know about recovering a failed hard drive. We started the discussion by talking about what causes a hard drive to fail, then we moved on to talk about the signs of a broken hard drive followed by what to do when your system doesn’t recognize your external hard drive. Also discussed the surest way to recover files from a dead hard drive. In the end, we have suggested a few ways using which you can be sure to never lose data ever again.

Feel free to drop in any additional questions. We are more than happy to help you.

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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