If your hard drive fails or its data is corrupted you’re likely to immediately look for ways that you can fix it or recover the data that is from it. More than not you’re likely to encounter several home remedies that claim to be able to ‘fix’ or ‘recover data’ from the hard drive.
Unfortunately not only do some of the common home remedies not work – but they could end up damaging your hard drive further. In particular you should be aware of a few home remedies that should be avoided at all costs:
- Do not put the hard drive in the freezer
For years on end one of the most common home remedies for a failed hard drive is to put it in a waterproof bag and place it in the freezer. In the early days of computing this actually worked because it helped free up disks that were stuck due to a condition called ‘stiction’. However modern hard drives do not suffer from stiction, so putting your hard drive in the freezer won’t help – and could make things much worse by exposing it to moisture.
- Do not swap the circuit board
In theory if your hard drive has failed because its circuit board is faulty – swapping it with a replacement could fix the problem. However that is risky because you will need a circuit board that is completely identical, and requires the right firmware version, correct chipset, and numerous other factors.
Generally it is best to avoid this home remedy, as if it doesn’t work it could cause a mechanical failure and permanently destroy the data on your hard drive – making it impossible for even a professional to recover.
- Do not power cycle the hard drive in an attempt to get it to work
If your hard drive isn’t recognized or doesn’t seem to be turning on it may be tempting to ‘power cycle’ it by switching it off then on, or disconnecting then connecting the power supply. Contrary to what others tell you the chances of power cycling actually working are slim – and it runs the risk of causing a mechanical failure or damaging the disk itself further.
- Do not open up and expose the hard drive media
While disconnecting the hard drive and taking it to a professional for recovery is fine, under no circumstances should you actually ‘open up’ and expose the media on the hard drive by yourself. If you do that outside of a clean room the data that is on your hard drive will probably end up permanently lost.
As a rule you should be very careful when trying to recover data from a hard drive, and in most cases may want to look into professional services such as Ontrack data recovery instead. The fact of the matter is that the wrong home remedies could end up doing more harm than good – which is why it helps to know about them and avoid them at all costs.