Hard Drive Recovery

Hard Drive Recovery is a phrase that generally concerns repairing a hard disk to the point where usable files can be recovered. In most cases hard drive data recovery involves physical problems with the disk. The most common symptom is a clicking noise coming from the hard drive. This is a problem with the heads. For a detailed explanation see ‘Hard Drive Recovery Services Overview‘ which points out the mechanics involved with a hard disk drive.

Hard Drive Recovery Services

If you are here you need data recovery, more than likely, internal hard disk repair. Call Toll Free: 1-866-438-6932 or fill out an online quote form if you need hard drive recovery.

There are many other problems associated with failing storage media. A RAID array contains multiple hard drives either spanned, striped or mirrored. If your situation involves RAID Data Recovery call 1-866-438-6932 for immediate assistance. NEVER RUN CHECKDISK ON A RAID ARRAY!!!!

At the bottom of this page is hard drive packing and shipping instructions. It is important to properly package your hard disk drive to prevent further damage or data loss!

Hard Drive Recovery Services

Some other common failures include:

While these are scary noises there is still hope! DTI Data Recovery operates a state of the art clean room and can resolve these issues and much worse.

Call Toll Free: 1-866-438-6932 or fill out an online quote form for immediate support.

DTI offers a no fix – no fee data guarantee. We are also the only data recovery company to give flat rate upfront pricing AND no data no charge hard drive recovery services.

Packing & Shipping:

Hard Drive Recovery Disk Packaging Instructions

DTI Data Recovery recommends shipping your return via registered/certified mail or with a carrier that provides a tracking number like Fed-Ex or UPS.

  • Remove all brackets, adapters and cables.
  • Do not send the hard drive in its external casing or with any type of adapter, cable or converter.
  • Enclose each hard drive in an anti-static electrostatic discharge (ESD) bag and seal. Aluminum foil can be used as a last resort.
  • Use thick foam rubber to secure the hard drive on all sides during shipment. When shipping more than one hard drive, ensure that the hard drives do not touch and are cushioned individually.
  • DO NOT use foam peanuts, cloth, paper, newspaper or padded envelopes.
  • Use a corrugated cardboard box for the exterior packaging.

Basic Laptop Hard Drive Recovery Disk Packaging Instructions:

Fill out a hard drive recovery request form and include it in your package.

  • If at all possible, remove the media from the computer. Get expert help if necessary. Send us just the hard drive(s), tape(s), floppy, jaz, zip, optical, flashcard, microdrive etc..
  • Handle a hard disk drive as you would handle an egg. Handle failed hard disk drives with the same care as new drives.
    Use the original shipping materials, if you still have them. If not, they are relatively easy to replicate.
  • Wrap media in an anti-static bag or tinfoil to prevent Static Electricity.
  • Use a box that is at least twice the size of the media so that the media can be suspended in the middle of the box. We recommend a minimum of two inches of insulation all around for a 1 Kilo drive.
  • Pack securely with foam, bubble wrap, or newspaper so the media will not move from the middle of the box. Avoid using peanuts as contents will settle to the bottom of the box.
  • If sending a computer, laptop or notebook, use great care to ensure proper cushioning and protection. We recommend at least 6 inches for insulation. The heavier the unit, the more insulation required.

At one point or another everyone will face the need for hard drive recovery. Call DTI if your disk is making any peculiar noises or acting slow.


  1. Good to know how to pack a hard drive. I know packages get tossed around and scanned when shipped.

  2. That is true! We often wonder if they play football or soccer with packages! We are often asked if x-rays or scanning can damage media or data. The answer is no, but the real danger is in static discharge, which is why we ask to wrap the drive in an anti-static bag or at least tin foil.

  3. Davedata99 says:

    I was also reading here that running chkdisk may not be a good idea. I am assuming that running chkdsk may cause further damage or hinder the chance of a succesful hard drive recovery?

    Can it actually damage my hard drive?

  4. http://www.dtidata.com/hard_drive_recovery.htm has more info about hard drive recovery

  5. In defence of the ‘checkdisc command’. I’m a retired service tech and relative computer novice.

    I took my wife’s 4yr old P4, 2.4GHhz laptop with its dreaded blue screen along to the local one man computer store along with my boot disk. After managing to get my boot disk to start up he chose ‘Full install’ instead of ‘Repair’. I was annoyed and asked if he could stop and do a ‘repair boot’ instead, as I needed to rescue a lot of data?
    The guy said “No, it wont repair, it needs a new hard drive. That’s arround eighty five dollars plus parts, and you’ll lose everything.”
    When I declined he offered me $250-00 cash for my laptop.
    Next I took it to a bigger fancier store, they wanted $25 for a ‘Diagnostic check’ and they would ring that evening. They didn’t ring so I rang them, they said “Try tomorrow”. Next day I rang and was told, “Needs a new hard drive $125-00 plus $130-00 labour, plus minimum $230-00 to rescue your data files.”
    I declined and said “I cant afford that, and I’ll pick it up right away.”
    When I arrived they had lost my ‘Boot disk and when I asked to speak to the guy who had checked it, I was told “He’s off today, come back tomorrow.” I returned the next day and ***I was in luck – they had found my ‘Boot disk’ after all. So in spite of making three 1 hour round trips, I walked out pleased!!!
    I took it home and fooled around with the boot up until I got into ‘DOS’. Lo and behold a list of commands is available these days. So I typed in the checkdisc command and the machine whirred away until displaying the test results which seemed OK to me. I then tried starting Windows XP and was successful.
    So I bought some blank Cd’s and was able to save all my wife’s precious pictures and data on two Cd’s. OK so it’s my wife’s m/c and I have told her to back up, I know I should have done it.
    Epilogue:- Windows now continues to behave OK after a week or two, fingers crossed.
    Should I sell it to the first shop for $250-00, and buy a new one?

