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Determine the status of a hard drive



The following symptoms are indicative of a dead hard drive (which requires a clean room facility):

  • You can not feel any spinning motion on the metal surface of the drive when the computer is turned on. Be sure to strictly follow electrostatic discharge safety procedures before touching a hard drive or any other pieces of hardware.
  • When the computer is turned on, the hard drive is not detected by the BIOS or is detected but determined to be bad.

Make sure that the fault is in the hard drive and not the computer or cables. Make sure the drive is properly connected to the computer. Try and use a different cable and disk controller. Test the drive on another computer if possible.

The following symptoms are indicative of a hard drive that has no hardware faults but the data it holds is corrupt (for which you need File Scavenger® instead of Disk Recoup™):

  • The drive is detected normally by the BIOS when the computer is booted up.
  • The drive is displayed in Windows® Disk Management, sometimes with the status of being "unallocated" or "unformatted".
  • The drive is inaccessible in Windows® Explorer. Otherwise the computer seems to function normally.

The candidate drive for Disk Recoup™ is one that has hardware faults but has not completely failed. It usually has the following symptoms:

  • The drive is detected by the BIOS when the computer is booted up. The computer may boot normally or may take much longer than usual.
  • The drive is displayed in Windows® Disk Management, sometimes after a long pause.
  • Attempts to access the drive in Windows® Explorer may cause the computer to hang.
  • Windows® reports disk errors such as "bad media" or "cyclic redundancy check".
  • A file recovery utility such as File Scavenger® can still scan the drive but may hang at certain disk spots.

If Windows® does not boot with the drive connected, you can try to boot into a simplified Windows® environment such as BartPE. Then run Disk Recoup™ in this environment, but only in demo mode.