No matter how advanced and efficient your hard drive seems to be, hard drive failure is inevitable. Seeing how human beings have become dependent on their hard drives to store their precious information, it is essential to retrieve these files and you can do so in just few simple steps.
The first thing that you ought to do is to check the state of your hard drive. Is it still functioning? You might be able to save the data on the drive. If you have a second computer at home, you can hook the drive to that computer and try to run it from the second PC. Most of the time, it is perfectly fine and only the OS of the old computer might need a refresh or a reboot.
On the other hand, if your files are not showing up on the other computer and you have tried it with other computers as well, then you might have a problem at hand. Worst case scenario would be ending up on paying professionals to do retrieval of the files with 50-50 percent chances of retrieving the complete files.
Signs and symptoms that your hard drive might be giving up depends on how you are familiar with your computer's performance. Frequent freezing can be a sign of your hard drive dying. Some applications installed may also contain malware that may damage the drive. There are some software that you can use to check on your drive's performance as well as eliminate any malware that may damage it. Given that it is also sensitive, dust particles may also affect your drive. Remove the outer casing of the tower and any dust particles using cleaning tools specifically designed for computers only.
Determining the Cause of the Crash
Determining why your computer crashed is vital as this would mean that either you can save the drive yourself or that the drive is already busted and any attempt should be done by professionals only. You can download a hard drive recovery software to help you determine how much of the files are recoverable. Some software companies provide free demos of their tools so you can try them out before buying the full product. This would help you in assessing your computer. Once assessment is done, you can try the full software to recover your files.
Do note that it would take several hours or days for files to be recovered depending on the amount that needs to be recovered. Data files might not also be in the exact same condition that you have organized so it might take some time for full recovery. Best case scenario after recovering your files is to do a back up to prevent any losses of your files in the future.