  6. Well, sounds you had your rounds with some very incompetent technicians. They are out there, so when you do find one that knows his stuff, hang onto him.

    Now, as for your situation. First, let me say that if you typed in ‘checkdisc’, then nothing happened, or you have a boot disc that has an application on it that I am not aware of. In order to execute ‘chkdsk’, you must type in ‘chkdsk’. In addition, ‘chkdsk’ defaults to ‘READ ONLY’ mode and will not fix anything. You must specifiy the -F parameter as part of your command line, and then, it will delete inodes, adjust the MFT, and basically wreak havoc with your file system. In other words, you either did not use ‘chkdsk’, or you executed it in READ ONLY mode.

    As for why the computer works now, and not before. I can only tell you this, from what you have described, ‘checkdisc’, or ‘chkdsk’, or ‘whatever-disc’ did not ‘fix’ your wifes PC. I believe, you have bad sectors on the drive. They can fade in and out. In other words, sometimes they will read, sometimes they won’t. Its just a matter of time before you lose more data.
    Once again, I caution everyone, DO NOT RUN CHKDSK, if you value your data.

  7. Hey Collin, Now that you have backed up your wife’s data you have to decide if the laptop is worth keeping around. That depends a lot on what she does with it. Managing photos and surfing the net, using email, etc, a P4 is plenty. What kind of laptop is it? The make and model determines how difficult it is to replace the hard drive. I would base the decision on that because the laptop has enough power to do Internet tasks.

    Some laptops are a real pain to replace the hard drive, others it is real easy. Let me know and I will give you an answer.

  8. tomtwin2 says:

    What is the difference between hard drive recovery and data recovery? Is it true that you have to fully repair a hard drive to get data off of it?

  9. Tom, hard drive recovery usually refers to physical repair of a hard drive to then perform data recovery. If the hard drive is clicking or unresponsive, then ti needs to be repaired prior to running data recovery software. I will ask an engineer to give further detail on how much a disk needs to be repaired to perform hard drive recovery.

  10. Is there a difference between laptop hard drive recovery or say an external disk?

  11. Davedata99 says:

    Hard drive recovery is a term we use in short for data recovery from a hard drive.

    1.) Logical or soft recovey of data from deletion or soft crash of the hard drive operating system.

    2.) External or non-invasive recovery of data from defective electronic external components.

    3.) Invasive recovery – internal components of the hard drive have failed. Possible damage to the media (the platters).

    4.) Corruption of on disk firmware within the ATA shell (Drive Map).

    5.) Combination of all above.

  12. So even logical data recovery that only uses software is considered “hard drive recovery”?

  13. Davedata99 says:

    Yes, litterally I would venture to say that a soft crash or logical recovery of data is still hard drive recovery. However, I think the meaning of the term is really defined by the term itself. Hard drive recovery will invoke the thought that a physically defective hard drive would be repaired to the point where data is again accessable. The data would be retrieved and returned in a usable format. However, if you are recovering lost data in any form from a hard drive my direct answer would be, Yes.

  14. The hard drive for recovery I sent into you guys was recovered! In full, I read this blog post and then decided to send it to you guys. There we tons of companies that said they wanted up to 2800.00 for recovery of the hard drive. As promised the quote I received was firm, upfront, no hidden charges and recovered in full. I will be a regular here.

    You actually saved my job and all my personal data. thank you!!!:-)

  15. Thanks for the kind words! Like you said there are tons of data recovery companies out there, but only a handful of them are true hard drive recovery services with a clean room and highly trained engineers.

    Thanks for giving DTI the chance to recover your data!

  16. Davedata99 says:

    hard drive recovery for a drive that is clicking. Is this usually what is called an invasive recovery.

  17. Yes, when a hard drive is clicking it usually means that the heads have failed. They can no longer read the platters and go back and forth in a seek pattern which can cause a clicking noise. There are other reasons that a hard disk can click, but they are all bad, and almost always means you will need hard drive recovery

  18. Nolan Kistan says:

    Hi Team,

    Please advise if you have a branch in South Africa (Gautang) – to fix my HDD. It has the following symptoms:

    Platters have been impacted by the heads, causing a scraping hard drive sound.
    Head is stuck to the platter causing a repetitious scraping and clicking hard drive sound.
    Actuator arm is stuck and bashing against stop causing a clunking hard drive sound.

    Thank you,

  19. I have a Compaq SP750 Professional Workstation that I have been using for about 4 years. It has two duplicate hard drives [labeled C: and F:] Earlier this week, my screen started ‘freezing up’ for about a minute at a time, then it would be OK for 10 sec, then repeat the process. In frustration, I punched the power button ‘off’ and shut it down. Then it wouldn’t reboot and start, just messages that no boot file was found. I finally rebooted it with the original CD, but when it came up it had rebooted on the secondary drive, F: [which it had relabeled as C:] and it showed drive A:, and the CD drive, and the DVD drive, but no ‘old’ main drive C:. However ‘Device Manager’ shows both drives and says that they are both operating properly. Most of my data is on this ‘missing’ drive. How do I get to it to recover these files. I’ve learned the hard way to run regular back-ups.


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