How to Fix a Hard Drive After a Physical Crash

Almost everyone who has ever used a computer has had the hard drive crash at one point or another. A crashed hard drive could spell disaster for anyone who works primarily on a computer, or stores important information on their hard drives. Even though you may feel helpless when your hard drive crashes, there are a couple ways to try to bring it back to life.

Things You'll Need

  • Restoration utility
  • Freezer


    • 1

      Download "Restoration" utility.

      This program searches your hard drive for lost or corrupted files that may have been damaged or deleted after the hard drive crashed. While this isn't a perfect fix for a crashed hard drive, it can certainly help if you are trying to recover important files. You can find a link to the restoration software in the resources section. After you have downloaded the file, extract the program by clicking the icon in the location that you downloaded it to.

    • 2

      Run the recovery utility.

      The program will open with a large blank, white screen in the center. You can change the drive you wish to recover by clicking the drop down menu to the right and choosing the correct drive letter (for most users this will be drive C).

      After choosing the drive you wish to restore, click the "Search Deleted Files" button under the drive letter. This will scan the drive for missing and corrupted files which will be listed in the large white box in the center of the screen.

      Once the scan is complete, you can select individual files, or all of them, and restore them by clicking "Restore by Copying" at the bottom left of the screen.

    • 3

      Freeze your hard drive.

      Though this may sound drastic, it has been shown that freezing your computer's hard drive can allow for the internal components to re-adjust due to expansion and contractions from the changing temperatures.

      You can do this by removing the hard drive from your computer, double bagging it in two zippered bags, and letting it sit in the coldest part of your freezer for at least 12 hours. After which you can remove the chilled hard drive and re-install it into your computer.

      This method is only a temporary fix and will provide you with a short amount of time to recover as much data as you can before it crashes again.

    • 4

      Ship your hard drive to a recovery center.

      If your hard drive is still malfunctioning and there is more data you wish to recover, you can send it to companies such as DriveSavers Data Recovery who can recapture the data for you. In some instances, they may be able to repair your hard drive just enough so that it can function on its own again. Most often however, companies such as this will only be able to obtain the information from the crashed drive and provide it to you via the Internet.

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  • Photo Credit hard drive image by iMAGINE from

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