So you connected your external HDD to your laptop and expect the Autorun window to come up asking what to do. To your surpirse, what you see nothing but hear the dreaded sound comin from your hard disk! Oh God! Welcome to the hard disk crash club!
I have experienced the above many times in the last 15 years, right from my first Sandisk external HDD. Let me tell you something which you won’t find anywhere else on the internet. I won’t utter any word about the usual “Disk Not Initialized” error which can be recovered by using any good data recovery software like Easeus Data Recovery Wizard. What I aim to say is about the Physical Hardware Failure of HDD.
How to Identify Hardware Failure of HDD?
If you try to initialize a hard disk which is showing “Disk Not Initialized” in Microsoft Windows Disk Management and it gives an I/O Error, know that it is 100% hardware failure of HDD.
There are basically 2 types of physical damage which can happen to any HDD.
- Corrupted Hard Disk PCB
- Failed Hard Disk Head Platter Mechanism
How to identify a corrupted hard disk PCB?
The Printed Circuit Board of External and Internal Hard Disks may go faulty by physical shock or Power fluctuations on the USB Port or SATA Port using which you connect the HDD to Laptop or Desktop.
If your HDD is powering on and spinning up when connecting to computer and eventually spins down silently, the PCB is damaged. Note the word “silently”. If it makes any clicking or ticking sound, the problem is not exactly PCB damage. Sometimes I have seen the circuit board becomes slightly hot, or burn marks may show up. Fortunately your chances of data recovery is higher if the damage is of PCB.
Data Recovery – Repair Corrupted Hard Disk PCB
The trick is getting an exact model of your HDD and replace your faulty HDD’s PCB with that of the good one. Replacing the PCB is easy. You can just do in minutes with a suitable screw driver. But unfortunately simply swapping the HDD PCB won’t work. You need to swap the Hard disk BIOS chip too.
There is a BIOS chip in the PCB of every HDD. The BIOS stores information about the HDD, bad sectors, repair info etc. So all individual HDDs will have unique info in the BIOS. Removing the original BIOS chip from the faulty HDD PCB and fixing it on good PCB requires the expertise of a professional HDD data recovery service professional.
Failed Hard Disk Head/Platter Mechanism
The Disk Head may get stuck within the platters. The Hard disk clicking noise is the typical symptom of this problem. You need to send the HDD for professional data recovery.