Plethora of hard drive failure recovery tools are available in the market that promises to recover your lost data. However, after testing more than two dozen of them, we realized most of them were ineffective and the ones that did recover data charged a hefty fee. A data recovery software is a one-time investment and you should possess it given the important of data.
Did you know? Accidental deletion of data is one of the primary reasons millions of people lose data every day. Data such as pictures and videos of your marriage, or other such cherished moment that you cannot relive; you must protect such data from loss. However, we recommend not making any hasty decision while purchasing a hard drive failure recovery software.
First things first, data deleted from your computer is not actually deleted but only the directory information of the file or folder is removed – what it means is, the path through which the operating system locates your file is removed and thus the OS cannot find your file. However, your pictures and videos are present within the hard drive unless you overwrite them with some other file.
Therefore, it is essential once you identify you have lost some data stop using the drive or the files may be overwritten. Once you overwrite a disk, data is beyond the scope of recovery. This method is data erasing – you overwrite a data multiple times by zeros and ones using several different standards such as Bruce Schneier’s Algorithm, Air Force System Security Instruction 5020, BSI-GSE, and more. This method wipes the data beyond the scope of recovery.
In this blog, we will be talking about the various free methods we can use for hard drive failure recover:
Method 1: Recover Data using Command Prompt (only for advanced users familiar with the use of Command Prompt)
- Search cmd and enter Command Prompt in Admin mode
- Type chkdsk “drive” /f and hit Enter
- Type the command C:\Users\TheVirtualWriter>chkdsk E: /f
- Type Y to those preceding commands until command line begins
- Again type the code C:\Users\TheVirtualWriter>E: and hit enter ( this command will take you to the start after scanning and converting the files on the drive )
- Type E:\>attrib -h -r -s /s /d *.* (this command will recover your files)
All the recovered files will be in .CSK format and you need to convert them to the original format. This is a time taking task, as you have to convert the files one at a time. Even though we have provided this method, we recommend using a free data recovery software.
Method 2: Recover using Recuva – Free Data Recovery Software
Recuva is a top software in the class of free data recovery software. The software is highly effective in recovering data from hard drives, CD or DVDs, external drives, and memory cards. It restores all your deleted data with the original file name and location. There are numerous free data recovery software in the market; however, there are only few that come close to Recuva in photo and hard drive recovery. During the recovery process, if Recuva discovers two files with the same name, the software renames it to eliminate name conflict. Some of the features that make that software the best in its class are:
- Advanced deep scan mode found in paid data recovery software
- Effective file recovery
- Overwrite feature that uses military standard deletion – a feature not found even in paid data recovery software
- Recovers files from damaged and formatted drives
- Easy user interface
- Option to preview prior to recovery
- A whole lot on the offer for free
- Supports FAT and NTFS file system
Method 3: Recover using Stellar Data Recovery Software – Advanced Recovery
A paid hard drive failure data recovery software has its advantages; it offers highly advanced features that a free software does not provide. Stellar has several data recovery software to offer – ranging from photo, JPEG, data recovery for Windows, for Mac to advanced software for technicians. Two of the software solutions that we liked the most are Windows Data Recovery Professional and Mac Data Recovery Professional. These two solutions are highly feature rich and far superior to other products in the market. Some of the features of the two software that make them such an attractive option are:
- Both the software recovers from HDD, USB, Memory Cards, and CD-DVD & Other Storage Devices.
- The solutions also flaunt a powerful deep scan, which can recover files from severely corrupt hard drives.
- Stellar’s Mac Data Recovery Software can even retrieve your deleted Time Machine backup and from an encrypted hard drive.
- You can also recover files from a drive with bad sectors.
- The solutions also provide you with the option to create disk image of the corrupted drive.
- Both the solutions are compatible with their respective latest OS Windows 10 & macOS High Sierra.
A data recovery software is very helpful when you have lost your data; however, we will not recommend buying a software as the free version of Recuva will suffice for most of your data loss needs. Nevertheless, if you wish to purchase a software, Stellar also offers goods products, but if you are going to spend money we suggest you do your own research and find a software that best suits your individual needs and budget.