How to Recover Data when Hard Drive Failed

5 mins read

Updated on 2024-06-07 19:53:15 to Hard Drive

If you’re experiencing a hard drive failure, the first thing you’ll think of is the important data stored on it. You can repurchase a new hard drive, but you can’t get back the data with pennies when it's gone. The sooner you try, the better chances of recovery are there.

Recovering the data from the dead or failed hard drive is a delicate process. Its recovery rate depends on the severity of the failure. Suffice it to say that the data can be recovered; you must choose the right recovery method. This guide explains the 3 ultimate ways to recover data from a dead hard drive.

hard drive failed

Part 1: How Does Your Hard Drive Become Failed?

Hard drive storage devices are a bit old today, but they are still used in modern computers due to their specific prons, making them the best option. Unlike solid-state drives, hard drives have a moving mechanism and parts that enable them to read and write the data.

Inside the hard drive, there are magnetic platters that rotate. The head moves across these magnetic plates to read and write the data the system demands. Any physical damage to this mechanism can cause the hard drive to fail or die.

Here are the potential reasons for the “hard drive failed to recover data”.

  • Physically Damaged Components:

    Since there are many moving parts inside the hard drive, slight physical damage to the header, magnetic plate alignment, or rotation shift can cause the hard drive to fail.

    Recovering data from a dead hard drive caused by physical damage is very difficult and requires professional help. This can’t be done at home using a guide on the internet; rather, you need to take it to a specialist to extract the stored data without further damaging the drive. It can be quite expensive, and the success rate is quite low.

  • Data Corruption:

    Data corruption on the hard drive is another reason for the hard drive failing. The data corruption can occur to the individual's files or the entire hard drive/system. This makes the hard drive unable to read the data; hence, the hard drive fails.

    Data corruption occurs when the logical part of the files is damaged. However, fixing and recovering the data from the hard drive is comparatively easier, as it is still functional. Using the right method, you can recover files from corrupted hard drive.

  • Malware Attack:

    Another common reason the hard drive fails is a malware attack, which affects the logical part of the files and makes them inaccessible to the file system. This problem further leads to the “hard drive becoming failed”.

    The malware attacks on your computer can come from the internet, such as downloading programs or files from third-party sites. Installing these programs activates the malware that exploits the files stored on the hard drive. Besides this, the malware can also be transferred from one PC to another through a USB flash drive or SD card.

Part 2: How to Recover Data from Hard Drive Failed or Dead

If your hard drive isn’t physically damaged or functional. There is a high chance the stored in it can be recovered with the solution method below. Here are the following recovery methods for dead hard drive recovery.

Way 1: Use 4DDiG Data Recovery

A hard drive with minor physical damage isn’t fully dead and can allow a recovery process to initiate. For this, the ultimate way to recover data from dead hard drives is through the professional tool 4DDiG Data Recovery. It’s an all-in-one solution for all storage devices; whether you’ve formatted your SD card, hard drive, solid-state drive, or USB flash, it can recover your lost data with a one-click solution. Here’s how to use 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery from a hard drive failed:


Secure Download


Secure Download

  • First, install and launch the 4DDiG Data Recovery program on the computer. In the home screen menu, select the local disk from which you want to recover the data and click the Start button. Select the targeted files that you want to recover.

    select local disk
  • The 4DDiG Data Recovery program will immediately start the scanning and locate the missing/deleted files from the selected drive. You can stop or resume this process anytime after identifying the desired files.

  • Once the scanning process is completed, you can select the files and move them to the secure location. Select them to recover the files permanently and click the Recover button.


Way 2: Recover Data from Recycle Bin when Hard Drive Failed

If your hard drive is physically damaged, which is a common cause for a hard drive failing, it could be operating without your authorization. If your files are missing, they may be deleted, and the first place to check is the Recycle Bin.

Whenever you delete any files stored on the hard drive, they go directly into the recycle bin unless you manually empty them. If you haven’t emptied it, the deleted files are lying there and can be recovered within one click.

Steps to recover data from Recycle Bin:

  • Double-click on the Recycle Bin to launch it.
  • Locate the files in the Recycle, and select the desired files you want to recover.
  • Right-click and select the Restore button to send the files back to their previous location.

    recover data from recycle bin

Way 3: Recover Data from Dead Hard Drive via Active Backup

Windows offers various ways to back up your hard drive data. If you took the backup of your hard drive’s data before the damage was done, you can easily recover the lost data with fewer steps.

There are various other methods to take a backup on Windows. However, Windows users mostly prefer using the File History feature to take the backup on Windows as it allows you to recover the individual files instead of the entire hard drive.

Here’s how to recover data through File History:

  • Navigate to the Settings.
  • Select Update & Security, then click on the Backup option from the left side menu.
  • Click on the More option under the Backup section.

    more option
  • Next, click on Restore files from a current backup option.
  • Select the lost/deleted files from the dead hard drive.
  • Once you’ve selected the desired files, click the green Restore button to recover them.

    click the green restore

This method only works if you have turned on the File History feature on your PC. It takes the backup of the files from time to time and becomes helpful in such situations when you need to perform a crashed hard drive recovery.

If this recovery method isn’t a solution for you, refer to the professional data recovery tool - 4DDiG Data Recovery tool. It offers a one-click operation to recover the deleted or lost data from the corrupted or dead hard drive.

Part 3: FAQ

Q 1: How much does it cost to recover data from a hard drive?

The cost of recovering the lost/deleted data from the hard drive varies from situation to situation. Some data recovery is straightforward and can be done within a few minutes. However, the data recovery process, specifically logically damaged files, requires special equipment and technical knowledge, ranging from $100 to $1000.

Q 2: Is it possible to recover data from a dead hard drive?

Yes, the dead hard drive recovery is quite possible, but there are things that you need to keep in mind. The success rate of the recovery process will depend on the severity of the hard drive damage. For instance, the data can't be recovered if the hard drive is dead due to a flood or fire.

Q 3: What happens when a hard drive fails?

One of the most common symptoms of a hard drive failure is your computer starts slowing down. It takes longer to process easy tasks, such as opening files, saving files, and other routine things.

Q 4: How do I fix a corrupted hard drive?

There are various ways to fix a corrupted hard drive. Start by unplugging and plugging the hard drive into the computer, running a hardware and device troubleshooter, and running a CHKDSK command to scan the entire hard drive for errors and fix them accordingly.


Hard drives are the most commonly used storage devices in the computer. It has various advantages and disadvantages, such as failing or becoming dead for some reason. However, the data stored on the dead hard drive is the most important thing in such a situation. In this guide, we discussed the ultimate ways how to recover data from a dead hard drive. A one-click solution refers to the 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery tool for a high success rate. It offers a quick solution for recovering lost data from all storage devices.

William Bollson (senior editor)

William Bollson, the editor-in-chief of 4DDiG, devotes to providing the best solutions for Windows and Mac related issues, including data recovery, repair, error fixes.

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