Singapore, Singapore (PressExposure) December 30, 2009 -- The unimaginable has finally happened - your hard disk, chocked full of important data, has crashed, emitting some strange sound or the infamous "click of death". You don't have a back-up of your data, and you are panicking because you need the information stored in your damaged hard drive. But no matter how distressed and desperate you feel, trying to retrieve the data on your own might cause further data loss. That's why we have listed down tips you should carry out to prevent any permanent damage.
1) Do not power up or keep re-restarting your hard disk
If you suspect that your hard disk has crashed, do not power it up or keep re-starting it hoping for a miracle. It's important that the system remained shut down. Forget about going through the shutdown procedure in the event of a crash - just pull the plug out from the wall. Believe it or not, this will decrease the risk of any permanent data loss.
2) Avoid running software recovery tools
If the crash is due to a physical damage, using software utility, such as Window's CHKDSK (short for Checkdisk), could worsen the situation and further diminish any chances of recovery. This action might result in a permanent damage to the data platter if the issue of hardware component failure is not resolved first. Only if you are sure that it's a logical file system error (such as file system corruption or data deletion), then you may try using software recovery tools. Even so, you have to do it right and not accidentally re-write the recovered data into the same disk. It is important to note that reformatting will not fix your hard drive and it may even lead to the further complication in recovering the data.
3) Refrain from opening up the drive yourself
Handling the delicate parts of a damaged hard drive should only be carried out in a "class 100" clean room (an industry standard) to avoid any contaminations. "Class 100" clean rooms are cleared of any pollutants in the air, then you also need some special or proprietary equipment in order to fix the internal parts of hard drives.
4) Do not resort to strange, quirky practices
Although it's natural to 'google' for information on fixing your hard drive, those quirky "life-saving" techniques that you find discussed online may do your hard drive more harm than good. For example, some users insist that placing the faulty hard drive in a freezer will fix it. Although the low temperature will contract the metal bits for it to work for a few minutes, condensation will eventually take place and your data, which may be salvageable before, could now become permanently unrecoverable.
Another common technique is to hit it with a screwdriver. There is no logic whatsoever to this method. No matter how hard you tap on it with your screwdriver, it will remain damaged. Also, purposely dropping it or hitting it against a hard surface is simply deplorable. Common sense will tell you that it will put your hard disk in an even worse situation.
5) Leave it to professionals
Consult a professional data recovery service provider for an assessment. In the case of physical failures, be sure that your chosen vendor has a "class 100" clean lab. Ensure that the vendor adheres to strict data confidentiality if you have sensitive data in your hard drive. Make it known to the vendor not to use third-party outsource and ensure that they have a secured environment to prevent data theft. Ask around or search online for recommendations and genuine testimonials from past customers.
When you are experiencing hard disk crash, the best thing you should do is to immediately seek professional advice and refrain from tampering with your hard drive. This is your best chance of recovering the important data in your damaged hard drive.