Like other kinds of storage devices, the hard drive may be corrupted all of a sudden. And this could result from a lot of reasons. In this passage, I’d like to show you an efficient way to recover files after a hard drive crash. Besides, I’ll also tell you the signs that indicate hard drive bad sector/track.

During computer use, the hard drive is consciously or unconsciously damaged and this usually leads to crash and data loss. Therefore, how to recover data after hard drive crash becomes a frequently asked question among users.

I found many people are discussing this issue in the major forums: how to get files off a computer that won't boot . If you are one of those victims who really want to restore your hard drive, I’m sure what I will say in the following content is going to help you a lot.

hard drive crashes

What are you expected to do when a hard drive is crashed before you have any chance to transfer your data? Please follow the steps given below to recover from hard drive failure as quickly as you can.

  1. Firstly, you need to understand that hard drive crash maybe not as horrible as you thought. On the contrary, if you follow the solutions I'll introduce below, you're able to finish hard drive crash recovery easily and independently.
  2. Secondly, you should get MiniTool Power Data Recovery now, no matter you’re stuck in data loss problem currently or not. This data recovery program has been proven to help a large number of people regain missing files. Want to know the best part? It doesn’t require much computer knowledge and you only need to complete 3 simple steps to finish the recovery task.

Take Actions Quickly When Hard Drive Crashes

As I said before, hard drive crash is not so devastating. I provide 3 choices for you to recover data from a crashed hard drive.

3 Choices for Crashed Hard Drive Data Recovery

1. Check Windows Recycle Bin.

The first choice you can rely on when encountering a broken hard drive is checking Windows Recycle Bin. Sometimes, the files are not really missing; they’re just moved to Recycle Bin due to careless operations, virus attack, etc.

To Complete Recycle Bin Recovery, This Is What You Should Know.

2. Turn to the backups.

The second choice is to turn to the backups you’ve made before the crash occurred. Find them directly to recover data from dead hard drive/crashed hard drive.

But, if those two choices don’t work for you, you need to try the third one.

3. Use MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

The third choice is using MiniTool Power Data Recovery . It is regarded as one of the best recovery tools by numerous users. Its “ Hard Disk Drive ” option is designed for corrupted/crashed/damaged hard drive recovery .

This software owns the following merits:

excellent compatibility

How to recover files from dead external hard drive?

You must stop using the crashed disk at once. Then, choose the best solution for you to recover data from it ASAP!

How to Recover Data after Hard Drive Crash on Windows

Preparations : use the trial edition – download and install it to a safe place ( you should not choose the damaged drive for software installation ).

Free Download

Hard Drive Recovery Steps

Step 1 : you are supposed to choose an appropriate option from the software main interface. In general, you need to select “ Hard Disk Drive ”/“ Removable Disk Drive ” to recover files from hard drive after a sudden crash ( the hard disk failure will not delete existing partitions under normal circumstances ).

select Hard Disk Drive or Removable Disk Drive”

Four options:

  • " This PC ": this will list all the local drives and the partition on mobile disks for you.
  • " Removable Disk Drive ": this will show you all the removable disk drives.
  • " Hard Disk Drive ": by selecting this, you are able to see all the hard disk drives mounted on the current computer.
  • " CD/DVD Drive ": after selecting this, all the CD/DVD discs that have been inserted to and recognized by the computer will appear.

Step 2 : select the crashed hard drive from the right area of software interface and click on the “ = Scan ” button to continue.

In the lower right corner, there is also a “ Settings ” button next to the “ Scan ” button. It is very useful when you only need to find back certain types of files. In this case, you should click on the “ Settings ” button before clicking on the “ Scan ” button; then, check the file types you need and then click on the “ OK ” button to confirm.



If you want to recover data from external hard drive, but it doesn't appear in this interface, you should read External Hard Drive Doesn't Appear – How To Fix & Recover Data . Obviously, it tells you how to recover data from hard disk which is not detecting and how to recover data from the not recognized external hard drive.

Step 3 : then, you will see a lot of folders and files found by the software. Now, please do the following things:

  1. Check files you want to recover.
  2. Click on the “ Save ” button.
  3. Choose the destination for them.
  4. Click on the “ OK ” button to confirm.
  5. Wait for the completion of the recovery.

Now, the entire process to recover data from damaged hard drive is finished.

Note: The trial edition only allows you to scan disk and preview found data, so you’ll see the following prompt window after clicking on the “Save” button if you are using the trial edition. Please upgrade it to a full edition with a license to continue recovery.

trial edition limit


If the internal hard disk is crashed and the computer can’t boot, you should resort to the bootable edition and click here to know how to recover data from crashed internal hard disk .

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To recover data on a Mac, you’ll need Stellar Data Recovery .

What Is Hard Drive Crash Exactly

Hard drive crash, namely hard drive damage, is caused by mainly two types of reasons: logical damage and physical damage. The former belongs to soft failure while the latter is a hardware failure, which could hardly be fixed.

  • Logical damage: in general, logical damage includes partition table lost/damage, mbr damage, tracking servo information error, system information error, and section logical error. This kind of damage is usually easy to be recovered by just adopting a professional and dedicated program.
  • Physical damage: however, physical damage refers to the damage of each component of a hard drive. The damaged part must be replaced with a new one in order to get hard drive work normally again. Scratches on a platter, headwear, circuit board’s short circuit, and chip burning are all included in this type of hard drive failure.


Click to know more about the partition table recovery.

