5 Amazing Freeware & Method To Recover Data From Crashed or Damaged Hard Drive

Updated: January 1, 2019 / Home » Desktop Computer Software » Data Recovery and Backup Software

Your laptop hard disk or desktop hard drive crashed and your technician told you it is going to cost you a bomb to recovery/retrieve all the lost data. Don’t be fooled by his sweat talk, and most important of all, don’t panic! When you are not calm, you’re likely to do something you will regret once the incident is over, just like in a car accident.

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Just like you, my hard disk crashed when I was busy rushing for my midterm assignment, I stayed calm, took a deep breath and use a hard drive recovery software to retrieve my damaged hard drive. These software are free of charge, unlike paid hard drive recovery software, these software performed the same task minus the expensive price tag of hundreds of dollars. I’ve compiled a few possible scenarios with the respective solutions:

01 – Recuva Data Disc Recovery (Freeware)

Hard Drive Hard Disk Data Recovery Software, Tools and Service

Recuva Freeware is a free hard drive recovery software made available by Piriform, it can efficiently scan and recover data from crashed hard disk data in FAT and NTFS format. Besides standard hard disk file recovery data, Recuva can also.

  • Recover data lost by ‘shift – delete’ on FAT partitions
  • Recover any data fragments from drive
  • Search drive through many criterion
  • Searching data directly on HDD, for example scanning free clusters in search for our file

02 – PC Inspector File Recovery (Freeware)

Crashed Hard Drive Hard Disk Data Recovery Software, Tools and Service

PC Inspector file recovery is a hard drive data recovery software, if DDR failed in recovering your hard drive data, do give PC Inspector a try before you pay for a shareware, some of the key features of this free hard drive crash data recovery tool:

  • Works even if the boot sector or FAT has been erased
  • The free hard disk recovery tool has a user friendly GUI – like the Windows Explorer structure
  • Recovers files with the original date and timestamp
  • It can find partitions automatically, even if the boot sector or FAT has been erased or damaged.
  • It can recover files with the original time and date stamp.
  • It can recover files even when the header entry is no longer available.
  • It supports a variety of formats, including those created by compressed and archiving programs.
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Just like DDR, PC INSPECTOR™ File Recovery is free. This means that the software does not cost you a single penny. If you are not tech savvy, and really want good technical support, in addition to reliable hard disk data recovery and a guarantee results, you should opt for commercial hard disk backup and recovery software.

03 – Active@ Boot Disk Data Recovery Boot Disk (DOS Boot Disk)

active disk recovery Boot Disk Data Recovery Boot Disk

Active@ Boot Disk is a bootable LiveCD/DVD/USB Flash Disk that allows you to boot up any computer and fix most startup and PC configuration problems. Use Active@ Boot Disk to recover your lost data, manage HDD partitions, reset Windows passwords, make computer system backups [disk images], securely erase data and there is much more.

This software works when your hard drive partition is healthy, it is advisable to make a system backup of your disk image. Alternatively, you can try TESTDISK (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk), TestDisk is a DOS and Windows tool (also available for Linux) produced by CGsecurity.org that can be used to locate and recover lost partitions (FAT and NTFS) by repairing the partition table or replacing partition boot sectors with the backup copies.

04 – Unbootable Laptop Hard Disk Data Recovery (Free DOS Boot Disk)

FindNTFS (http://www.partitionsupport.com/utilities.htm) is effective free hard drive data recovery software to locate and recover NTFS files. It is available in several versions, including one that will run from a DOS boot, and thus can be used when the Windows OS is not bootable.

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Alternatively, you can try this method if the above method does not work, for unbootable laptop or desktop, remove the hard disk and swap it with your external/portable hard drive. Plug the USB to a desktop or laptop, install the hard drive recovery software and perform the necessary task. Usually Windows will detect the hard disk and request that you perform a ‘check disk’ on the hard disk, proceed as advised and chances are, Windows will recover the damaged partition.

05 – Swap Important Hard Disk Component To Fix A Damaged Hard Drive

If your hard drive is damaged, for instant, it flew off the table and landed on your floor, causing damage to your precious oak timber floor and some minor damages to your hard drive components, don’t panic! The technician will quote you an inflated price for that tiny component, which doesn’t make any sense when the same new hard disk with the required component cost 1/10 of the price.

Solution? Get yourself a brand new hard drive, if you are tech savvy enough change the component yourself or pass the new hard drive to the technician, tell him the replacement part needed can be found in the new hard drive. In this video I basically give a quick guide on how to fix a fairly new hard disc that doesn’t spin up.

