If you’ve been searching the internet frantically and have found yourself on this page, you’re probably facing the potential of losing your data from your hard drive. All hard drives fail eventually (one of the fundamental rules of computing which most people, including myself, forget) and you spaced that one weekend and forgot to backup your data. Okay, lesson learnt. But how are you going to get your documents back?

First reaction is to panic. You have important documents on there that you need for personal use or even worse, work. Once the moment of panic finishes, you Google it and see if what you are facing is hard drive failure. It could just be a system corruption that could cause a boot failure, which, fingers crossed, it is as attempts to salvage data can cost anywhere from hundreds to several thousands of dollars.

So, onto the two ways that hard drives can fail: logical and mechanical. A logical failure generally means the components themselves are physically undamaged, but the file system has accidentally been changed or there is a corrupt file which the hard drive can not access (such as the Master Boot Record, akin to the index or table of contents of a book). The fact remains that, much like a book that’s missing a table of contents, the data is still there on the hard drive (unless it has been overwritten) which means you can potentially get most, if not all your data back!