How to Recover Data from a Dead/Failed/Damaged Hard Drive?

wondering how to recover data from the damaged or failed hard drive? This article will tell you everything about dead or damaged hard drives with the simple data recovery methods.


Are you wondering how to recover data from the damaged or failed hard drive? This free guide will tell you everything about dead or damaged hard drives and the simple data recovery methods.

Table of contents:

What is a dead or damaged hard drive?

Reasons for a hard drive damage

How to know your hard drive is failing?

Is it possible to recover data from a dead hard drive?

Recover data from a damaged/ corrupt hard drive disk

Tips to avoid data loss from dead/ damaged hard drive

Most of the time, when a hard drive is damaged, your data will be at stake. However, you can recover data from dead or damaged hard drives by understanding the type of damage caused to your hard drive.

Damaged hard drive

Hard drive damage can be broadly classified into two types: Logical and physical.

Physical Damage:  

Any damage to the working components of your drive can lead your hard drive to fail. When you cause damage to the mechanical components, the computer fails to boot up or displays continuous errors while accessing files. In addition, a physically damaged hard drive sometimes makes a clicking noise when you access it.

Logical Damage:

Corruption in the drive or software problems leads to logical failure of the hard drive, i.e., although your hard drive is physically functional (recognized by the BIOS), you will not be able to access any data on it. The hard drive logically fails when the engineering chip is corrupt, or firmware fails. Also, improper formatting or virus intrusion can lead to logical damage to the hard drive.

Dead hard drive:

Dead Hard Drive is the result of either a mechanical components breakdown/hardware problem or logical/software issues related to the drive.

Note: It is easy to recover data from a dead hard drive due to software problems. If your drive is physically damaged or failed due to hardware problems, all you need to do is replace the hard disk.

Reasons for a Hard Drive Damage

  • Hard drive damage is generally caused when a hard drive experiences a physical shock, such as hitting, falling over, or dropping. This shock can lead to a head crash or damage to the platters.
  • Excessive usage of the drive can cause device overheating and leads to hard drive failure.
  • Sudden power surges or outages can cause severe damage to electronic devices if proper care is not taken and can lead to application crashes and corruption of the hard drive.
  • Hard drives come with a limited lifespan. Everyday rigorous use of the device may slow down the system and lead to application crashes. As a result, the hard drive fails to function appropriately.
  • Other reasons that cause hard drive damage may include manufacturing faults, system errors, or malware/virus attacks.

How to Know if Your Drive is Failing?

Here are the most common indications of a hard drive getting dead:

  • The computer starts freezing and takes a longer time to open when you access even a small-sized file stored on the drive
  • A laptop takes prolonged boot time every time you start. It is an early indication that the hard drive may die anytime soon.
  • As mentioned earlier, mechanical failure on the drive can easily be witnessed when you use your computer. In addition, you can observe the physical damage on the hard drive by hearing the noise while running.

Is It Possible to Recover Data from Dead or Damaged Hard Drives?

Yes, you can recover data from the damaged or dead hard drive. However, the hard drive data recovery probability is based on the drive you are trying to recover data from. Data loss can happen in any of the drives, be it an internal or an external hard drive or SSD. The information below helps you understand the success rate of hard drive data recovery.

Internal Hard Disk Drive or HDDs:

If your internal hard drive is damaged (physical), the chances of data recovery become difficult. However, if a logical failure causes the hard disk to fail, this can easily be solved, and with the help of methods explained in the next section, you can recover data from the damaged internal hard drive.

External Hard Disks:

External hard drives are similar to internal hard drives. If the mechanical parts are damaged, the recovery of data from the damaged hard drive becomes impossible as the hard drive will be undetected by the computer. However, if the external drive is dead due to its file system failure, you can easily retrieve the data using methods explained in the next section.

Solid State Drives(SSD):

SSD data recovery is more complicated than the other two hard drives. This is because SSD has a unique TRIM feature that enables the computer’s operating system to erase the data blocks when they are no longer used. If trim is enabled, it becomes impossible to recover data from the SSD.

