My hard disk is broken! WHAT DO I DO?

Posted on 7:29 PM by gamei56


Ever had a broken hard disk? Bet you did.

Well if you ever happen to have one, just... NEVER go to those hard disk repairing laboratories unless your data is extremely important and your life depends on that data. Those labs are so expensive, your whole computer's value will not even match up to the price they charge you for data recovery.

Ok. Let's start off with the symptoms:

  • Frequent freezes
  • Stuck on Windows loading bar forever
  • Corrupt files
  • Blue screens (NOTE: the blue screen can be caused by many things, not only by the HDD)
  • Appear to be repartitioned and unformatted
Don't format your computer just yet. Even if you think all hope is lost for your data, there is still little hope. Try out steps first.
  1. BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, take out your hard disk and shake it lightly. If you hear any metal clinging, then it's a good idea to just leave it alone, because it's probably broken and not fixable unless you give it to the hard disk repair laboratories.
  2. Try using a different cable for the hard disk.
  3. Run CHKDSK (short for microsoft checkdisk). It is a very useful tool and can fix your hard disk without having to do anything! Just know that running CHKDSK from the broken hard disk is a bad idea since your computer will probably hang during CHKDSK. The smartest way is either to run CHKDSK from the Windows Install Disk (recovery console) or move your hard disk to a different computer and run CHKDSK there.
  4. Try using a different third-party tool to recover your data. If it doesn't work... then I'm afraid there's not many choices left.
  5. Freeze the hard disk. Make SURE you put the hard disk in a waterproof bag and stick it in your normal freezer. Leave it for an hour and take it out. Let it warm to room temperature. Then put it in the computer and if it works, you just did a miracle. Quickly back up your data.
  6. Nothing's working... now. Try replacing the hard disk controller. This is a really extremely hard task. I'm not sure how to do this because I've never done it, but purchase a hard disk that is exactly the same to the hard disk. Remove the external PCB (the disk controller) on the broken hard disk and replace it with the new hard disk. Go easy with it- there's a high probability of breaking it.
If these steps aren't working, then I suggest you just give up on it unless those files are extremely high priority. It's really hard to recover data from a severely damaged hard disk... also costly as well.

If you happen to have any questions or if you happen to find something fascinating, then send me an email at I'd love to hear your stories.


\\Camwi_003.exe*32 said...

Ahh, yes, I have a Computer that the HDD is about to go out on, as far as I know that is, Specs; 1 Gig RAM, 2400+ Amd, ATi x1650 512mb AGP, 40 Gig HDD-IDE... I have had this Hard drive in two computers, and like when I'm playing a game there will be a "Frame Lock", i.e. it will stay on that frame for about half a second, happens like every 5-15 seconds, Kinda Annoying, but I need a new HDD anyway, Since I DO have SATA ports on this mobo.