Seven tips to repair a damaged hard drive

In general, hard disks, whether mechanical or solid , have such a useful life that allows their continued use without major concerns during the entire productive cycle of the computer. However, either by accident or manufacturing errors, this important element of computers, which keeps all our data, can fail and block access, which will undoubtedly cause numerous problems to its owner. This article aims to provide seven tips to repair the hard drive in case of failure .

1. Prevention: backup of the most sensitive data : The latest operating systems on the market have tools to make automatic backup copies of the computer or folders selected by the user. This duplication of information is essential in case of loss of information. In the case of wanting to store images, videos or documents on an external disk, if these data are of special importance to the user, it is advisable to make backup copies on another disk.

For this reason, a device to take into account is a NAS , which allows network backup and share content within homes or mount two hard drives in a single external box using a RAID configuration . That is, it consists of a redundant data system. At least it is necessary to have two hard disks of equal capacity. In this way, if one of them is damaged, the other still retains the original data.

2. Check and repair the disk periodically : One of the most common problems with hard drives is that some sectors of the disk fail or that the information recorded in it is corrupted. For this reason, if you notice a higher noise, disk heating or a drop in the overall performance of the system, it is advisable to use a disk verification tool.

Both Windows and Mac have in the operating system with 'ScanDisk' and 'Disk Utility', respectively, to perform this task. Another recommended application for the Windows operating system is TestDisk . This application has different options to recover deleted partitions or the boot of the disk. However, due to its environment of use, it is necessary to have some knowledge to use it.

3. Disable USB keys, memory cards and external hard drives before removing them : USB keys are usually damaged by misuse when disconnecting them from the computer. For this reason, it is advisable to deactivate them first and remove them safely, because if this operation is done when you are transcribing some data to the hard disk of the computer, it may be stored corrupt, which could have consequences. In Windows, in case of a USB failure, you can try to recover from the MS-DOS console. To do this, you have to access 'System symbol' and execute 'chkdsk Z: / r', where Z: the letter of the damaged disk drive.

4. What to do if the internal hard disk fails : In the case of a malfunction of the hard disk of the computer, the only way to repair it is by booting the computer from a CD / DVD, USB or from a network. One option is to do it using the installation or recovery disk of the operating system. On Windows, you can try booting the disk by pressing F8 to enter system repair mode or "fail-safe" mode.

In case of failure, you can try to boot the system from an external device. For this, according to the computer, it is necessary to access the BIOs to change the order of the boot system. In this way, the computer looks first for a CD or USB, instead of the internal hard disk. Another option for users with the Windows operating system is to repair the bad sectors using the Hiren's Boot application .

This application is installed on a USB key to boot the computer from there and access its disk recovery tool. On computers with Mac OS X, by pressing the 'Command (on both sides of the spacebar) + R' keys when booting up, it starts in recovery mode and you can access the 'Disk Utilities' application to verify and repair the internal hard drive of the computer.

5. Repair the disk using software : There are some applications for both Windows and Mac OS X that allow recovering information from bad sectors of the hard disk. In Windows, one of the most important utilities is HDD Regenerator , which allows recovering corrupt data from a disk. It has an option to create a recovery system that starts from a USB in case of failure in the internal hard drive of the computer. This application has a cost of $ 99. On Mac computers, there is DiskWarrior with a similar price.

6. Low-level format : In the case that the disk has been disabled, one option is to try to format it at a low level. This format allows to recover discs that are inaccessible, although not the files that were previously recorded in it. One of the most important Windows applications is DD Low Level Format Tool .

7. Before throwing the disk : If the problem of a mechanical hard disk is hardware, some domestic recovery methods can be used. These methods do not always work and should be taken as a last resort before giving the disk for lost. First you can try freezing the disk. Many times the problems of hard drives are due to overheating of the internal mechanism, composed of different dishes that expand.

To apply cold in the freezer during twelve hours and to have the disc inside a hermetic bag, so that the humidity does not affect to him, can make return the plate to its site. Another option is to change the site's hard drive, such as turning it upside down or sideways to check if it works again.