We all keep a significant part of our lives on digital devices these days. Even if you aren’t someone who needs to use their laptop for work, you will likely use it for a number of social interactions and communications purposes. In the age of digital photography, our phones and laptops constitute our photo albums. They often hold the only evidence of many of our most memorable and treasured experiences.
It can therefore be a devastating loss to lose access to a laptop or other hard drive which contains a significant amount of data and information that means a great deal to us. The good news is that, barring serious physical damage to the storage medium itself, data is usually recoverable from laptops that have stopped working. If the laptop has suffered a software rather than a hardware issue, data can usually be recovered.
If you are facing the death of a laptop that still contains stuff that you need, this guide is for you. There is usually something that you can do in order to recover the data.
Connect the Hard Drive to Another Computer
Before you can do any diagnostics or recovery on a dead hard drive, you need to connect it to a machine that is able to read its contents. With a laptop hard drive, you will need to remove the hard drive from inside the machine first, and then fit it into a hard drive cage so that it can be connected as if it was an external hard drive. Check out this guide if you are unsure how to proceed.
Copy the Data to Another Hard Drive
Once you have connected the hard drive you are trying to recover to another computer, the first thing to do is check that your computer can see the hard drive. If it can’t, you are going to have to speak to a professional service, someone like Secure Data, who are able to recover files from your hard drive for you.
If the second computer is immediately able to see the drive and the files that are stored on it, you simply need to copy them over and you are done! If, on the other hand, the computer is able to see the hard drive, but not the files on it, you need some data recovery software.
Running Recovery Software
A lot of the time, even if a computer cannot apparently see the data on a hard drive, and believes it to be empty, it is still there. Sometimes, it is something called the master boot record (MBR) which becomes corrupted. Without the MBR, Windows is unable to see the files on a drive, but data recovery software will be able to find any files that are on there.
When a laptop fails, and we think that all the data contained within has been lost, it can be a very scary experience. It can seem as if, in a single moment, you have lost access to a wealth of treasured memories. Fortunately, this is not always the case. It is always worth trying to recover data, and even asking a professional data recovery service if you need one, even when things seem bleak.