A hard drive crash can be catastrophic; it can result in a few corrupt files to loss of entire data on your computer including the operating system. You may also lose crucial business data or precious photos of your loved ones and times that you can’t relive again.
In such a scenario, you can always rely on a data recovery software to salvage your lost data. But before that, let’s look at some of the most common mistakes to avoid that can help increase the chances of data recovery.
10 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid After a Hard Drive Crash
It is in human nature to panic whenever a disaster hits. However, panicking and improper handling of a crashed hard drive can cause further damage to it that could result in a severe data loss situation. Therefore, you must act appropriately in order to ensure maximum data recovery from your logically failed or crashed hard drive.
Following are the 10 most common mistakes that you must avoid after a hard drive crash to improve the odds of data recovery.
1. Using the Hard Drive After Crash
After a hard drive has crashed, you should immediately stop using it, as it can adversely affect the data recovery process. If you continue using your hard drive, the existing data might get overwritten by the new that can make data recovery nearly impossible.
2. Re-creating Partitions
Some people believe creating a new partition in the same location would bring the files back, but on the contrary, it can overwrite the lost data and can inversely affect the data recovery process.
Sometimes when a hard drive crashes, partitions are lost or get corrupt. However, that does not remove the files from the partition permanently. When a partition is deleted only the partition information along with the Master File Table (MFT) is removed. Similarly, file system errors due to crash cause drive corruption. The data remains where it was; it’s just that the computer does not recognize it. Although data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery can recover data from such deleted and corrupt partition.
3. Running Data Recovery Software Directly on a Crashed Drive
A crashed hard drive should be handled carefully when it comes to recovery of your important files.
Running just any data recovery software can severely harm the drive and cause needless wear and tear on the drive that could lead to drive failure.
Therefore, it’s highly recommended to use a professional data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows that comes with options such as ‘Recover from a disk image’ and ‘Clone Disk’.
The ‘Recover from Disk image’ option helps you restore data from a corrupt and crashed hard drive by creating its virtual copy. Once the disk image is created, you can run data recovery directly on the disk image, which saves your hard drive from further wear and tear. Similarly, Clone Disk option lets you create a replica of your weak, affected hard drive on a new drive where later you can run the recovery software to restore your data.
4. Running CHKDSK Scan
CHKDSK is recommended when your hard drive or any other storage media gets corrupt due to file system errors. However, running CHKDSK on a crashed hard drive can be disastrous not only for your drive but also for the data trapped inside.
CHKDSK scan can take a lot of time depending on the size of hard drive and puts the drive under additional stress during scan and repair process. This could have a serious implication on the drive that can lead to permanent drive failure.
Moreover, CHKDSK won’t help in the long run, so avoid running CHKDSK scan.
5. De-fragmenting the Drive
A highly fragmented drive is much likely to crash and fail as it has to work and spin more to retrieve traces of data that your system is trying to access. Fragmentation puts additional load on the drive during data recovery that can cause overheating and result in severe consequences such as drive failure or permanent damage to the platter.
Additionally, de-fragmentation is something not recommended after a hard drive crash. Especially after data loss as de-fragmentation overwrites the unallocated blocks left behind by accidentally deleted, lost, or formatted files. FYI, recovering overwritten files is impossible with any data recovery software.
6. Heat, Freeze or Knock the Hard Drive
A quite common myth that revolves around the internet suggests that one can repair a crashed hard drive by freezing or heating it. This myth is very popular, and you will find several videos on YouTube claiming that freezing and knocking a crashed or stuck hard drive can repair it. However, that’s entirely a hoax and can have negative implications on your hard drive and data in it.
Freezing can lead to moisture build-up inside the drive that could damage the internals of the drive. Similarly, heating the drive can affect the magnetic property of the platter that holds your data. And knocking your drive can damage the internal mechanics such as actuator leading to irreversible damage. Once a drive is damaged, software can’t help, and you will require a professional data recovery expert’s help to get your crucial data back which also involves high cost.
7. Repair Hard Drive Physically
Opening a hard drive can cause permanent damage to the drive and the magnetic platter that contains your crucial data. Physical investigation of your drive can cost you a hefty amount of money as small dust particles, temperature change, humidity in your room and even a small scratch from the screwdriver on platter or electronics while disassembling the drive can cause permanent damage to your drive and data. So leave such complicated tasks for the professionals.
8. Formatting the Drive
When a hard drive crashes, a dialogue message may pop up asking you to format the drive. You should never follow any prompt blindly as recovery from a fully formatted hard drive is near to impossible. However, you can always opt for a data recovery service that can successfully recover data even from a physically damaged hard drive.
9. Saving Files in the Same Location
It is highly recommended that you use a secondary hard drive to save the recoverable data. Trying to store data on the recovery hard drive poses the risk of data overwriting and leaves no scope of recovery; you may even lose the data permanently. You can use an external drive to save recovered files. Moreover, intelligently designed data recovery software such as Stellar Data recovery Professional doesn’t allow you to save recovered data on the same drive or volume, which saves you from damaging the lost data.
10. Not Keeping a Regular Backup
Maintaining a regular backup of your important files and folders is the best way to combat data loss situations. But being humans, we act when the worst has happened. If you have lost data and do not have a readily available backup, a reliable data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional can help recover your data quickly and feasibly.
Stellar Data Recovery Professional is a highly effective and efficient software to recover data from a crashed hard drive. As mentioned earlier, the software lets you image and clone your disk, and facilitates secure recovery without further damaging your hard drive. It even recovers data from formatted, inaccessible, deleted, and severely corrupt hard drives or partitions.
It is natural to panic after your hard drive has crashed. However, in such a critical moment, you must know the next appropriate step as it will decide whether you will be able to retrieve your data or not. By avoiding aforementioned mistakes such as using the hard drive after a crash, re-creating partitions, formatting the hard drive, and more – you can increase your chances of data recovery. Keeping a backup of your system is the best method to protect your data against disasters such as a hard drive crash.
However, if you don’t have a backup, use Stellar Data Recovery Professional to salvage your data. This is a do-it-yourself software for all your data recovery needs. The software recovers hundreds of file types by default, with inclusion of limitless file types by using file header.