How to Recover Data from a Damaged Hard Drive?

There are three different approaches to recovering data from a damaged hard drive. First, use a safe and secure data recovery tool (recommended) or try recovering data using disk management or CMD Prompt.

Recover Data from the Damaged Hard Drive with Yodot

With its unique recovery algorithm, the Yodot hard drive recovery tool can easily retrieve data from corrupt or damaged drives.

Access Data from the Hard Drive Using Disk Management

You can use Disk management to access data from internal and external hard drives. However, this method is recommended only if you have a backup of your data, as it involves formatting the drive. Formatting the hard drive without backup can lead to permanent data loss. If you do not have any backups, it is wise to use professional Yodot data recovery software to retrieve your files.

Recover Data from Corrupt/Damaged Drives Using CMD

This method not only helps you recover data from damaged hard drives but also helps you to repair corrupt or damaged drives. You can quickly fix any logical issues on the hard drive using the command line interpreter (Command prompt) and recover data. However, this method also contains the risks of permanent data loss as it involves technical complexity.   

You can recover data from failed/dead, or damaged hard drives based on your data recovery choices.

Method 1: Recover Data from the Damaged Hard Drive Using the Yodot Recovery Tool

Download the Yodot Hard Drive Recovery tool on your computer and launch the application. If you are using the application to recover data from damaged external drives, connect the damaged hard drive to a healthy Windows computer.


1. Click on the Partition Recovery option on the main screen. It will immediately take you to the next window

2. In the next window, you can see all available drives. Choose your corrupt or damaged drive from which you want to recover data and click Next to continue. The software starts to scan the drive for the retrieval of data.

3. After successful completion of the scan, you can view recoverable data either in Data View or File Type View

4. Finally, click on Save after purchasing the license key of the Yodot Hard Drive Recovery application to save retrieved data in the target destination

With this software’s help, you can recover data from internal and external drives, including Western Digital, G-Technology, SanDisk, Adata, Samsung, Seagate, and many more.

The software is available on all the latest versions of Windows and Mac OS. All you need to do is download the application on your Mac PC and follow the step-by-step instructions.

Method 2: Fix the Damaged Drive and Access Data Using Disk Management

For Windows:

1. To recover data from the hard drive using Disk Management, press Windows + X keys together and select the Disk Management option.

2. Now, from the list of drives in the Disk Management panel, select the dead/damaged hard drive.

3. If the hard drive is visible, it is logically damaged. Therefore, you may format the hard drive to fix any system or software errors and make the data accessible.

For Mac computers

1. To fix a damaged hard drive in Mac computers, all you must do is Open Disk Utility by pressing the Command + Space keys (Spotlight)

2. Select the disk or volume you need to fix, then click First Aid

3. After the First Aid runs and completes, you will be able to know if Disk Utility detected the drive and if issues are fixed.

Method 3: Repair the Corrupt/Damaged Hard Drive Using CMD

CHKDSK is the command line that helps you fix any file system errors on the drive. This is the built-in feature of the Windows Operating System.

  1. Click on the Search Bar and type Command Prompt.
  2. Right-click on the Command Prompt option and select Run as administrator.
  3. Now type CHKDSK and press Enter to analyze your damaged hard drive for any errors.
  4. Type CHKDSK L: /f /r/x to fix the errors found in your hard drive

Note: Replace the letter “L” with the respective drive letter.

You can fix and recover the data from damaged or dead hard drives using the following above methods with ease.

Tips to Avoid Data Loss from Dead/Damaged Hard Drive:

1. Stop using your device immediately when encountering any physical or logical failure indications. This will help your chances of data recovery from a dead hard drive.

2. Ensure you use Anti-virus software to free your system from viruses or malware.

3. Always keep a backup of your data. This will help you restore your data without any hassle


Although hard drives are used to store your important data, data loss from hard drives is inevitable due to several reasons. Therefore, it is always recommended to keep a data backup to avoid any data loss situations. With the methods explained in the article, you can repair a hard drive and access data. The Yodot recovery tool can recover data from any damaged, corrupt or dead hard drive.