How to Rebuild a Hard Drive

By Stephen Lilley

Hard Drive

After having a computer for a few years, your hard drive can become just as personal as a diary. Over time, you collect countless files, from pictures to documents to passwords and other personal information, that is essentially irreplaceable. If the worst should happen and your hard drive should fail, it doesn't have to be the end of the world. Whether it undergoes physical damage or simply becomes corrupt, there are a few things you can try to do while rebuilding a hard drive.

Obtain a working hard drive. If your hard drive has stopped working due to some kind of physical damage, get a hard drive of the same model that does work. Anything that is broken, from the write/read head to any mechanisms or motors, can be replaced with the same parts from the new drive.

Perform consistency checking. If your hard drive has become corrupt and lost data, one way to rebuild the hard drive is to perform consistency checking. The drive is performing a test on itself to see if everything is working properly. When it isn't, it will print out a list of all errors it found. You can see exactly what's wrong, and you can then take the steps to fix the problems.

Perform data carving. Data carving is the process of going through a hard drive and looking at not only files being stored, but files on the drive that have no "allocation information." A file with no allocation information cannot be accessed through traditional means. If your hard drive is going bad, and has started randomly deleting important files, there's a good chance that your data is slowly becoming hidden in these files.