Desktop Hard Drive Data Recovery

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With Datlabs professional data recovery technical expertise and leading edge facilities you get the best possible opportunity to recover your lost data. Our data recovery services rescue data from All types, makes and manufacture of failed, faulty, damaged, crashed, inaccessible and clicking Desktop Hard Disk Drives.

Hard Drive failures can occur as a result of component damage such as electronics, motor, corrupt recording media and faulty read/write heads. In most cases the  failures are caused by misuse or extended utilization beyond the manufacturers recommended limits.

Desktop Hard Drive Data Recovery

Desktop computers are generally robust in their construction and design however long term utilization and misuse can result in consequential failure. At DatLabs we have a wealth of experience in retrieving lost data from failed and faulty desktop hard drives.  If you are concerned that you may have permanently lost access to critical data then get in touch and request a consultation.

Desktop Hard Disk Drive Faults

Desktop hard disk drives are manufactured in a 3.5 inch form factor by either Seagate or Western Digital. They contain one or a number of platters having magnetic properties suitable for non-volatile data storage. Modern platters have high areal storage densities typically accommodating platter capacities of; 500 GByte, 1TByte, 2 TByte and above. Pre-formatted concentric tracks are laid down in the manufacture process and these tracks record digital data.  Read/write heads are attached to an actuator assembly  and these read and write data on the magnetic recording media on the surface of the platters,  under the control of the hard drive microprocessor and operating system.

Desktop computer data recovery

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Troubleshooting Guide

Is my hard disk about to fail? Look out for these symptoms;

Hard Disk Drive Electronic Failure

The majority of hard disk drive electronic faults can be remedied by component substitution,  service area or firmware reprogramming. Once the hard drive is restored to an operational condition the data and files recorded on the magnetic surface of the platters  can then be recovered and transferred to an alternative  hard drive.

Mechanical Failure

Mechanical failure of the read/write heads or motor can often result in damage to the stored data, however in the majority of cases this is not extensive enough to prevent your data from being recovered. Mechanical component substitution in a clean air and ESD compliant environment will often render the hard disk drive operational and the data can then be rescued . In some cases the media damage is however extensive and can cause control and service area corruption beyond what is possible using recovery processes and subsequent data extraction is not possible without complex reprogramming and rebuilding processes.

In cases where your computer is exhibiting symptoms associated with a possible mechanical hard disk drive failure or your data structures and files are not discovered by your operating system then we do not advocate the use of readily available utility programs  as these will often exacerbate problems by further stressing components and recording media resulting in possible further data corruption and damage to the recording medium.

Clicking Hard Disk Drive

Under some failure conditions the hard disk drive will develop clicking, clunking, grinding or buzzing sounds.  The sound of a malfunctioning cooling fan can often be confused with a failing hard drive so to determine which you have carefully open the computer case enclosure and listen closely to the easily identifiable hard drive caddy area of your equipment. (lots of pictures on you tube). you will quickly determine which is the culprit. The clicking sound is caused by the read write head actuator  assembly moving to a recording track co-ordinate , failing to read initial control data and returning sharply to its neutral or home position under the control of the device operating systems. The hard disk drive read write head actuator assembly has an integral powerful magnetic that controls and settles the head transducers with precision over the digital data recording tracks. On modern high areal density recording media  there are upwards of 100,000 concentric data tracks on a hard disk platter surface.

Dead Desktop Hard Disk Drive

If after power on the hard drive is not exhibiting the above then place your hand gently and carefully on top of the hard disk drive. If you can feel a slight vibration then this usually indicates the hard drive motor is spinning. If you feel nothing then power is not getting through to the spindle motor assembly  and this usually indicates your hard disk drive has an electronic component or power supply problem. If you can feel a movement sensation from the drive internals then this indicates the read write head actuator is being engaged and the lack of a boot screen is usually indicative of the read write head malfunction.

Hard Disk Noisy but computer still boots

If your  computer boots but the hard drive is making unfamiliar noises, you  may still be able to take an image of the drive (copy its contents ) before it fails. This however can be a risky option as the process will involve a lot of disk process time and utilization of what are already stressed components and  digital recording media.

Datlabs recommend that in these cases you do not attempt copy the files to an alternative external hard drive because the operating system task processing will further stress the failing hardware and may result in permanent damage to your stored data.

It is true that today’s hard drives are much more reliable than they were 20 years ago  however they are still prone to failure and are not what can be described as the most reliable component in your computer.

If the hard drive will not boot or another system cannot see the hard drive, then your best bet is to contact Datlabs for a free consultation.

Logical Hard Disk Failure

A logical failure occurs when a hard drive is recognized by the OS but data files and folders are not visible or accessible. This can be caused by many different factors including but not limited to human error, operating system malfunction, corrupt partition or file system. Under these circumstances data rescue using standard recovery applications is generally not possible and a professional data recovery solution is needed that can firstly reconstruct the corrupt system data areas that will enable the transfer of available stored data to a more reliable digital data storage device such as a portable external hard drive.