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How to fix a faulty hard disk

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Oh no! You tried to turn on your computer, and it provided an error message saying your hard disk could not be detected. Maybe you could hear clicking noises from the insides of your computer. What’s to be done?

We at Itsfixed, the Computer Repairs Melbourne specialists, often get these calls from our customers, often panicking that they may have lost their valuable documents, photos, and music. By this time, it’s usually too late to ask them why they didn’t do backups (if they had, we wouldn’t be having the conversation right?) – so it’s down to see what we can do to help.

This article will take you through some basic troubleshooting that you can do.

Maybe your disk is fine after all

Sometimes a cable connecting to the disk has gotten loose. Or you just need to reboot your computer a few times. Try the following:

  1. Turn the computer off, unplug the power adaptor from the wall, wait 10 minutes, plug the power adaptor back in and turn on the computer
  2. Run a diagnostic test. Most hard drive manufacturers offer free diagnostic tools for assessing the health of your drive. Go to their website and grab the latest version of the software.
  3. If you know how to open up your computer, and know what your hard disk looks like – open up your computer and visually inspect the hard disk. Check that the cables have not come loose.
  4. Try putting the hard disk into another computer. You can get simple USB universal drive adaptors that make this easy – they cost about $30-$50. Of course, you need to know how to take a hard disk out and install it into another computer! If the disk works – then you know that your data is safe, and it’s more likely your motherboard or power supply in your computer. Time to call the experts.

If none of these help, then you need to face the prospect that your disk has failed. There are two types of failures – logical and physical failures.

Logical Failures

A logical failure is one where the drive’s hardware is functioning fine, but a software issue on the drive is preventing access to the data. In this situation, the data is most likely still on the drive, but you need tools to get access to the data.

There are several out there – here are a few that we recommend:

Most of these tools will detect files for free, but you will need to pay to recover them.

Physical Failures

A physical failure is one where your drive has broken parts that prevent it from working. You often can hear a telltale clicking or ginding noise from the hard disk. Your data is probably there – but you’re not going to be able to get at it without expert help, and it won’t be cheap. Still – most of our customers prefer to pay to get back their precious data.

Prevention is always better than the cure!

Of course, we can’t re-iterate the importance of making sure you have a backup regime in place, so that this problem will never affect you in the first place! Several free online tools exist, allowing you to back up to a separate external drive or to the cloud, or both.

We can help!

If all this seems too daunting too you – don’t worry. It’s what we do, and we have been helping our customers recover data from hard drives for years. Or better still, we can help you ensure your data is backed up.

For help to fix your hard disk or any other computer related problems, just contact the Computer Repair Melbourne Experts at Itsfixed Computer Repairs on 1300 600 670.

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