Recover Data from Dead SATA Hard Disk Using Softwares

What is SATA hard drive?

Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, often abbreviated SATA or S-ATA, is the current standard technology for connecting devices like optical drives and hard disk drives to the motherboard. The SATA replaces the older PATA standard, offering several advantages over the older interface: reduced cable size and cost, native hot swapping, faster data transfer through higher signaling rates, etc. It has replaced PATA in consumer desktop and laptop computers, and has largely replaced PATA in new embedded applications.

Data Loss on SATA Hard Drive

Data contained in SATA drive is vulnerable to loss. You may lose your data from SATA hard drive due to accidentally deletion, formatting, partition damage or loss, unexpected system shutdown, virus attack, etc. For example:
“Hey guys, I have a SATA Seagate drive that crashed a day ago. I couldn’t access it anymore and I want to get back my data. Can anyone suggest a way I could recover my data?”

Is it possible to recover files from SATA hard drive?

Definitely the answer is yes. When deleting or formatting files on SATA hard drive, the system not really erasing the data permanently, but only marking the part of the SATA hard drive where lost files previously occupied as blank for new files. Your deleted files are still there, just become invisible and inaccessible. If you haven’t written new files into it, there is a great chance to recover lost files from SATA hard drive with data recovery software.

How to recover data from SATA drive

If you are a tech, then you probably know that hard drive failures are inevitable. Chances are that sooner or later it will happen to someone you support or possibly even you.
The good news is that there are lots of great recovery tools and methods out there and I would like to share them with you.
Please take this as a reminder to start a proper back up routine.
You may want to buy an external hard drive to make it easier, and they are handy to carry with you.

Step 1: Connect the Hard Drive to Another Computer

USB to IDE-SATA hard drive connector
Before you can do any work on the crashed drive you will need to remove it from the current machine (unless it is an external drive that has crashed) and connect it to another machine as a secondary drive.  The best way to do this is to buy and use a USB to IDE/SATA adapter. This is the cheapest multi-functional USB 3 option and I prefer USB 3 because it is a lot faster. It is useful to have one of these:
  • to recover files from hard drive
  • to recover data from hard drive (ie. any files, photos, documents, data bases or other data)
  • to connect hard drive via a USB (for any reason)
So it could come in handy any time you simply want to connect a hard drive for any reason. This may be to read the data or transfer to or from a working drive, not just to recover files from a problem hard drive. It is better than to always take apart the computer case or buy an external case that you then have to install the drive in.
It will just appear as a USB connected drive to the operating system. This is the easiest way and could save you time and effort!
If you don’t have one available (and you do not want to buy one) then you may be able to connect the drive to another desktop computer internally as a secondary drive, though this means pulling apart another computer to install the crashed drive.  If you do, make sure that the machine detects the drive in the BIOS or you won’t be able to access it once the computer starts up.

Step 2: Try to Copy the Data to Another Drive

After you connect the drive to another computer either internally or with the USB adapter, check to see if you can browse the contents of the drive. It is worth trying because maybe it wasn’t the drive itself that actually crashed. If you can, try to copy data off that you would like to recover.  This might not work if you are trying to recover data from a dead hard drive but there is a chance that only the operating system is corrupt and the user data is still fine.

Step 3: Download and Try Data Recovery Software

If you can’t manually copy the user data off then you can try to recover it using data recovery software.  Whatever you do, do not write anything to the drive that you are trying to recover data from. This means you should not install the recovery software onto the drive that you are trying to recover data from. Doing so could actually overwrite files that are still hidden there and that you can still restore

PC Hard Drive Recovery:

Option 1: Recuva

Recuva software for hard disk recovery
Click here to get Recuva which is a free hard drive recovery tool from Piriform (the makers of CCleaner) and is one of the best free PC data recovery tools available.  Even if the drive has been formatted, Recuva can scan the drive to recover files. If the basic scan fails, there is also a deep scan to discover more deeply-buried results.  There is also a portable version if you don’t want to install the full version.
When you launch Recuva, you will be presented with a wizard that will guide you through restoring your files.  First you will choose the type of file you need to recover, then the location, and then start the scan or choose “Enable Deep Scan” if the quick scan doesn’t find the files you need to recover.

Option 2: PC Inspector File Recovery

PC Inspector for Hard Disk Recovery
Click here to get PC Inspector File Recovery which is the recovery software that I originally featured in this article back in 2006.  It’s still a decent recovery tool and can be used if you are unable to recover the files you need with Recuva.
When you launch PC Inspector File Recovery, you will need to choose your language. After this, you will be presented with a welcome screen giving you three options.
The first option is “Recover Deleted Files”. This allows you to restore files that have been permanently deleted from the drive. This will only work if the deleted file has not already been overwritten.
The second option is “Find Lost Data”. This allows you to recover data that has been lost due to a system crash. If you choose this option, you will be asked for the “start cluster” and “end cluster”. Leave the default settings to scan the whole drive. The scan could take a couple of hours depending on how large your drive is.

The third option is “Find Lost Drive”. Use this option if your drive letter is not showing up in Windows Explorer or My Computer. It will attempt to connect to the drive and if successful, allow you to browse the data.

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