Drive Failures and Data Recovery

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What happens when your main drive and your backup drive fail at the same time and you lose your media?

Here is a list of some data recovery software suggested by users:


Here are two other techniques suggested:

  • Freezing the hard drive. This requires placing the hard drive in a freezer for about 24 hours. When sure the drive is frozen, quickly connect it (you will have about 20 minutes before it approaches room temperature) and move the data to a predetermined location.
  • Replacing the platters requires taking the faulty hard drive apart and carefully removing the platters. Replace the platters in a known good hard drive of the same manufacturer and part number. If the data can be retrieved, transfer it to another hard drive, and junk the other two. This technique assumes the fault is in the hard drive electronics, and not in the platters. Use precautions to keep dust and dandruff off of the platters. Wear latex gloves and handle the platters by the outer edges.


Here are some recommendations to avoid this problem from happening:

  • Backup your data!
  • Do not buy more than one hard drive from the same place / manufacturer at a time. They could come from a bad batch and you would have the same problems perhaps at the same time.
  • Run hard disk defragmenter
  • Check on the health of the drives from time to time. One tool is SpeedFan. It is primarily used to monitor voltages, fan speeds, and temperatures in computers with hardware monitor chips, but it has the ability to do an online analysis of S.M.A.R.T. data.


If you do lose everything, here's a tip:

  • As long as you have the CDs and shiny new drives, look at it as an excuse to evaluate lossless formats, rethink your naming scheme, and sit back while you re-rip.