53 comments on “5 Amazing Freeware & Method To Recover Data From Crashed or Damaged Hard Drive

  1. Gravatar

    At times when i was middle of a significant document, and Alt Tab, the screen cause unexpected freeze, or even worse a blue screen error pops up., it was instantaneously loss when i reboot the system.Generally it can be accredited to programs or software that i have downloaded from the Internet or have installed from a CD that cause a clash with existing applications.The data stored on the hard drive becomes inaccessible because due to system failure.then one of my friend suggest to use a tool called Stellar Phoenix File Recovery Software which enables me to recover my all data and files easily.The software has been deigned with the unique file recovery abilities in all the data loss cases, when your file has become inaccessible and got lost.you may try this software

  2. Gravatar
    Britney [ Reply ]

    I have had to recover from several blue screen of death situations where Windows just wouldn’t boot. everytime i used software called Selkie Rescue Data Recovery–I like it because its a bootable cd, it takes like 3 keystrokes to initiate the recovery process and keeps all your files in the same order as before (bonus!) It’s waay better than having to take it into a shop since im a student and don’t have alot of money!

  3. Gravatar
    Banderas [ Reply ]

    I’d like to say it’s a pity there is not EASEUS Data Recover Wizard,I have tried Recuva to recover my deleted files, but I can not recover other files due to mistakenly format, it indeed help me out of the format loss trouble.

  4. Gravatar
    k sandeep [ Reply ]

    data recovorey tips

  5. Gravatar
    Buntha [ Reply ]

    my hard drive was formatted by then it make my data in hard drive lost all so I need expert to help me for recovery my data that lost and now I just take your software to try any time.
    I hope you will help well to recovery my data. Although in any situation I also thank for you very much.



  6. Gravatar

    please give me a data recovery software on ntfs.

    • Gravatar
      Deepak [ Reply ]

      Get back Data. This is that software.

  7. Gravatar

    i have a ide harddisk.someday ago it is crashed.instent time i want to recover my previous data .for that,what should i do?

  8. Gravatar
    govind kumar [ Reply ]

    i have sata hard disk & it crashed before some days. it contains about 480 softwares, 86300 wallpapers, 13700 new & old songs, 135 games.i need a software which help me to my back my data.

  9. Gravatar
    Damion [ Reply ]

    You’re a retard (ref -) ‘replace the component yourself’. Do you have any idea what sort of environment is required to successfully replace hard drive components? A class 100 clean room for one. Do NOT instruct people to simply open their hard drives up, they will ruin their chances of professional recovery. I implore all who read this to IGNORE his suggestions involving component replacements. I work in data recovery – I know. This man is an idiot.

    • Gravatar

      He’s not telling them to open up the hard drives and play with the platters noddy, just to replace the circuit board. That doesn’t need a class 100 clean room.

    • Gravatar
      martin [ Reply ]

      Well i have opened a lot (15) and re parked the heads, and it was done in a normal environment office!! and they all run till this DAY, these were mostly dropped, and one i swapped the pcb!

    • Gravatar

      Name calling is not appropriate. Needing a sterile environment is a thing of the past. I’ve replaced discs, circuit boards, R/W drive arms, etc. on the kitchen table with no issues.

  10. Gravatar
    servesbest [ Reply ]

    I do work for writing on many topics. mainly I am a person who is living via Internet and my laptop. Recently have faced a serious problem with my laptop. The case was so worst that I was unable to see if what happened to it. “Totally damaged”, some small vendors told me so. How it came into my mind to search for local data recovery services, I can not say. It was a big pleasure to me when i found it in my city and they are guaranteeing me regarding Data Recovery. Thanks to those technicians. They told me to not try it by self hand as well. Anyone suffering from such panic condition may approach to me also :) (For suggestions only).

  11. Gravatar
    Eric Choong [ Reply ]

    My hard drive has crashed and i cannot boot the desktop hard drive when i restart. i’ve bought a second desktop hard drive and make the crashed hard drive to secondary slave but still cannot boot up. In BIOS it can detect my crashed Maxtor hard drive but it cannot detect the hard drive sizes (everthing zero). Please help me to which i should use to recover my hard drive. So many old memories of photos inside. :(

  12. Gravatar
    Melissa [ Reply ]

    Looking for recovery disc for a Everex
    StepNote NM3500W. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Gravatar
    kuldip [ Reply ]

    if you want to ask me throw your computer in becuse we cant get back up without any program

  14. Gravatar
    kuldip [ Reply ]

    which person have this problem come with me india we wil solve together becuse i don’t know nothing about computer and i will learn from that gye who will come there

  15. Gravatar
    diskepicfail [ Reply ]

    what if the computer stops when the drive is connected, the hdd led is lit and cannot even enter cmos setup, but when the drive is unplugged the computer is ok, does it mean that the drive is dead and cannot be accessed anymore?

