Is there any way to restore a crashed hard drive?

Eian Ampoloquio April 28, 2013
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Hi! Is there a way to restore a Hard Drive that crashed?

What happened to my HDD is it suddenly became undetected. When you power ON the system, the screen always freeze on “Detecting IDE Drives…” and never moves on.

All my very important files are in there. Some files can be downloaded again online, but what totally saddens me are those who only have 1 copy and took me years to have and collected. I hope there’s still a way to retrieve the files in crashed HDD.


  1. dragonmouth
    May 1, 2013 at 11:55 am

    If all else fails, you can try freezing your hard drive before attempting data recovery. The procedure is outlined in the following Lifehacker article:

  2. davegeeit
    May 1, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Third party software such as RecoveryFix for Windows software will help you in restoring data from crash hard drive. Download Free Demo version.


  3. Chris Marcoe
    May 1, 2013 at 1:54 am

    So, you are saying that you want the data from the HHD. that is the important part. Not, necessarily getting the drive working again. You can remove the drive from the computer. Use a SATA/IDE to USE adapter and plug it into another computer (or the one you put a new drive in.) then, you should be able to access the info on the drive.

    Good luck.

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      yeah. the important part for me is retrieving the data but if the HDD worked again then the better. but i prioritized the data retrieving part. Actually i already removed the old HDD and bought a new one which is working now. I tried to put back the old HDD and make it as the Slave (Secondary HDD) but the BIOS can't detect it. I haven't tried to plug it to another PC yet. can't find someone available. But thanks so much.

    • Jim Chambers
      May 3, 2013 at 3:28 am

      Are both drives PATA (IDE)? If new drive is SATA, you should leave jumper in cable select or master position. Note: if on cable select, you should use end connector of ribbon cable. As to freezer trick, I successfully recovered data from a drive by placing drive between 2 refrigerated cold packs.

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 3, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Hi! yeah the old HDD and the new one that i bought are both IDE. the only problem to the old HDD is the BIOS can't detect it. the system runs very slow whenever i plug it back. :(

    • Jim Chambers
      May 3, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Do any of the large chips on the drive's circuit board get realy hot to the touch or have burn marks or cracks in the center? Visually check the IDE connector solder joints on circuit board. Check board for a damaged capacitor ( very small brick shaped component with line around one end).

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 3, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      HI! just checked and i didn't notice any burn marks.on the chips on the board. i don't think the IDE connector is the problem either because the new HDD is working perfectly well.

    • Jim Chambers
      May 4, 2013 at 2:42 am

      My suggestion refers to the old HDD's circuit board not the motherboard

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      I can't find any burn marks on the HDD itself also.

  4. yudics
    April 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    what happen before?, try to detect your hardisk via bios, and activated S.M.A.R.T, for detect your hardisk from bad sector..

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      April 30, 2013 at 1:54 am

      Hi! What happened before was.. I'm downloading some files and browsing the internet when it becomes blue screen. Telling me that "If this the first time you encounter this problem Restart your PC". So i did and after that whenever i start the system it hangs/freezes to 'Detecting IDE Drive.." part. I already bought a new HDD and it's working. I tried to put back the crashed HDD and plugged it as Secondary (Slave) HDD but whenever i tried to detect it using BIOS it can't detect it. There is really something wrong with it.

    • yudics
      May 1, 2013 at 12:45 am

      if bios cannot detect your hardisk, its mean your hardisk is completely failed and your data is can not be saved anymore with any means. try to detect with a single bad HDD with bios, if your lucky and the bios can detect the bad hardisk, then try to doing the low level format for the bad hardisk (sometimes this way is works). can you share with me what the brands of the bad hardisk and what the type?..

