Understanding corrupt Hard Drives | Ontrack Blog

April 7, 2022 by Shira Caldie

When your hard drive is corrupted, it may seem impossible to retrieve the data. However, recovering data from a corrupted hard drive isn’t impossible if you have the right expertise. The first step in recovering your data is to look at what caused the corruption. There are many reasons why data corruption occurs - let’s look at a few of them.   In many cases, a corrupted hard drive can occur as a storage device ages.  The reason for these failures is that during operation, or even when the hard drive is not in use, the data can experience degradation.  Files then become corrupted and are no longer usable.  Data corruption can occur from a sudden loss of power.

What to do with a Corrupted Hard Drive

A message comes through saying that files are corrupted, now what?

  1. Use a data recovery software
  2. Seek help from a professional of hard drive data recovery service

Sometimes, data recovery software can find fragmented parts of the file on other sectors of the hard drive and rebuilt it.  However, DIY data recovery always carries significant risk with it.  If you do decide to use these tools, be sure to use them on a copy or image of the drive, not the original drive.

Tips for Recovering Corrupt Data

In order to prevent any further damage to the drive, it is wise to follow these steps:

  • Make a sector level image of the drive that contains the corrupted file(s). Ontrack EasyRecovery can help you with this.
  • After you have successfully recovered your corrupted data, you can attempt to use a state-of-the-art file repair tools to fix it.
  • Do not use the built-in OS volume repair tools (like CHKDSK or FSCK) to fix the hard drive. Using these built-in tools will often cause more damage and prevent data from being recoverable.
  • If you find yourself out of options after exhausting all of the above, contact a professional data recovery service provider.