Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How to Recover Data From a Faulty Computer

You start your PC and bang! Blue screen Error. Computer cannot boot because of hard drive failure. You need your files ASAP. What do you do?

One of the most important rules in computing is the one rule that most people forget. Some don't even know it. If you don't know it, don't despair.  "All hard drives eventually fail". It could be from physical damage or just corruption. Which ever way it is, the disk stops functioning normally. 

So what do you do if you find yourself with this problem. Obviously the first thing to do is Panic. Then relax and remember that it is very difficult to actually loss data from a hard drive. Even if you socked in it water.

Now data recovery can be a very expensive process costing you up to $1000. Sometimes you can do it yourself. I will be as brief as possible and highlight all the simple ways you can do this even if you were not the top I.T student in college.

First of all, having computer failure doesn't necessarily mean hard drive failure. It could simply be a problem with your operating system. This happens when your boot files get corrupted by some malware or if you accidentally deleted them.

If this is your problem then you have two simple ways of salvaging your data and fixing the hard drive as well. 

1. Use a Linux Live CD (Ubuntu Live)
2. Extract hard drive from PC and connect it to another PC via USB port.

 Use a Linux Live CD (Ubuntu Live)

This is the simplest way assuming you have some basic knowledge of Operating System installation. Fear not however because you will not be installing an entire OS on your system. Just insert the Live CD into your computer's optical drive slot and boot from CD. 

Follow the instructions on screen and load Linux/ Ubuntu without installing it fully onto the system. This leaves your hard drive intact. After the computer has booted , navigate the Linux OS and Back up your files to another hard drive.

Extract hard drive from PC and connect it to another PC via USB port.

Extract your PC's hard drive and connect it to another computer using an external SATA-USB connector. (External Hard drive USB connector). This connects your hard drive to another PC as an external hard drive. Back up your files to another drive

You can format your hard drive later and fix your operating system.

If your hard drive is physically damaged then you need to panic some more because non of the above methods are gonna help you out. 
In fact  data recovery of this nature is very expensive as the hard drive has to be opened up in a safe environment, the disks removed and reassembled. This is only for those where the data is more valuable than the cars they drive..  This is done only by trained professionals. So don't drop your hard drive.

Note: If you want to recover data that you may have accidentally deleted from a perfectly working hard drive, Just download some data recovery software and follow instructions.

Your are welcome to share any other simple methods you may be using.