Is it just me or are hard drives having a shorter life span these days? I just had a Hitachi 1TB Hard Drive almost die out on me after six months due to hardware malfunctions but was able to recover and clone the drive to a new hard drive using Clonezilla!
However, no situation is the same and I’m getting questions from people (especially non-techies) for an easier way to recover data from dying or corrupt hard drives. So here’s a list of recovery methods that I hope can help save your data and your time.
Commercial vs. Free Recovery Software?
First, I just want to mention that it’s much easier for non-techie types to buy recovery software. The reason… simplicity.
The user interface for most commercial recovery software are made to be user-friendly and easy to understand. Plus, you get professional support and a guarantee if you get into some kind of trouble especially when things fail.
If you want something free, use Clonezilla. Remember however, it’s all “use at your own risk”!!! For some people who have tons of data such as HD videos, image files, and other huge and irreplaceable data, using at your own risk especially for DIY (do-it-yourself) activities is a scary option for those who don’t have the experience. But then again, high risks = high returns!
Anyways, using commercial vs. free software to recover and restore your data is all up to you. I’m here just to help provide some options for data recovery because hard drive failures do happen and it’s not a nice thing to ever encounter!
What I Recommend
If you’re going to go commercial, I would use what government agencies such as intelligence bureaus and law enforcement use. These guys will do whatever it takes to recover sensitive data and so it makes me really interested in what they use!
So what do these government agencies use for data recovery?
The most popular data recovery and management tools that I’ve come across is Prosoft and this is what law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Military, major intelligence agencies, and other professionals use to recover data. Don’t believe me? Check out their history at their website.
Their recovery software is pretty straightforward and easy to use. They have data rescue for both Mac and Windows operating systems, so if your hard drive ever gets corrupted by viruses or through some kind of hardware failure, you don’t have to worry about it so much no matter what system you use. These guys got it under control.
The thing I like about Prosoft’s data recovery tools is that even if your hard drive fails to mount or boot because it is so heavily corrupted, Prosoft’s data rescue can still work and recover your hard drive. Now that’s what I call pretty bad-ass recovery software right there!
Also, for those of us who accidentally erased some files, that data can be recovered again with Prosoft recovery. Actually, this recovery feature is important for IT forensics team, justice related departments, and digital forensics team because it allows them to effectively recover evidence from computers of criminals.
Other Alternatives Options for Recovering Your Drive?
- Ubuntu Live (too complicated but pretty good if hard drive is in good condition)
- Recuva (Awesome and Free but no support)
- Clonezilla (My favorite for cloning!)
- Filesavage (for Mac)
- Foremost (for Linux)
The 7 software listed above are freeware but remember to use them at your own risk. I take no responsibility if you ever lose data due to my recommendations. I’m just trying to inform you of options you can take if you ever have hard drive problems.