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      well.. i haven't tried it again to plugged it in. After i bought a new one and tried it. But yeah, the first time i put it in as the Slave HDD (Secondary Drive) and let the BIOS try to detect it, it can't detect it. And it hangs/freezes again when i insist to repeatedly try to make it detected. Now, if what you've just said are true then i'm totally devastated with this old HDD. On this: "try to detect with a single bad HDD with bios," part that you've said how can i do this? I mean, whenever i powered ON my system it hangs/freezes right away on the "Detect IDE Drive..." part. Is there a way to skip that part and boot the system? My old HDD is a desktop HDD Seagate brand Barracuda 7200.7 it's a very old one. It just passed to me when i own this old desktop pc. :)

    • yudics
      May 2, 2013 at 6:56 am

      ic, to load bios program just press "F2" key, repeatedly, soon after the power button is pressed. in the bios program find harddisk setting for your motherboard, you can detect hardisk from there. "detect singgle bad hdd" is, your bad hardisk is attached as a singgle hardisk in your system, remember to set jumper to cable select first, when you set the jumper, make sure the power is off. i think seagate baracuda is a great hardisk. oh i remember you may check this link: in many case you have to reflash the firmware for your hardisk, search on seagate website how to reflash hardisk firmware. check is the firmware for your hardisk is available, go to this link: okey let me know what next..?

    • yudics
      May 2, 2013 at 7:05 am

      to skip your hardisk detect from booting process, check the settings from bios program, some motherboard have setting for not to doing POST check (hardware check) before they load the operating system.

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 3, 2013 at 8:55 am

      well in my pc to go inside BIOS is the "DEL" buttton in any case. i want to find out how to do that part where i can skip the hard disk detect in booting process. because whatever i do i can't find it. plus, i happened to plug-in back the old HDD yesterday and just like the previous attempt it hangs again though it proceeded and passed the DETECT IDE DRIVE.. the old HDD didn't list it's name there and the worse is the monitor went black screen and look for a boot CD.

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 3, 2013 at 9:13 am

      the links that you provided are very informative. it's all there. how i wish my HDD will not fall on the faulty part. Where it needed to be replaced because it's non-fixable. :(

    • yudics
      May 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      hi, what is your board brand and what type, maybe i can find information about the bios, how to disable hdd boot check. but first, please try to disable POST before you plug the bad hardisk in your system. if works, try to use sea tools to detect your hardisk.

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 3, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      I don't know what brand is this board. There's a "P4MDPT" sticker on it, so maybe that's the brand. I don't know really. This system is just a hand-me-down unit that i got from friend. It's really old. I hope that helps.

    • yudics
      May 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      ok, first, can you entering bios program before HDD check failed?(just want to make sure), second is how about disabling POST check, its works?. i have read the manual of your motherboard, if you want to check hardisk by bios you can go to "Standard CMOS Features", in there you can check hardisk by pressing enter, if bios can detect hardisk you hardisk model will be shown. to disable POST check, go to "Advanced BIOS Features" find "Quick Power On Self Test", and then disable it, you can disable boot device for HDD too, and disable "HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability". if after you do all of this, and your system still hang with hardisk detecting. i don't know, maybe your bad hardisk have a fault hardware, like a hardisk board error. that's all Eian, i'm sorry if my advice is still cannot helping to you.

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      that's the problem, i can't even enter the BIOS because the system hangs on the "Detect IDE Drives...". I will take note all your advice. If really all of these don't work, for sure it's the HDD. Thank you so much for your time. Among the people here your the one dedicated on answering my queries and for that really thank so much. ;) I'll message back right after i tried these. Whether it works or not. Thanks again.

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Hey! just an update. I did everything you suggested and it didn't work I guess it's already defective for good. It's not really working. i can't go to the BIOS without encountering the screen freeze or system freeze when Detecting the IDE Drives. I gues i have to move on now and start collecting the lost files by searching again online. Thank you for your time! :)

    • yudics
      May 10, 2013 at 7:28 am

      hi, eian.. last try!, you can change the bios setting first without Hardisk attached on your system. to do this, unplug your hardisk, power on the computer, enter bios program and change the settings, press F10(save and exit). turn off your computer and plug in back the hardisk, and turn on.., good luck and thanks too... i just want to help..

