Recently, I experienced some technical difficulties with my Samsung 320GB hard drive, which I was using to transport video files from my laptop to my desktop PC. It seemed as though something had corrupted the hard drive in the transfer process, resulting in this wonderful message:
The system was unable to read the drive, believing that there is nothing on the disk. Oh, ho, ho, ho. Now what? Are those files officially gone? Not quite. Let me run through how recovered my files.
I started by searching for hard drive recovery tools and came across a nifty little program called the Minitool Partition Wizard Home Edition. This software package includes a simple interface that can be helpful for even the most casual users.
Once the program is installed, open the software. You will be given the option to access either the Partition Wizard or Data Recovery. Choose the Data Recovery option.
And…what’s this? It will only recover 2GB of data, unless you pay for the software?! Yeah, this happens. Lesson number one: always watch out for software that says its “free”, but once installed, limits what you can do with the software, unless you purchase the “full” version. It’ll happen more than you think, so just do some thorough research and look for the hidden fees and limitations.
So, after doing some further research, I found a free version that provides a FULL recovery without paying any of your hard-earned cash. Recuva is a free software package designed for data recovery. The application can be downloaded here. On the software page, hit the big green download button. From there it will take you to the next page. Obviously, you want select the free software bundle (unless you feel like giving them your money). Select where you want to download the software from. I just chose Piriform, since they developed the software. From there, the download should automatically start. If not, you can click on the big green download button to start it. Make sure you don’t have any Firewalls in place that are preventing the download from opening. Select the destination of the file and let it download.
Once complete, open the installer to begin software installation process. Once the installation is complete, allow the application to open. A recovery wizard is the first to appear. If your hard drive is completely unresponsive, then the wizard will be of little use. Go ahead and click ‘Cancel’ to navigate to the main recovery screen. Select your faulty hard drive from the drop-down menu and scan the drive for the missing files.