Warning: Though you can buy a new hard drive to get rid of the physical damage easily, the important data saved in the original damaged drive may be lost forever. That’s why you should be as careful as you can when using a computer and a hard drive.

Case 1: RAW hard drive problem

Are you familiar with this scenario: hard drive becomes RAW somehow when you try to use it? This is actually a typical kind of hard drive crash that bothers lots of users. According to research, the cause of this problem is very complex; no one can name the exact reasons for sure. But you only need to know that the state of the RAW hard drive is a little bit like the hard drive which hasn’t been initialized yet.

RAW hard drive

Perhaps the only problem lies in how to recover data from RAW hard drive without formatting. How to bring it back to normal state and use for further data storage? Please read this passage to find answers:

How To Recover Data From RAW File System/RAW Partition/RAW Drive
How To Recover Data From RAW File System/RAW Partition/RAW Drive

With the powerful data recovery tool that will be introduced in this article, even an inexperienced user is able to recover data from RAW drive easily.

Read More

Case 2: formatted hard drive accidentally

Accidental disk formatting is also another major factor that could lead to serious data loss. Once the formatting is done, nothing left in the target drive. And it is unlike deletion situation, in which you can try to check the Recycle Bin to find deleted data. Nevertheless, you don’t need to worry too much if you want to recover data from the hard drive after formatting.

accidental disk formatting

That is because data will not be really removed out from the drive to which formatting has been performed. On the contrary, they still stay at the same place where they were located before getting overwriting ( they remain recoverable unless new data are written in and take the place of them ).

But before that happens, you have a lot of time to successfully recover data after hard drive crash with a wonderful program.

Case 3: partition lost from hard drive

In addition to partition formatting, partition loss is also a horrible accident. It’s a nightmare for users who stored significant personal data & business documents on the lost drive. Causes for this problem can be generally divided into two types: human error and unexpected hardware/soft failure.

  • Human error means that people deleted partitions or necessary files for partition displaying carelessly while using a computer.
  • Hardware failure basically refers to the physical damage of hard drive while soft failure includes system crash, virus attack, software conflict, and so on.

You also needn’t worry too much when you’re in face of partition loss caused by soft failures since you can select “ Hard Disk Drive ” in MiniTool Power Data Recovery to restore data from lost partition.

In all the above cases, Recycle Bin is not helpful at all. At this time, you have no choice but to turn to previous backups ( if you have ) or resort to the free edition/advanced edition of MiniTool Power Data Recovery I’ve asked you to download at the beginning of this post.

6 Signs That Indicates Bad Sector/Track

For users’ information, there are 6 signs that may indicate a bad sector / bad track . Please pay enough attention to those signs so as to rescue your significant data timely from the hard drive before it finally becomes dead.

  1. Weird sound : A weird sound/noise is coming from the computer when it is started normally ( for instance, a clicking hard drive ).
  2. Boot failure : Data Error Reading Drive D:, General Failure Reading Drive C: or Sector Not Found error message appears and leads to boot failure , while virus infection is excluded.
  3. CHKDSK runs at startup : if the Microsoft ScanDisk runs automatically to detect disk error each time when the system is booted successfully, there may be some bad sectors /tracks.
  4. Get stuck to a certain point : when performing FDISK to hard disk, you find it was stuck at a certain point, going forward and backward repeatedly.
  5. Fail to format a drive : when you plan to format a partition on the hard drive, the process is stuck in a certain stage and error finally occurs, making you end up in failure.
  6. Hard drive read error : it appears constantly when a file is reading or a program is running, suggesting file corruption and other information. Besides, if the disk reading process takes too long or the blue screen appears during reading, it also suggests that there’s bad sector/track on the hard

How to recover CHKDSK deleted files?

Here’s the conclusion:

When any one of those signs shows up, please take actions immediately to rescue your data from the internal hard drive or external hard drive so as to avoid permanent data loss.

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Bottom Line

Hard drive crash is unavoidable; I have to admit this fact. But what you need to understand well after reading this post is: hard disk failure is not so devastating. Your data may get lost during the crash, or even worse, your entire hard drive becomes RAW and you lose access to all data in it; but please do not get anxious too early.

No matter which case you’re confronted with, I can help; I provide useful methods for you to recover data after hard drive crash. You just need to follow the steps I have illustrated above in order to recover files from failed hard drive so easily and conveniently.

Besides, you should pay enough attention to the hard drive crash cases I have mentioned and the signs that may indicate a bad sector/track. In this way, you’re able to do the right thing and avoid hard drive failure to a certain extent.

How to Recover Data after Hard Drive Crash FAQ

How can I recover data from a damaged external hard drive?
It's easy to recover data from a dead external hard drive as long as it is not damaged physically. You should connect the external hard drive to computer & make it appear; then, launch a recovery tool to scan the drive; after that select the files you need to recover.
Can you get files off a dead computer?
Yes, you can use MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover files from a dead computer easily unless catastrophic accident happens and damages hard drive physically. You should create a bootable disk on another computer and then connect it to boot your dead PC for recovery.
Will data be lost if motherboard is replaced?
In fact, the replacement of motherboard won’t do anything harm to the hard drive data. However, you will need to perform a clean install of Windows if you have replaced the motherboard with a different model. Otherwise, it will not boot from the HDD.
Does removing RAM delete anything?
The change of installed memory on your computer will not delete anything; it will not have any impact on the things stored on hard drive. The only problem is your motherboard may fail to receive additional memory, so you should figure this out in advance. Protection Status

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