How to recover a hard disk and all information on it?

Despite tangible progress, thanks to which computer technology is becoming increasingly powerful and reliable, the issue of data integrity on the hard disk is more urgent than ever. Indeed, the volumes stored on such drives grow very quickly, and it even happens that it is not immediately possible to detect the loss.

Therefore, it is important to learn how to identify the first signs of hard drive problems in order to make timely copies of important data, complete an important project, or do without computer downtime by purchasing a new disk in advance. Well, if you waited for a breakdown, then you should know how to restore the hard drive while maintaining important information.

How to recognize the problem

External signs, which can determine the malfunction of the hard disk, are very obvious, because the stability of the entire system depends on the operation of this element.

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  • during power-up clicks are heard, Windows does not load, the monitor does not show anything;
  • Windows stopped running, error messages are displayed;
  • during operation, the computer regularly freezes, errors appear when saving files, etc .;
  • copying, deleting, saving files is extremely slow, while the process periodically freezes and then continues;
  • the necessary files or folders are missing, an error message appears when you try to open documents.

All these signs, of course, may indicate a malfunction of other components of the PC, but the hard disk is still considered the most important, because all user data is stored on it.

How to understand if data recovery is possible?

When a user is faced with the already accomplished fact that a disaster has occurred with a critical component of the computer, the first obvious question is how to recover the hard disk files. Let's look at solutions to the problem.

Determine how to restore the hard drive, and whether it is realistic at all, will only test it, which is carried out as standard tools built into Windows, and with the help of specialized programs.

In the first case, it is necessary to boot Windows itself, which is not always possible, because if the hard disk breaks, it becomes inaccessible along with other files and folders. It is simpler when the problem is related to the breakdown of the second hard disk, which is not bootable, but is used exclusively for storing different data.

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One of the most common verification options is the following: you must unplug the hard drive from the computer, first unplug all the cables and unscrew the mounting bolts, and connect it to another known good computer as a second drive. In this case, it is easy to check whether the necessary information is intact on it (you can also immediately copy it to another medium).

The second test option is a bit more complicated, but only because it requires the user to prepare the boot CD in advance. Although it can be recorded if necessary on another computer, because such components are usually universal, they are not tied to a specific system. With such testing, for example, it is easier to find a solution to the question of how to recover a deleted hard drive.

In any case, when even an outdated version of Windows or another program that allows you to browse the contents of the disks is working on your computer, you can already see if the folders are being read, whether the files are being copied from the failed drive.

It should be noted that if you master the technique of working with internal drives of the system unit, then the user will no longer have a problem in how to recover an external hard drive. The question turns out to be not so complicated. In addition, it will become clear how to recover a laptop hard drive.

Testing software

There are many utilities to check the performance of hard drives, some of which offer not only the identification of errors and breakdowns, but also the correction of some of them that can still be fixed. For this reason, all programs are divided into several categories.

  • Utilities for checking the surface of hard drives and fixing problem sectors.For example, HDD Scan or HDD Regenerator.
  • Programs to check the logical structure of the drive and fix all the problems found.For example, Norton Disk Doctor.

There are no fully universal programs, although software developers are trying to create them.The fact is that the procedure for restoring hard disk sectors, files and folders requires specific knowledge, which requires the appropriate specialists. Therefore, the most powerful and effective programs do not have any universal capabilities, but work with one or two functions.

Well, when there is a proven hard disk, how to recover data, the question should not be, because special programs are also used for this.

HDD Scan

The most accessible for the average user are those utilities that run under Windows. They have a clear and familiar interface that repeats other user programs.

The only disadvantage of such products is that they can be used only in the case when the defective hard disk is connected as a second drive. Although no one excludes the possibility of loading a special version of Windows from a CD, where you can run all the usual programs, including to check the disk.

How to recover an external hard drive

One of the most common programs can be called HDD Scan. Its functionality is limited to obtaining information about the status of the hard disk.

  • Three modes of checking the surface of the drive: "reading", "erasing", "checking".
  • Reading SMART information from the memory of a hard disk in which all hardware errors, which occurred at least once during operation, are recorded.

In addition, the program determines the exact model of the disk, the volume and version of the firmware under which the hard disk is running. But, unfortunately, such software does not know how to restore the hard disk partitions, so if they are damaged, then the test surface will not work.

HDD Regenerator

This program has a familiar Windows interface and contains a set of functions for checking and restoring the surface of a hard disk, in particular:

  • detection of bad sectors and their correction by special marking, which prevents their further use;
  • scanning the hard disk at the physical level, which eliminates the influence of the file system on the scan results;
  • the program is able to work from under Windows, for it is not necessary to burn a bootable to recover hard disk information

To start the drive check, it is enough to select the required disk after launching the program and click on the “Start process” button. You may receive a warning that you need to close all programs that use the checked disk. We must agree with this and wait for the end of the test.Error correction program can do in automatic mode.

