Hard drives can get damaged by a number of ways, it’s extracting and recovering the data from said damaged hard drives that is the minor difficulty. If a hard drive has been dropped, then normally (if not powered up again) we would swap the original heads with heads from another drive which is identical or similarly matched, and then the cloning process would normally be straight forward.

Problems arise when drives have been sent to companies prior to arriving with us, once the drives have been messed with then it makes it harder and harder to recover the data.

When we look inside the drives, some damage can be greater than others and we can then determine if it’s possible to recover the data or not. For example, if a drive has rings under microscope and has a few scratches on the top platter, then it is definitely possible to recover the majority if not all of the data (even if some of the data is damaged), whereas if you are in a situation where you open the drive and there is glitter in the chassis or dust everywhere inside, then it’s possible that it will end up being a non-recovery due to a mass amount of contamination.

Cloning a drive that has so much debris inside can be incredibly time consuming, this is because you have to keep an eye on the drive at all times just in case the heads can’t handle the amount of debris inside the drive and fail completely, it’s like it’s on a life support machine.

Also, the engineers have to control how fast the drive has to be cloned, this is because if the drive is cloning at full speed then it’s more likely that the heads will fail because the heads are put under more strain.

To conclude, when we try and recover data from a damaged hard drive, it all depends on how badly damaged the drive is inside which makes us determine whether or not the drive has a chance of being recovered, but normally we will be able to recover at least a considerable amount of data if the drive is damaged.


Transferring data from hard drive to hard drive is fairly straight forward, especially if both drives are fully functioning. All you would need to do is hook up an external drive to your machine and drag and drop the files onto the system drive (if that’s where you want to save the files).

From a Data recovery perspective, we want to get the copying process done and dusted as quickly as possible, and if we were to transfer the data by windows (drag and drop) then it would take twice as long to copy the data. If a drive is in a relatively poor state then we wouldn’t use windows to transfer the data, we would have to use a piece of data recovery software that we use for transferring data. Keep in mind that if the drive is in a poor state, then not all the data that is transferred will be usable, there may be a fair amount of corruption present.

Some data recovery software’s are better than others at transferring data from Apple MAC devices, so for us it is a matter of trying and testing which software is quicker, this then helps us determine which software is more useful for next time we have to copy data.


Why Would An External Hard Drive Fail?

External drives get a lot more physical use in that they get moved about more often, carried from place to place, in suitcases, handbags etc. Not all of them do but that is the point of them, data can be stored on them and transported from place to place so they are exposed to a […]

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How Do You Recover Deleted Photos From A Memory Card For Free?

There are some free pieces of software that are on the market which claim that it will recover all of your deleted data. However, to enable the software to recover all the data that you have deleted, you have to make sure that you have not written any more data to the device since the […]

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What Hard Drive Manufacturer Should You Buy For Data Storage?

When choosing what hard drive manufacturer to go with, you always need to be aware that at some point that hard drive will fail, whether it fails within 3 months or 20 years, hard drives eventually fail, but it’s knowing which ones are the most durable and reliable. At R3, the type of drive that […]

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Hard Drive folder Not Accessible “The Parameter is Incorrect”

It is not a message you want to see when you connect an external hard drive to a Windows PC or an Apple Mac. This message indicates that the operating system has found a drive with bad sectors or some other intermittent problem. This is usually caused by hard drive problems. This will mean the […]

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Examining the Raw Data on Your Hard Drive with a Hex Editor

An Introduction to the Use of a Hex Editor in Hard Drive Data Recovery: There are occasions when it can be useful to examine the raw contents of a hard drive. These circumstances can include: -Simply to establish if the drive has had its data erased or if there is still information stored on it. […]

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What is the Procedure for Recovering Data from My Failed Hard Drive?

Once you have sent in your hard drive what will happen next?   It will of course depend upon exactly what the problem with the drive is, however there is a common set of procedures. Step one will always be to clone the client drive. All subsequent recovery will then be carried out on the […]

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No Signs of Life From a Hard Drive When Power is Applied

By far the most common reason that a drive might appear totally lifeless when switched on (no sounds can be heard and no vibration is detected) is electrical damage to the printed circuit board (PCB), this is discussed in more detail in this article. However there is an alternative cause that also results in this […]

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The Symptoms of Hard Drive Electrical Damage

One of the more common causes of failure in hard drives is the result of a spike on the power supply line. Sometimes this is the outcome when someone plugs-in the wrong cable (or the right cable but the wrong way round), sometimes it is due to a failing power supply within the computer or […]

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