It’s not an uncommon experience for a hard drive to fail. It happens. It can be a disappointing reality, but it does happen and no matter how much you think it can never happen to you, do not kid yourself. As such, we thought it best that we put together a quick guide on what you can do if you experience this problem and you need to recover some important files. However, before we dive into the solution, you are always better off preventing the issue before it happens by regularly monitoring your hard disk and conducting regular backups.
Why You Should Be Backing Up Your Data
Backing up your data is an excellent precautionary measure to help you ensure that, in the event, your disk drive fails, at least your files and documents are still safe and secure elsewhere. This means having an external storage space eg. a flash drive, and regularly transferring your data using a 10ft usb c cable, for example. Moreover, you can download third-party apps like ChronoSync Express, which essentially gives you the ability to sync your files and data on a separate disk, providing you with a copy of your files at all times. Another alternative option is Get Backup Pro. This utility tool allows Mac users to create daily backups, duplicate an entire hard disk and its contents and also archive documents. Another good choice is CleanMyMac X. This is because it offers a fully functioning Mac user interface that conveniently reports on the health of your main hard disk and also alerts you if an impending failure is imminent.
Additionally, another alternative utility tool is iStatMenus, which essentially offers a wide array of performance functionalities and services, that will help you better manage your Mac’s hard drive. However, like we stated at the beginning, ensuring that you conduct regular backups is the key to preventing such problems from becoming inconveniences. So make sure to follow these suggestions by backing up and securing your data elsewhere. If you don’t, you’ll only have yourself to blame, if your Mac’s hard drive does fail.
Recovering Lost Data From A Failed Disk Drive
If you do not have any backups prepared and your hard disk does crash, then take a moment to relax, because all is not lost, with the third-party app Disk Drill, being the solution to all your problems. This application can essentially scan your Mac’s faulty hard disk and recover any files it locates. If the disk drive that just collapsed is an external one, then you are lucky as you can easily recover the lost data to your Mac.
However, if it is your main drive that has collapsed then the process is much more arduous, as you all have to startup your Mac from an external disk, reinstall your OS system and then install Disk Drill. Once you know where you intend to recover the lost data, simply pull out your cable organizer and plug in an external disk drive and launch the recovery application. From the Disk Drill app, you can then simply choose the failed hard disk and select ’Recover’. The tool should begin scanning the drive for any data it can recover. However, if the failed disk does not pop up, then you may need to launch ‘First Aid’ on the drive first, by heading to the ‘Disk Utility’ app on your Mac’s Launchpad.
Once the Disk Drill application has completed it’s scan, you should be able to see a compiled list of all the recoverable data in the main window. You will also have the option of choosing specific files that you want to recover. In this case, you should be aware that file names don’t usually stay as they originally did during the recovery process. As such you will not be able to easily tell which files you should keep and which ones you should ignore. Luckily, Disk Drill offers a preview window. so you should be able to see what content it is eg. audio or video and make sure that the files are not corrupted or damaged. However, if you decide that you prefer to recover it all, then you can skip this step.
Once you’ve picked out the files you want, simply recover them to the folder of your choosing on your Mac’s hard drive. You should be able to access, edit and use them as you did before, provided none of them are damaged or corrupted.
In summary, you should always take care of and prevent this issue from ever becoming a major inconvenience by always backing up your data. In this regard, Disk Drill also has two helpful features; the first is called Guaranteed Recovery, and the second is called Recovery Vault. The first essentially duplicate all the files you want, whilst the second option maps out all the data in your Mac's hard drive to help locate your data easily, in the event of disk failure. However, as useful as they are, it’s always better to just regularly back up your data using a third-party app like, Get Backup Pro.