3 Methods for Recovering Data From a Dead Computer
Professional attempts to salvage data after a computer crash may cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Recovering data from a hard drive after receiving the blue screen of death may not be an impossible at-home task. Computer hard drives often contain photos, research files, recipes and other pertinent data that may sometimes be retrieved by the do-it-yourself er. Computers either fail due to logical failure or mechanical malfunctions. Mechanical malfunctions require an expert; however, data lost due to logistic failures may be recovered by the following three methods.
- Retrieval and Diagnostic Tools: Often files may be easily transferred with a $30 universal USB drive adapter. Several companies offer demo diagnostic tools online for free. It may be necessary to purchase the software package to unveil the comprehensive problem; however, the demo may uncover the root problem.
- Re-install Windows: The computer may not actually be dead. Corrupt files or accidental formatting may result in a computer crash. Re-installing Windows should resuscitate the computer. Push the power button and insert the Windows installation disc into the computer. Re-install Windows if the computer will allow. However, if Windows will not install on the computer, but will pull up in the initiation screen the data might still be salvageable. Insert a flash drive into the computer and copy the files from the hard drive.
- Remove the Hard Drive: If the CPU, memory, motherboard or power supply has received damage, but the hard drive remains intact, it may be possible to retrieve the data by removing the hard drive. Please be aware that removing the hard drive negates the warranty. Disengage the power switch and then disconnect the plug from the power outlet. Remove the screws and open the computer case. Detach the cables from the hard drive and remove all screws securing the hard drive in place. Pull the hard drive out of the case. Insert the hard drive into a working desktop PC computer utilizing the external drive bay. The files may then be saved.
*Photo courtesy of Hard Drive Data Recovery by Windflow2012 at Flickr's Creative Commons.