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Big DataFeatured

Is It Possible to Salvage Data Off a Dead Hard Drive?

“Hey, did you see where I left my data?”

That’s something you might be wondering when you can’t access your data on your hard drive.

If you’ve got a dead hard drive or a broken hard disk, you might think there’s no chance of recovering lost data.

But there are ways to salvage data from a dead hard drive. You also want to make sure to prevent the necessity of salvaging data in the future.

Here’s what you need to know:

Use Your Laptop

The first option is to connect your dead hard drive to your laptop via a USB connection.

In some cases, you might find that your laptop recognizes the data, and you can copy it over. This lets you recover your data which you can back up to another hard drive later.

If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to use a software program or utility on your laptop to recover lost data. These programs can often find data on damaged hard drives and copy them over to your laptop.

Manually Access the Data

If you’ve got a bit of technical expertise, you can manually access your hard drive’s data. If you haven’t, it’s best to skip this option as it might cause further damage to the drive.

You’ll need a computer with Linux as its operating system. This can only be done by accessing data from a hard drive based on Linux or Windows.

You’ll have to first install a Linux Live CD on the computer. Once installed, you need to reboot your computer with the hard drive connected. You’ll use your hard drive to boot the computer.

Then, you’ll open a file explorer where you can see your data and copy it over to the computer.

These are the two ways to salvage data from a dead hard drive or broken hard disk. Realistically, you likely won’t be able to recover your data using either method. As such, you want to take precautions to protect your data.

Precautions With Your Data

You want to trust the experts and seek their advice on how to protect your data. You can read some of their advice here:

The first step is to have a backup of your data online. You can use a cloud storage solution such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box.

If you don’t care for third-party services, you should buy a domain name and upload files via FTP.

When you use FTP, you can create a folder within your domain to save your files. The FTP service lets you create a password and encrypt your data which helps you protect it from hackers.

Alternatives to external hard drives also include USB drives or CDs. If you have sensitive data, you have to make sure they’re distributed on multiple backup drives.

Data Protection

You also need to find a way to protect your data to avoid it from getting lost or corrupted.

The first is to choose the right hard drive for your computer. You also have to choose the right external hard drive.

Make sure you choose a computer that operates on a solid-state drive. You also want to assess your computer’s strength.

You want to make sure it can store a large amount of data. You want to also make sure you can operate your computer for hours without rest.

Nevertheless, when you aren’t using your computer, it should be off. Keeping it on or on sleep mode can damage the hard drive in the long run.

When choosing an external hard drive, choose one that runs on a solid-state drive. Make sure you use one that works with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. It’s best to choose one that has in-built software to encrypt your data.

You also never want to go for budget hard drives. These won’t last long and can get damaged easily. Make sure you also password-protect all your external hard drives.

Digital Storage Options

Let’s return to digital storage options for your data. This is currently the best way to store your data. The major issue here is that you don’t want others to access your digital storage. Otherwise, they can delete your data, edit it, or share it with others.

When choosing a digital storage option, you want to research the service beforehand.

For example, Google Drive is one of the most popular options for cloud storage. It offers free storage for up to 15 gigabytes. The downside is that there might be a lack of privacy that you might have concerns about.

As such, if privacy is your concern, you want to avoid major tech companies providing these services. For this, you might want to choose Dropbox or Box.

It’s also best to always use a paid option for cloud storage, even if you only have a few files to store. Paid options usually offer greater security options for your data. It’s also best to use at least two cloud storage services for storing your data.

The FTP option that we mentioned previously is the most secure. Make sure you never share your domain name with anyone. You also don’t want to ever give out your FTP login credentials.

With both FTP and cloud storage, you want to change your password at least once per month. You should also revise your data to see if there’s anything you want to delete or take offline.

A third option is to create a new email account where you email yourself your files. Use a service such as ProtonMail that focuses on privacy and encryption.

That’s How to Salvage Data

Now that you know how to salvage data, you can attempt to recover your files from a dead hard drive or broken hard disk.

But as you’ve seen, it’s rather rare to successfully salvage data. As such, it’s always best to take precautions beforehand.

Make sure you always have more than one hard drive for storing sensitive data. You might want to consider USB drives and CDs as an alternative. You can also use cloud storage solutions for storing your data.

You can find more great tech tips on our website!

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