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Hard Drive Data Loss – How to Fix it

Most of the things we do, most of the memories we have are on our laptops and smart devices. We keep our photos there, work files, even random documents with passwords and to-do lists.

We use our personal devices pretty much every day and we can’t really imagine our lives without them. But sometimes the worst happens! Our files get deleted, and we feel like we’ve lost a huge part of us.

Has that ever happened to you? It happened to me more than once and the heartache was worse than the worst breakup! Because of that, I decided to do research, find out why is that happening and how can I prevent it in the future.

Here are the few things I found on Data Loss and how to salvage my files if that’s possible. Hopefully you and I both will remember it and keep our files safe!

What is Data Loss?

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Our precious files are all stored in the computer’s hard disk drive (HDD). When there is a system failure or an error condition the files stored in the hard drive can become corrupted or deleted. The hard drive does not have to fail for you to lose your files. Data loss can happen because of a number of things.

Why do Hard Drives fail?

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Did you know that human error is the main cause of failure for over 50.000 hard disk drives in a week, in the US alone? I didn’t either and that’s a scary number! But, the point is, you’re not alone and it does not mean it’s your fault only. Here are the most common causes of a hard drive failure.

  • Water Damage – water causes surges in the electrical current and it could severely damage your HDD;
  • Power Issues – power surges occur when there is an increase of the electrical charge in the power lines;
  • Hardware Failure – issues with the hardware components of the drive itself is one of the top causes for HDD failure;
  • Firmware Corruption – viruses and other malware can cause firmware corruption and that could lead to the disk becoming unreadable;
  • Human Error – as I mentioned before, humans are more often than not responsible for HDD failure;
  • Heat – excessive heat could lead to severe damage to the HDD’s components;
  • Mishaps – this is different than human error. Accidents happen every day and mishaps are not as simple as human error.

Greatest Reasons for Data Loss

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Data loss, as well as HDD failure, can happen for a number of reasons. I’ve learned, in a hard way, that if there’s a random pop-up and it says “click here to install” you should not click. Unless you really, really trust the source and know what you want to download and install.

For people like me, who are not really tech-savvy, and for those who are smart enough to know when it’s time to ask for help, there are people who know what they are doing and how to save your HDD and restore your data. Check for more information.

Here are the greatest reasons why data loss happens.

  • Deleting files accidentally – this is the most common reason for data loss. We’ve all been there. Too many times I thought that I was moving something or deleting another file and managed to lose important data. Make sure to check your recycle bin, chances are, your files are still there. Updating software can also lead to deleting files accidentally.
  • Viruses and malware – there are new viruses that attack the system and delete data every day. You need to be safe and smart. Don’t download things from untrusted sources, don’t click on random links that just pop-up. Don’t open messages from people you don’t know and if it seems too good to be true, it’s probably a virus.
  • HDD failure – as I mentioned before, the hard disk can fail for a number of reasons. Power failures and water damage most commonly happen because you didn’t do all the necessary precautions. Use a good adapter and don’t drink coffee, water or anything like that while you’re working on your laptop.
  • Computer theft – unfortunately, this is one situation where data recovery tools won’t help you bring your files back. It’s a huge tragedy when you lose your computer and your data at the same time.

How to Fix Data Loss?

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  • Run Antivirus Scan – viruses and malware can cause HDD issues and the data may seem lost. Connect the HDD to another computer and scan for viruses. It may repair the corrupted HDD and make the drive accessible.
  • Run a CHKDSK Scan – this type of scan is good for the storage drive. Because of that, you should do it once in a while. The CHKDSK marks the bad sectors and prevents data corruption by fixing file system errors.
  • Run an SFC Scan – this scan helps fix the missing or damaged system files that could lead to driving corruption. The SFC checks system file integrity and replaces a corrupt or damaged system file with a cached copy stored within the system.
  • Use a Data Recovery Tool – if all else fails and you cannot repair the corrupt hard drive, you should try using a Data Recovery Tool. Most software can quickly restore files from failed HDDs. Even if the drive is severely corrupted, formatted and there are missing partitions, you can still safely get your files back.

It’s always better to prevent the damage before it happens. Always back up your files and do it in multiple places. Buying a second (or a third) hard drive and backing file up is the best thing you can do. If you don’t want to buy a new HDD, then just buy a hard drive case and use the HDD from your old computer or laptop.

Don’t forget about cloud storage. Backing up files on cloud storage is probably the safest place you can keep them. And you will be able to access them from anywhere.

If you do experience Data Loss, don’t dwell on it. There are so many ways and tools to get them back, so you will be able to do that. Don’t wait too long to ask for help if you cannot do that on your own. There are a lot of companies that work with that and that will recover your data in no-time.

Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the started.