It is worth noting that before restoring a hard disk, you must try to copy the data that is still available for reading to other media. But if they are not read at all, then nothing remains but to restore the sectors of the hard disk.

Software to recover data from hard disk

Software to recover data from the hard disk for some reason is considered difficult for the average user. But this is absolutely not the case; most of them have a familiar Windows interface and a Russian-language menu. It is enough just to carefully examine the proposed items, and even a poorly prepared user will be able to recover everything that is still available for this.

Programs can be divided into two main categories:

  • those that search for deleted files, for example, Undelete;
  • those that search for files across the entire hard disk, for example, ZAR (Zero Assumption Recovery).

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The functionality of the second type of programs usually includes the search for deleted files, so that they are more versatile, which does not affect the efficiency of their work, because all lost files, be it manual deletion or accidental loss due to software failure, are searched by one algorithm.


ZAR (Zero Assumption Recovery) is considered to be quite advanced in its capabilities. For example, this is one of the first data recovery utilities that understands Russian characters in the names of files and folders.

how to recover a deleted hard drive

The main features of this program are impressive:

All this set of options is easy to use. The startup procedure consists of selecting the desired disk and pressing the “Next” button. At the end of the file search, it will be enough to select the ones you really need and specify the folder into which to copy the recovered files.

The main thing is to stock up on an additional hard drive and patience, because this program works for a long time (bulk drives can be processed for several hours). The second disk is needed because the files are restored by copying, which allows you to avoid recording on a damaged disk and increase the chances of saving other files.

Despite certain requirements, the program perfectly solves the problem of how to recover hard disk partitions. That is why it is very popular. In addition, the utility allows you to solve the problem with how to restore an external hard drive.

Is it possible to return data without special programs?

Enough utilities have been developed to recover both the hard drives themselves and the information from them, but they all have some disadvantage. For example, easy-to-use programs with a familiar interface are usually paid, which will require some expenses for the purchase of a license key. Free demo versions or programs with a small set of features are distributed.

Another variant. Powerful and effective programs require specific user knowledge. For example, working with the command line, knowledge of the entire data storage structure on the disk, etc. But still the recovery procedure will be carried out by the program itself.

Manually doing something just will not work because of the banal ignorance of how to do it. And find the documentation on the Internet also fail. After all, software development is a business, and no one will agree to simply donate recovery technologies for free to use.

The only option when you can do with the means of the operating system itself is when you delete a hard disk from the list of drivers.How to restore it? You can simple reboot. The driver will automatically be found, and the disk will reappear.

Common myths about recovery and data loss

In practice, there are quite interesting, even funny myths, which, nevertheless, are quite tenacious, and thanks to the Internet they spread from one user to many others.

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Among the most enduring myths can be noted the following:

  • If the hard drive began to click and make other incomprehensible sounds, it is necessary to knock it lightly with a screwdriver or other light tool.

In fact, these components can not be subjected to any shock loads, especially when they already started having problems. Any extraneous sound inside its case means, unfortunately, that the service path, which is necessary for self-tuning and accurate operation of the read head, has failed. Most often, you will have to contact a service center for restoration, where there is special equipment that allows you to bypass such a problem. At home, nothing can be done.

  • It is necessary in a clean room, where there is no dust, to disassemble the hard disk and remove all trash that has fallen under the head, which prevents reading the data.

In fact, this absolutely can not be done! There is always dust at home, even if you don’t see it, and it is very dangerous for the surface of magnetic disks. The distance between the head and the surface of the disk is very small, and even a small piece, imperceptible at first glance, will lead to scratches and complete breakdown of the drive.

  • There are “machines” that repair hard drives after any failures.

In fact, there is equipment that allows you to read data from damaged disks, but its operation requires compliance with certain requirements and conditions, for example, the drive electronics must be in good condition, the surface of disks without scratches, etc. The element itself will only be subject to recovery after repair. recycling. So there’s no dispute about how to repair a damaged hard drive. This is a resolved question. The task here is completely different - how to recover information from the hard disk.

  • You can recover lost data in any situation using free software.

In fact, free utilities work only with the simplest cases, because an effective algorithm has a developer who will not just distribute the results of his work.Most often, the simplest programs allow you to recover only recently deleted files, and serious failures require the use of professional software.

How to prevent the problem?

With regard to protecting hard drives from damage, manufacturers have created a lot of different technologies. Some are better, others worse. At least, hard drives in laptops freely withstand work while driving a car and carrying a computer within the house from room to room.

But what this most important component never learned to withstand is the fall, especially when it is on. The most common cause of failure is precisely shock, so the question of how to protect the hard drive from damage, there is one answer. It is necessary to protect it from shock and strong shaking. And do not have to wrestle with how to restore the hard drive.

In other cases, a variety of technologies are quite effective and able to recover all lost data.

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