Ask me how to recover lost files from WD Elements portable hard drive

Working with large quantities of information? You know the desperate moment when you realize that you need some files that you deleted a long time ago. This is the subject of this post : How to do a deleted file recovery. First lets start with some general data recovery advices, valid for all type of data devices, PC’s, Mac’s, phones.

Don’t buy cheap storage devices. eBay is filled with SD cards, hard drives, and thumb drives that cost merely a fraction of their brand-name counterparts. They may seem like a great deal, but they rarely are. Manufacturers of these cheap storage devices often use discarded components that failed to pass strict quality-control requirements of renowned manufacturers. Unless you like playing with fire, avoid them at all cost.

The first step is to remove the hard drive from the device if possible, or otherwise stop using it. Any actions, even installing a recovery app, risks overwriting the files you need. The good news is that when you delete a file on a drive, all that data doesn’t immediately go away. The computer mostly erases the information that points the computer to that chunk of data, which will remain until it gets written over. This works differently depending on whether you have a magnetic spinning disk drive or a solid-state drive (SSD), which you’ll find on most modern computers. But either way, recovery is possible.

Thereafter, connect the hard drive to another computer as a secondary drive (non boot-up drive) and see if it shows up there. Even if it doesn’t, you can try to clone it and recover data from the clone. There are some great software available that help you in creating the clone. Recovery of Data from Dead or Corrupt Hard Drive With Software: Once the faulty hard drive has been repaired or you’ve managed to create its clone through some software, recovering the data on it becomes relatively simple through a reliable and efficient hard drive data recovery software. There are a number of good software available for this purpose like Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows.

Platters: Your drive contains one or more thin, circular platters. These spin around at anywhere between 5,900rpm to 7,200rpm on consumer drives and are the media that actually store your data. Made of glass or some form of alloy and coated with a magnetic layer, they can store anything up to 4TB of data. Head assembly: Data from your drives’ platters is read by means of a series of read and write heads. While in operation, these heads are not actually in contact with the surface of the platters. In fact, they ‘fly’ nanometers above the surface of the disk, reading and writing data. Typically a drive will have 2 heads per platter, so a large capacity drive with 3 platters will be paired up with 6 heads, one for each side of each platter. If these heads fail physically or the drive is dropped or knocked over, the drive can experience a ‘head crash’ where the heads no longer fly over the platters, but instead make contact with the surface and destroy your data at a few thousand revolutions per minute.

Older laptops that were constructed with traditional hard drives were fairly simple to pop open and fix. You could unscrew a few screws holding the case together, and then plug into the drive via a universal SATA port to retrieve the data. Opening the actual drive itself is not without risk, or advisable, as dust could and will enter the drive, causing contamination and potentially additional damage during the process. For example, older drives would be subject to something called stiction, and sometimes became ‘stuck’, whereby the head and actuator were locked or stuck and the motor failed to spin, causing the hard drive platters to spin improperly. One trick that had some reported success involved placing a hard drive in the freezer, which would cause the metal to contract and become unstuck, at least long enough to offload the data.

If you have a storage device that you have not used for a while and you realize that you deleted information a long time ago, it is possible to recover it. There are different tools when recovering files, and one of them are data recovery software, programs specialized in the recovery of any type of file and that work under any operating system. Read extra info at How to recover deleted files which were deleted long time ago?.