What's the first thing that most would consider when encountering hard drive failure? Check the internet, of course. That's what everybody with an internet connection does with any problem these days, and in this case it’s the bare minimum to find information. However, that won’t guarantee professional advice and if you don't pay attention, then it's easy to fall prey to suggestions that only makes things worse, potentially causing more damage and even completely losing the data forever. You’ll see all kinds of crazy stuff that people have tried at home but if you fall for these unrecommended data recovery methods, then be prepared for the worst.
1. Tap the HDD With a Hammer
It can happen to anyone with an HDD: the head gets stuck and the drive won't read any information stored on the device. People with minor knowledge of HDDs looking for solutions may give in to tips offering to free up stuck heads.
This is how they may end up ‘undressing’ their HDD so they can put a screwdriver between the head arm and the platter to free the head. Another suggested method is to tap the HDD with a hammer. Or to drop it on the floor and hope everything will get back to normal.
The ugly truth is that this method will only make things worse. If the hard drive had any signs of life before the ‘surgery’, it won't afterwards. If the head is stuck on the platter's surface, a hammer tap could cause the glider to break off the head arm, resulting in a head scraping on the platter surface, creating debris and surface damage. In other words, the HDD will become useless.
2. Put the HDD in the Freezer
If you have heard of this free tip for breathing life into a failed hard drive, don't fall for it: “One of the methods I have used before is to actually remove the drive from the PC, place it in the freezer for a day, then quickly put it back in the machine and try to access it.” Does that sound crazy? Yes. Is it crazy? Yes! Should you do that with your failed drive? Absolutely not!
The theory behind it is kind of plausible: freezing the hard drive hopefully shrinks the platters enough so that they are temporarily not rubbing against the magnetic head, so when it is plugged back into the computer the users will be able to read data again.
There is just a ‘minor’ problem with this theory. Hard drives are designed to operate within certain environmental conditions and a freezer can cause moisture to form inside the hard drive on the platters, so when it is powered on the dampness can easily render them useless.
3. Switch the Damaged Circuit Board With a Good One
The theory says that if you have a hard drive with a failed circuit board, then it's easy to fix: just swap it with a new one and everything goes back to normal.
Don't fall for it. This may have worked ten years ago, but don't try it with the latest generation of hard disks for two reasons: you’d firstly need the skills and tools to swap the circuit board, and even if you had those skills there’d still be questions surrounding circuit board compatibility. Finding a compatible board is not an easy task and even if it is possible, there are still many factors to consider like the model and its different variants. The frustrating truth is that the same model can have a slew of variants, which makes finding a compatible part harder.
So, what's the best option you have for recovering lost data? Well, first of all, any site you visit you should check its information for credibility, and then if you still need help then seek professional assistance. Most data recovery apps have free versions, so it’s possible to at least test the drive so you know whether it's a logical failure or mechanical one.
Best Data Recovery Software of 2020
Best Data Recovery Software for PC
|Editor's Choice 2020|
Best Data Recovery Software for Mac
|Editor's Choice 2020|