  16. Gravatar
    Mel Hall [ Reply ]

    My Western Digital external hard drive will not open. The hard drive clicks when I try to connect. Which free software will allow me to connect and retrieve data on the hard drive?

  17. Gravatar

    I need some pointers. I have an Acer external hard drive that ended up going thru our wonderful X-ray machines here in the US Airports when I came back from overseas. My external hard drive worked just fine after it had passed thru Thailand’s and Japan’s machines but the ones in San Fransico fried it. I sent it thru the Geek Squad only because I was short on time. they told me it was a level 3 situation that meant they would have to take the disk out and place it in another reader to extract the data. They said it could be extracted for a price of 1500.00 bucks to 1800.00 bucks. Does anyone one know some place i can get this service done cheaper? I don’t think a program will fix fried components so none of the above suggestions will work for my sitiuation. Thanks for any ideas/ leads/ contacts.

    • Gravatar
      GeckoFly [ Reply ]

      @Big D – Why don’t you buy a new/same hard disk and swap the components yourself. I think it is cheaper, and if it doesn’t work, sent it to the Geek Squad.

  18. Gravatar
    ARVIND KUMAR [ Reply ]


  19. Gravatar

    It pains when suffering data loss. Hard drive crashed is what I never expect but happened to me last month.

    I was pretty upset about my photos, files, emails on the drive. I went to the local data recovery service center, they quote the price “$500”, which I think is tool high.

    I cannot help to say thanks to the recovery software that really help.

  20. Gravatar
    jitandra [ Reply ]

    I am looking memory card delete data revovery software free of cost

  21. Gravatar
    ganesh [ Reply ]

    dear sir i had one crashed hard disk and i need to recover all the data from it and i want your comments and suggestion s on it so as fast as you can please send me this notes to recover all the data.

  22. Gravatar

    my external seagate 80Gb hdd makes a clicking sound when coupled with my laptop. it freezes the laptop and windows explorer until i switch it of manually. i cant access any data from it and this is depressing- so much data that is career-threatening.d laptop sees d drive but cannot gain access to it.tried using a recovery software but no luck.what do i do? I need a solution desperately.

  23. Gravatar

    Thanks for the Article.Am not well versed with data recovery because i tried it out after my hard drive crashed but i failed to get my data back and when i went to the technicians they were so costly.Well since then i opted for online backups as my alternative backup space and i use SafeCopy online backup.They offer a free unlimited 3GB trial version and i can backup all my three Mac Computers on one account.

  24. Gravatar

    I have had a technician try and place it in a different case, but it seems the problem isn’t physical. While transferring data it just dissapeared. It’s a WD external hardrive, I wanted to keep my data safe and made the mistake of transferring it all there. I am brokenhearted. PC inspector apparently could not find it, though I am willing to try again.
    The funny thing is, though it cannot be detected by the computer, once I remove the USB the computer tells me in order to use that drive I need to reformat it. Fat chance of me risking that.
    So, My Question is, which steps to take when the drive cannot be found?

  25. Gravatar
    deepak [ Reply ]

    plz help me , i hv 500 gb free agent usb drive it is showing not accessable can i get data back ?

  26. Gravatar

    With i only use online backups and i use safecopy backup.For sure it is cheaper for me because it is now thrice my hard drive just keeps crashing.And now am even more happier that they upgraded my account from 3GB free unlimited trial to 5GB.This has kept all my data secure.

  27. Gravatar
    Pizarro [ Reply ]

    Hello, how can i get data Recovery software like PC Inspector File Recovery. Is it for free or we have to pay for it? please need one of it…. if it is possible .

  28. Gravatar
    Stolen Laptop Tracking [ Reply ]

    Data Disc Recovery is a free hard drive recovery software made available by DAGsoft, it can efficiently scan and recover data from crashed hard disk data in FAT and NTFS format.

  29. Gravatar

    Hi there,

    My laptop hard disk is crashed as per the IT person of my office it is not bootable and is having some noises. He had tried it with CD to boot it but its no more bootable. Further, he had tried it by plugging it with external USB and have failed again. As per him the I have to see outside vendor to help me in getting my data back. What suggestion you guys would give in this situation??? and the data is really important. Kindly HELP!

  30. Gravatar
    krupal [ Reply ]

    my desktop HDD have some noise and get error “not read HDD”, please give me a solution of data recover.

  31. Gravatar
    Chandrajit Lahiri [ Reply ]

    I was seeing some movies on my HP dv 2122 Tu laptop when suddenly it hanged. I pressed Alt+Ctrl+Del in vain. I forcefully stopped and restarted my machine. Thereafter it started making noise and stopped working. Systems diagnostics told no IDE detected. Booting options doesn’t show HDD. I have important scientific data in there.

