Read a Broken Hard Drive

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Read a broken hard drive by running through the diagnostic utilities found under the "Error Checking" menu in the "Tools" section of the computer. Choose to automatically fix file system errors on a hard drive with advice from a computer programmer in this free video on computer hard drives.

Part of the Video Series: Computer Hardware & Software Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Dave Andrews, today I'm going to show you how to read a broken hard drive. What we're going to do is run through some diagnostics utilities that will try to fix our broken hard drive to where we can open it up to read it. Let's go to our computer and with your computer booted, click on the start button let's go to computer. Now on the hard drive that is broken, in this case let's say our D drive, right click on it in my computer and go properties, and go to tools, and we're going to select error checking. Go to check now. Now on Windows Vista you have to be an administrator in this program, so just click continue. This is going to ask us some options for what we'd like to do for error checking for our hard drive. We're automatically going to fix the file system errors we encounter but we also want to scan the entire hard drive and attempt recovery of bad sectors. Now a bad sector is a block on your hard drive that may have gotten corrupted or damaged somehow and is not able to be written to. What this second option will do is scan all of the sectors on your hard drive and flag those that are bad and therefore it will ignore them in the future. So just click start and it's actually checking that drive now for any kind of errors that it may find. Now our disk check is just completed so let's close this and see if we can read the data that's on the hard drive. Now, if we cannot read that still, you're going to need to reboot and go into your hard drive diagnostics that comes with your computer. Just restart your computer and when it's booting you're going to want to press a key combination that comes up on the screen. Now as my computer starts back up there's going to be a manufacturer's logo that appears and usually at the bottom of the screen you're going to see a list of buttons that you can press to access your computer's BIOS. I'm going to start mine up here and in my case the BIOS access button is F2, it's usually going to be F2 or F1 or the delete key. So I just keep pressing that until I get my BIOS screen here. Now the option that I want to select here and you'll see something similar, is you're going to find something about primary hard disks diagnostics, so select that and just press the inner key to begin your hard drive diagnostics. My name is Dave Andrews and I've just showed you how to read data from a broken hard drive.

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