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Hi! i already surrender to the Hard Disk. It's beyond repairable i think. Maybe i need to hire some to fix it. No matter what i do i really can't access it without encountering the system hanging everytime it wants to detect the hard drive. you've been a great help. thanks again. :)

  5. babu vhora
    April 29, 2013 at 8:06 am

    You can use data recovery software for deleted or crashed hard disk. some software names are given below:

    1.Auslogics fie recovery
    2.i care data recovery

  6. babu vhora
    April 29, 2013 at 8:03 am

    You can use Data recovery software for deleted or crashed hard drive.some softwares are given below...
    1.Auslogics file recovery
    2.iCare Data Recovery Standard

  7. Steve
    April 29, 2013 at 1:00 am

    First ascertain if the drive is spinning. If it is, get yourself a copy of Spinrite from and follow the directions.

  8. Jim Chambers
    April 28, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    This works sometimes - change IDE drive jumper from cable select (CS) to master. Also try moving drive ribbon cable from primary to secondary IDE port if available on motherboard.

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      I tried to put the old HDD as SLAVE (Secondary HDD) but the BIOS can't detect it.

  9. Paul Pruitt
    April 28, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Good advice by Ha14 and Oron. They are non-destructive ways. Also see this article: The author argues against using ChkDsk but if your computer can at least see the drive, assigning a letter, it's a non-expert way to fix access to the disk.

    Read the article on and then decide if you want to try his more involved methods. If not using the Windows installation disk to start the Recovery Console and run the command. See:

    • Paul Pruitt
      April 30, 2013 at 3:31 am

      Take out the drive and try in another computer. Maybe it is the motherboard. Also maybe the cables are loose, try unplugging them from the drive and replugging. Also cables go bad sometimes, try using another data cable and also another previously unused power cable. Try looking in the BIOS to see if the BIOS detects it.

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Hi! i don't think the Motherboard or the IDE is the problem. I already bought a new HDD and it's working just fine. Now, i tried to plug in back the old HDD (crashed one) and make it as the Slave (Secondary HDD) but the BIOS can't really detect it. :(

    • Paul Pruitt
      May 2, 2013 at 1:27 am

      Sounds like maybe the electronic have burnt out. You may need an expensive professional company like Ontrack. However it might be possible to replace the drive's hardware "motherboard" on the outside of the drive yourself. Find out the exact model number and go to eBay and see if you can find it.

      I'm speaking with absolutely no experience on this kind of repair so I hope somebody else can offer advice or straighten me out.

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      May 2, 2013 at 1:33 am

      Yeah. I think the best possible for me to fix or retrieve the files in this crashed HDD is to bring it to Repair Center in which it will cost me a lot. Thanks for giving some time to answer my query. :)

  10. Oron Joffe
    April 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    If I understand you correctly, this is the boot disc, and the computer hangs before Windows even starts up. It may simply be that this is caused by poor contactst. Open up the computer, unplug the hard disc and make sure the contact are clean, then plug the connnector back in. Do the same thing on the motherboard side and restart the computer.
    If this does not work, it's possible that the controller (either on the hard disc or on the motherboard) is faulty. Best advice would be to take it to a technician. Diagnosis should not be difficult (connecting the hard disc to another computer should reveal where the problem lies), and if the problem is indeed with the hard disc, then the technician may be able to restore the disc to health by replacing the controllers (though this does not work with all modern discs).

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      April 30, 2013 at 1:46 am

      Thanks for the help. Actually i bought a brand new HDD and it could detect the new HDD. So the faulty here is really the old one. I will try your suggestion. Thanks! :)

  11. ha14
    April 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    is it external hard drive?
    try this microsoft solution

    1) go to Start then to Run and type: cmd, right click on it and choose run as administrator
    2) on the black screen type--> diskpart and hit enter
    3)Then type--> list volume and hit enter
    do you see your hard drive?

    while HDD is connected go to device manager and look for the yellow sign, right click on it and choose uninstall (do not delete) reboot and let windows to detect the hard drive to install the required driver.

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      April 30, 2013 at 1:42 am

      It's actually an internal HDD for desktop PC. Thanks for the help! :)

    • Eian Ampoloquio
      April 30, 2013 at 1:49 am

      It's actually an internal HDD for desktop PC. I could not be able to boot the system because it hangs/freezes on the "Detecting IDE Drive..." part. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

    • John Park
      May 9, 2013 at 11:58 am

      In such case without waste a time you add your hard disk with another system and try to connect & access imported data . If connection establish then take complete backup if your not access all portion then you first read this blog :

      I hope this could help you.

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