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Unreadable hard drive

Question : HI there, I really need some help with my problem. I have been doing quite a number of video editing projects and I always back it up into an external hard drive. Then when the hard disk was full, I didn't touch it anymore for a while and just bought another hard disk. But when I was requested to modify a previous project, I could not access my external hard drive! Every time I double-click the drive folder in Windows, my system would hang and then I have to restart. I tried connecting it to another computer and it still hangs. What's wrong with my hard disk? Is there any way that I can retrieve the data?

Answer : When a hard disk becomes unreadable, there could be a few causes. Therefore, we need to eliminate potential problems one by one. Start by taking out the hard disk from the external enclosure, to ensure that it's not the casing's (or its power supply's) problem. Connect it to your motherboard and boot your system up. If the hard disk is detected in BIOS, the drive's PCB (Printed Circuit Board) is probably fine. If there's any abnormal sounds from the hard disk at this stage, then it's probably a physical problem (damaged platters, drive head, etc.). Once again, try accessing the drive under Windows Explorer. If you are still unable to get it to work, there's a possibility that the data is corrupted. Unfortunately, there's not much that a user can do if there's data corruption. There are some utilities which you can find by Googling "hard drive recovery"; one of the most famous is SpinRite which costs US$89. If you think that's expensive, there are some companies that can do the recovery for you, with prices ranging from a couple of hundred US Dollars to several thousand, depending on the size of the hard disk. Good luck!


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