What happens when your hard drive fails and you have no backup?
There are two types of hard drive failures.

  • Logical failure – the hard drive is in working order but some files or data cannot be accessed for logical reasons such as a lost partition or accidental reformatting.
  • Mechanical failure – the hard drive is not functioning. The most common causes are head crashes and motor failures.

Determining which one you have encountered will make it easier to determine what type of recovery service you will require. Logical failures happen when data gets “lost” and the hard drive cannot retrieve it. These are the easiest failures to recover since the data is mostly there. A data recovery professional will have a high degree of success retrieving data from logical failures since they have special tools which can find this lost data. The cost for a logical recovery is normally in the hundreds of dollars.
How do you determine if you have a logical or mechanical failure? Mechanical failures are normally easy to diagnose as you will hear strange noises from the hard drive like clicking or buzzing. A normal hard drive has a faint hum due to the spinning disks inside. If you have a mechanical failure, stop using the hard drive immediately. Every second the hard drive is on increases the potential damage to the disk. A data recovery professional will need to disassemble the hard drive in a clean room and retrieve the data off the platters using sophisticated tools. The cost for a mechanical recovery is normally in the high hundreds and sometimes thousands.
Have you ever had to recover data from a failed hard drive? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.