Editor’s note: Water damage to computers from disasters like Hurricane Florence doesn’t necessarily mean you have lost all data on the hard drives. Jack Nunziato of Proven Data offers tips on what to do to try to recover the information. The company’s data-services related customers have included to clients such as Bloomberg, LexisNexis, Bank of America and CNN.

There are few things more intimidating than trying to recover lost or damaged data from your damaged hard drive. Many times, we have our most meaningful data stored on these devices such as memorable photos,  financial records, business documents, among other things. Although it can be a daunting task, there are plentiful of ways you can attempt to recover your data from a broken hard drive using these tips from Proven Data.

  • Determine the cause of your hard drive failure

Hard drive failures can be classified into two categories: Mechanical Failure and Logical Failure.

Mechanical Failure describes issues with the drive in relation to the physical status of the device. If the device was dropped, the locator arm of the reader might be “clicking,” which means that one of the necessary components in the device has been broken and needs to be sent in for repair.

Other instances might include water damage or improper storage of the device/computer resulting in damage from heat or pressure.

Ruben Delgado, a Proven Data Recovery Engineer, warns that “When the drive starts to fail, the user should look for signs such as read/write speeds starting to slow down or interrupt… backup immediately!”

Logical Failure alludes to any programming/formatting issues the drive is experiencing such as corruption of file names or malware. Logical Failure is much easier to fix for the average consumer and you might have success of recovering your data.

Try one of the methods below after you backup the data.

  • Make an effort to access your files

Before coming to the conclusion your files are irreparable, try to see if you can retrieve your data from one of the following methods which have been tested and verified for home use:

Attempt to remote-boot the files

Most computers have the accessibility to read files from a remote device which means you might be able to recover the data from another home computer. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s best to look up practices for reaching the data dependent on your operating system (Windows vs MacOS).

Use software

There is an abundance of software options out there in which you can download to see if there is a chance of recovering your data. These programs run check and diagnostics on your system to check the current status of the drive and how you can get the files back if they are still accessible. Check out the Best Data Recovery Software of 2018

  • Contact an Expert

If you are unsure about any of these methods or have files that are critical to your future, it is best to contact an expert to send in your device for troubleshooting. Experts have the tools and knowledge which are much more complex and accurate in trying to get all those files back and safe for you to use! We recommend looking for a service that is both reliable and a good value.

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