Hard drives, just like any other electronic components, can break down after usage or just plain break. Hard drives are storage devices that hold massive amounts of data including operating systems, files, pictures, music, and several other types of data. A computer hard drive is basically platters that sit on a spindle and a device reads information off these platters when requested by the hardware or operating system.

Today, most hard drives are known as SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) drives and have replaced the older IDE (Integrated Device Electronics) hard drives. Most home or business computers will eventually have their hard drives fail and most users should be aware that backing up important files and information is very necessary.

There are several ways hard drives can fail or break. One of the worst things that can happen is if the platters that hold the data get damaged by shock or some other mechanical failure, causing irreversible damage to the drive. Another problem hard drives can have is bad sectors, which are very tiny bits of data on the platter. This is normal, but with a certain amount of bad sectors, the hard drive will not work or function properly. A popular and useful tool to find and fix bad sectors on a drive is a windows tool known CHKDISK or check disk. Circuit board failure can also lead to malfunctioning hard drives by making something electronic on the device not function, making the drive inoperable. Something similar can happen if one of the device parts stops moving or spinning, which prevents the drive from being able to read the data off the platter. One major warning sign of a failing drive is a clicking noise you hear from the computer or laptop.

Whatever the reason for device failure, trying to get the data off the drive can be very easy or very difficult depending on the situation. Sometimes CHKDSK will work to fix the drive, or just hooking it up to another computer will allow you to access important files before it fully fails.

Most computer repair companies say they do hard drive recovery, but the fact is that most have to take the drive to a special company that takes the drive apart and manually get the information off the drive platters. These companies have special clean rooms that most people do not have and can be very expensive when their services are needed. It is always a good idea to take the drive to a computer repair company such as Mobile PC Medics before these drastic and expensive measures need to be taken.