Seeing one of the most valuable components dropping out of your hands may be a panic-inducing scenario. While your hard drive drops to the ground, you instantly think about all your valuable data on that now-damaged piece of equipment. After everything is over, you may wonder whether you can recover your data.
If you're in over your head, we're here to help. We'll show you how to recover data from a dropped hard drive and save the day. Is data recovery genuinely possible? Let's find out.
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Can You Recover Data From a Dropped Hard Drive?
You may think all is lost if you've dropped your hard drive. Well, that isn't the case in most scenarios. Your HDD will probably suffer physical damage, but data recovery is still possible.
For instance, if the drive isn't too damaged and your device still recognizes it, you can use advanced tools to restore your data.
However, you may deal with a more complex recovery if the drive is severely damaged, dented, or scratched. In such cases, skipping the DIY part and contacting professionals would be best. They will assess the situation and determine whether recovery is possible. It isn't an option if your hard drive is damaged beyond repair.
How To Recover Data From a Dropped Hard Drive
After damaging your hard drive and causing your data to go missing, you can try several methods to recover your data. Here are the most reliable.
Method 1. Use Data Recovery Software
Technology has advanced immensely in the past several years. Thus, we can now use advanced recovery tools to extract lost data in any data loss scenario. However, finding the best hard drive recovery software in the sea of such solutions may seem impossible.
That's why we recommend Wondershare Recoverit. This tool has been on the market for over 20 years and carries more than 35 patented technologies. It's also one of the tools with the highest data loss and file type coverage, ensuring you'll recover all your data.
- Recovers data from 2000+ storage media, including HDDs, SSDs, USB drives, SD cards, etc.
- Enables recovery of data lost due to formatting, disk corruption, virus attack, and more.
- It works with all popular file systems, such as NTFS, FAT, HFS+, and APFS, among others.
If things go sideways and your data becomes corrupted, you can use the Enhanced Recovery feature to match scattered photo and video fragments and improve their quality.
Follow the steps below to recover data from your dropped hard drive using Wondershare Recoverit:
- Download, install, and open Wondershare Recoverit.
- Click Hard Drives and Locations in the main menu.
- Choose your dropped HDD from the available options.
- Once you select the drive, the program will automatically start scanning it. You can pause or stop the scan anytime.
- In the meantime, you can filter your data according to their size and type for faster recovery.
- You can also search for specific files by name.
- After the program finishes scanning, preview your recovered files. Select those you wish to save and click Recover.
- Choose where to store the recovered files.
In just a few minutes, you'll return all your data to a safe location and make your storage the same as before you dropped the hard drive.
Method 2. Repair the Dropped Hard Drive Using CHKDSK
CHKDSK is a command-line utility to detect and repair minor issues you may experience with your hard drive. You can use it to find bad sectors due to dropping the HDD and make them as good as new, automatically making your data accessible.
However, you'll need patience for this method since it may take time. Don't turn off your device or exit the program while the command runs. Follow the steps below to activate CHKDSK and retrieve your data:
- Type cmd in your device's search bar and select Run as administrator.
- Once you launch the Command Prompt, type the
chkdskcommand, followed by your drive letter. Press Enter.
You can also run CHKDSK in File Explorer, which may be more convenient. Here's how to do it:
- Open File Explorer and click This PC.
- Right-click the dropped hard drive and select Properties.
- Switch to the Tool tab and click Check.
- Once a dialog box appears, click Scan Drive to continue.
- After the program finishes scanning, click Show Details to read the report and hit Close.
Method 3. Repair the Dropped Hard Drive by Performing a SMART Test
A SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, Reporting, and Technology) test can help you detect a failing hard drive and repair minor issues. It's perfect for assessing the damage your hard drive experienced when you dropped it and recovering the affected data.
The SMART test will repair your hard drive and sectors, making your data accessible again. To run it, follow the guide below:
- Open the Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
- Run the following command:
wmic diskdrive get statuscommand.
Your dropped hard drive is healthy if you see "OK" on the screen after running the command. On the other hand, if it says "Pred Fail," your drive is experiencing consequences from the drop.
Method 4. Connect the Drive to Your Computer and Change the Cable
If the connection ports or cables are damaged, your computer may not recognize the data on the external hard drive. To test your HDD and fix this issue, connect it to a working computer. If the computer still doesn't recognize the external disk, change the connection cable and try again.
The damage from dropping an external hard drive sometimes manifests through the connection system, making it seem like your data is missing. However, you only need to change the cable to make your HDD as good as new.
Method 5. Use PowerShell to Fix Damaged System Files
PowerShell is a built-in Windows tool that works similarly to the Command Prompt. You can run a command line and fix the issues with your dropped internal or external hard drive. You can use all the commands you run in the Command Prompt in PowerShell and vice versa.
When you drop your hard drive, you can damage system files, making your data unreadable and inaccessible. To fix the issue, you can use command lines in PowerShell to detect the problem and implement an effective solution.
Thus, follow the guide below to recover your data from a dropped hard drive by fixing damaged system files:
- Right-click the Start button on your desktop and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
- Run this command:
DISM.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth. Let PowerShell do its magic; it will take a few minutes.
- After that, type the
sfc /scannowcommand and press Enter.
These commands will effectively resolve the issues with your system files and replace the corrupted data with their working versions. After that, restart your device to apply the changes to the hard drive.
Method 6. Go to a Professional Repair Shop
Dropping your hard drive can lead to severe physical damage. Don't DIY through the data recovery process if your hard drive is broken or you notice dents or scratches. In such cases, you may not even be able to connect your hard drive to the PC, let alone recover your data.
Therefore, find a professional hard drive repair shop to do the legwork. Choose one with an excellent reputation and positive user reviews to ensure everything flows smoothly before explaining the problem to the experts and handing them your HDD. They will assess the situation and try their best to retrieve your data.
Possible Effects of Dropping a Hard Drive
Dropping your hard drive can lead to several adverse effects, such as:
- Slow performance - If the hard drive is slightly damaged, you'll notice a difference in performance and speed.
- Inaccessible data - Dropping your hard drive can affect partitions and sectors, making the data unavailable.
- Inability to recognize the drive - Your computer may not detect your dropped hard drive due to the physical damage.
- Unbootable system - Since the hard drive keeps the operating system information, you may be unable to boot your device if that section is affected.
These are only some examples of what might happen if you drop your hard drive. Look for even less noticeable signs, such as unusual noises, to detect damage and react on time.
Accidentally dropping your hard drive can be stressful, primarily if it holds all your favorite memories and other valuable data. If you're now in such a scenario, our guide is your go-to solution to recovering data from a dropped hard drive.
Contact professional services if all else fails and your hard drive is too damaged for DIY projects. They will know how to handle your component and extract everything from it.