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Hard Drive Debug, Hard Drive Diagnostics and Hard Disk Drive Repair (HDD Repair)

Your are obviously here because you can’t access your data.

The first thing you must do is determine if you had a computer failure or a hard drive failure.

If you push the power button on your computer and nothing happens you most likely have a computer problem and not a hard drive problem.

pc no boot device

If you have a Apple computer and you have a blinking question mark folder (see the image on the left) or if you have a PC and you get a “DISK BOOT FAILURE” (see the image on the right) that means that your computer is most likely OK but your hard drive is not being detected by your computer.

If the hard drive is not being detected by your computer and if you did not touch the hard drive connection or wires that means that you had a hard drive mechanical failure. There is not much you can do it this point other than send it to us for a free evaluation. Data recovery software will never work on this drive because your computer does not see it.

Apple-logo-with-spinning-Gearwindows7 boot screen

If you get a Apple Logo with spinning gear or “Starting Windows” logo and nothing else happends then you could have a hard drive problem or you could have a software or virus problem. If your hard drive is over 3 years old or you dropped your laptop before this happened then you are more likely to have a hard drive problem.

If you know what you are doing you should remove the hard drive from your computer and hook it up to a good computer either through a USB box or by direct connection to the motherboard.

If you don’t know what you are doing you can send the drive to us for a free estimate.

A hard drive docking station can be used to connect your bad hard drive to your good computer.


If you see all your files, copy them to another drive and have someone fix your computer.

If your good computer does not detect the hard drive then you have a problem with your hard drive. There is nothing you can do if your computer will not detect the drive. You need to send it to us and let us fix it.


Good Drive

If you have a good ear you can debug your drive by sound.
Above is audio from a good drive.
When you first apply power this is what you are hearing.

  1. You can hear the disk spin up to speed.
  2. You hear a tick which is the drive testing  that the heads move.
  3. You hear what is called a “Sweep”. What the drive is doing is reading the the disk at various spots. Most drives test ten or more tracks. It sounds like a buzz that takes about a second or two to do the test.
  4. If it passes all tests the drive will go to a ready state and start talking to your computer. At this point it tells your computer the make and model along with it’s capacity.
  5. At this point the heads should be quiet and the drive should continue to spin and not make a clicking noise or turn itself off.
  6. Once you start reading data you should hear a random fluttering sound. There should never be a sound that keeps repeating over and over.

If your computer asks you to initialize or format your drive, say no!
If it wants to run disk repair or check disk (CHKDSK) say no!

Note: Check Disk works good on a drive without mechanical issues but can make a real mess of things if there is something wrong with your drive. I would recommend strongly that you test your drive with HDD Scan before running check disk or disk repair. Only run it if the disk tests good.

If your drive runs very slow or freezes your computer your drive may have had a minor head crash.

Check to see if the drive shows up in “disk management” or “disk utilities”. If it shows up with the correct size then you should scan the drive with HDD Scan

See: Old Age Hard Drive Failure or Minor Head Crash for more details.

If it shows up with the wrong size in “disk management” or “disk utilities” that means you have a firmware problem. The firmware is the operating system of the hard drive. If it becomes corrupted, it needs to be manually repaired. Special tools and experience is needed to repair machine code. See: No or Wrong ID Hard drive

Search below for any other symptoms your drive may have.

You can always call us for free advice.

Hard drive mechanical failure:

Clicking Hard Drive
Beeping Hard Drive
Burnt Circuit Board
Dropped Hard Drive
No or Wrong ID Hard drive

Blue Screen of Death (B.S.O.D.)

Old Age Hard Drive Failure or Minor Head Crash

Do not try to fix it yourself!

Putting your hard drive in the freezer or banging it on the floor will cause irreversible damage to your drive.

Simply opening a hard drive and looking at it can double the recovery cost and even make it unrecoverable.

Call Data Recovery New Jersey
Toll Free 888-548-9399Talk directly to an engineer

Data Recovery NJ
12 New Providence Road
Watchung, NJ 07069


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