Hard Drive Recovery FAQs

We have been getting a lot of questions about the different types of hard drive recovery and what users can do when they have a data loss situation. There are two main types of hard drive or data loss problems users run into:

  1. Software Failure – this can be caused by viruses or file corruption even user error. We consider it a logical problem, in other words there is not a physical problem with the hard drive. Boot files not working, partitions not showing up, or Windows asking to format a drive are all symptoms of a logical hard drive problem. The rule of thumb here is if your BIOS or your operating system can see the drive, but you can’t access the data, then you have a logical or software problem.
  2. Physical Failure – the worst case scenario when it comes to hard drive recovery is a physically damaged disk. Common symptoms include noises like clicking or scraping slowness for reading or writing and then absolute failure. In the good old days there were sometimes easy fixes to physically damaged hard drives, but that isn’t the case with these large capacity hard drives. Some of the major problems we run into are due to excessive heat causing platters to swell and contract as the hard drive heats up and cools down when not in use. If your hard drive is not seen by the BIOS then you need hard drive recovery.

Hard Drive Recovery Solutions

Understanding what type of problem you have with your harddisk is the first step in hard drive recovery. In most cases logical or software problems can be resolved either remotely, or with data recovery software. DTI Data Recovery has quite a bit of programs that can help home users and professionals alike. We have full version freeware data recovery software as well as a score of programs for more advanced problems. Our data recovery software page lists all the software and what it does. Feel free to call us at anytime 727-345-9665 or toll free 866-418-3843 if you have questions about which type of software you need. That is also the number to call if you want our fast remote data recovery services Recover It Now.

For all other data loss scenarios the best thing to do is to speak with one of qualified data recovery technicians about hard drive recovery. Feel free to call us at anytime 727-345-9665 or toll free 866-418-3843 with questions about our hard drive recovery services.


  1. d colonna says:

    I have a laptop compaq presario 2100 with windows 2000 xp professional. The screen went blank (dark) and it will no longer boot up. I have Microsoft word text files and pictures on it I need to recover. How can I recover these files?

  2. Hello d Colonna…
    If your screen went blank, you might have a video problem. You can try to fix the MBR http://pcsupport.about.com/od/findbyerrormessage/a/ntldrmissingxp.htm or remove the hard drive and connect it to a working PC to retrieve your files.

  3. Lal Rozuala says:

    I tried to create RAId in my hard disk. Unfortunately it was not completed due to power failure. Then I lost all my data which I very important for me. Is there any way to recover the files with their folders

  4. My Gateway desktop computer would not turn on at all…I took it to a computer repair shop that told me my hard drive was making clicking sounds and therefore no more good…from your information above, it seems as though it is a “physical failure”…I believe the hard drive is about 40GB…how difficult would it be to recover the files on it?

    • E.Miller,

      You would have to send the drive to our clean room for us to assess the hard drive damage. More then likely the files will be able to be recovered.

  5. My question is regarding the cost of recovery. My hard drive had a physical failure and there is one or two files that I would like to recover if posssible. Is the cost of recovery a flat rate or based on the number of files?

    Thank you

  6. Donald Sublett says:

    I have an old HP Pavilon computer with a Western Digital WD800 Enhanced IDE hard drive. The computer just will not turn on. Something appears to have happened to the power board at the plug in on the computer. I think the hard drive is good and I have taken it out of the machine. How can I recover the files on the drive. I can not slave it to my other computer, it is fairly new and there are no strips to use or slots to plug into on the CPU board.

    Any suggestions?

    • Donald, you can try to put it in a usb enclosure. If it is seen, but the system wants to format it or isn’t showing correct capacity, let me know and I will give you some software to fix it.

  7. Donald Sublett says:

    Can you please explain a usb enclosure? Never have connected a hard drive with out slaving it. I have the hard drive out and on my desk. Will I not some type of cable?

    Thank you for your response.


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