    Dr. Chandrajit Lahiri

  32. Gravatar

    I was installing my SONY VIO laptop (Quick book 2010.)when it rebooted it didnot dispaly.After going to a number of technicians they told mi that the HDD has crashed I have very important data for accounting What should i do.

  33. Gravatar

    i was using Window7 and i hd kept password for 2 drives., i changed WIN7 to XP…. nd those 2 drive shows 0byte and cant b open., as v try 2 open, it shows option for formatting it., which dont want to….. can any one plz plz plz help me…. nd d 3rd drive is working properly…. need help plzzzzzzz… plzzzz

  34. Gravatar

    please tell me how i can recover formatted old data after that i have formatted my system many times

    • Gravatar
      GeckoFly [ Reply ]

      if you formatted the disk for too many times, the data is almost unrecoverable. sorry.

  35. Gravatar
    Linky Wu [ Reply ]

    When that happens, it is never too late to recover your deleted data so it is very, very important to not save any new files or data to the device or computer concerned. At the same time put your device in safe place. Don’t let them have the posssibility to encouter physical damage. As data overwritten or physical damage will make the deleted data extremely hard to be recovered.

    Then THE MOST EFFECTIVE way to recover your deleted files is by relying on a data recovery tool. I think Wondershare Data Recovery might help. This program has four critical functions which will meet your different data losing demands. Most important it supports Folder Scanning that will make the whole scanning process less time intensive

  36. Gravatar

    My Western Digital external hard drive(500gb) will not open. The hard drive clicks when I try to connect. Which free software will allow me to connect and retrieve data on the hard drive?

  37. Gravatar

    plz help mi out i lost all data .. tht was very imp for me :( my hdd get crashed and i want to recover all data plz help me , i dnt have money to get it to the any recovry center plz help me… plz

  38. Gravatar
    omolade oluwasegun [ Reply ]

    l was unable 2 boot my laptop. It just display a blue screen. I really need 2 recover my data.

  39. Gravatar
    Michael Flemming [ Reply ]

    Hi my name is Michael Flemming and I’m from Trinidad & Tobago and I’ve just started a small home based computer repair business nad I am getting a lot of jobs to retrieve data from crashed or dead or clicking hard drives and i want to know if you have any tool or equipment to help me with my business.

    I will like to know where i can get such tools or equipment and the cost.

    Thank you in advance

    Michael Flemming

  40. Gravatar

    the only problem is… where do i get the same hard drive to borrow the chipboard?…

    • Gravatar
      Geckoandfly [ Reply ]

      You will have to search the internet. Places such as eBay or a 2nd hand shop. It will not be an easy task.

  41. Gravatar

    hard disk crash is not that much horrible. Easily you can restore the data without any loss. You can do it by yourself without the help of any data recovery technician.

  42. Gravatar
    Ashley [ Reply ]

    My Passport WD external drive wont initialize any other suggestion for this ? I am currently using Windows 7

  43. Gravatar

    Hello servesbest…
    Thank you for your invite to ask for advice. I have a laptop with 400gb data (that includes software) that I could get an adequately current backup of before my hard drive died. This is an hp laptop … I sincerely do not want this machine out of my hands until I am in possession of a backup of at least all of my documents, photos and music. This is my life, and I am in more than a mild panic. Can you include cost and timeline information? I have at my disposal 2 available backup devices which employ USB, each with 1T avail. I was trying to use one for system image backups and use the other for document, photo and music file backups. Can you help me?

  44. Gravatar
    Data Recovery [ Reply ]

    Before recovery, you can preview files in tree and list modes, depending on your personal preferences.

  45. Gravatar
    John Taylor [ Reply ]

    Sirs, there is sometimes confusion when publicizing freeware, in that mostly they are NOT free. For example, I spent a day or so, “recovering” data files using the “free” edition of the Recuva program, only to find that, whilst it would tell you what files were available to be recovered, it wouldn’t actually recover them, you needed to get the paid version. I did eventually buy the paid edition, but the sentiment holds. Similarly, I just finished using the free Macrorit disk surface scanner, which was much faster than the Windows 10 chkdsk, only to find that it doesn’t actually “fix” the offending sector (by moving any file data and marking it as bad), it just displays a screen showing where the bad sectors are. So pretty much useless. I just spent 10 hours finding out something I already know, I have bad sectors on my disk. Try to actually use these programs and find value for us please, else your website is also pretty much redundant. Namaste.

  46. Gravatar
    dsouza kishore [ Reply ]

    Are you looking for photo data recovery, images got deleted due to various reasons like deletion, formatting, memory card issue, hard disk failure,SD Cards, Secure Digital Card etc. Now data recovery will help you to recover any type of photo file formats,Contact on the following website for any kind of photo data recovery services.

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