[TOPIC] How can I retrieve data when an HDD or an SSD is no longer recognized?

In some cases, when using a PC, it suddenly stops starting, or the startup stops halfway and you cannot proceed further. Such cases occur when an OS like Windows is damaged or when a part of an HDD or SSD is damaged and normal reading cannot be performed. The other cases, these happen when an external HDD or SSD cannot be read. In both cases, the data may be safe at the initial stage. If these happens, follow the steps below to retrieve your important data before it is lost.


  1. 1. An internal HDD / SSD
  2. 2. An external HDD / SSD
  3. 3. Conclusion

・1. An internal HDD / SSD
When you want to retrieve data from an internal HDD or SSD, it means that you probably can’t boot a PC normally. If you try booting into safe mode and it still doesn’t work, remove the internal HDD or SSD from your PC.

*On some PCs, you cannot take them out. Connect them to a commercially available external HDD case or a dedicated USB adapter, and connect to another PC that is booting normally. If they can be recognized normally, you can see the data in the HDD or SSD. In this case, you can rescue your data by copying the necessary files. However, if the HDD or SSD is encrypted or physically damaged, you may not be able to retrieve the data using this method.

・2. An external HDD / SSD
If your PC cannot read your data on an external HDD or SSD, it is possible that the HDD or SSD itself is physically damaged, or a USB cable or a disk controller is damaged. If the cable or controller is damaged, it seems that you still can use the HDD or SSD itself. If you take it out and put it in another case, it is highly possible that it can be read normally. However, if the HDD or SSD itself is damaged, it can be a little troublesome. If you cannot recognize or read the disc, please consult a data recovery specialist. Removing the drive itself may or may not be easy. With a 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drive, it’s often relatively easy to run on a laptop or desktop PC though, it’s important to be familiar with the specifications of your PC.
In general, reading data from a damaged HDD or SSD is not always successful because it requires special technology. And even though the price is cheaper than before, it often costs a lot of money. First, let a specialist know the situation and the type of data you need, and get a quote. Some people may give up on data recovery depending on the estimated amount. Rescue of data from such a damaged HDD or SSD is a special task that takes time and money.

・3. Conclusion
As you can see, how easily data can be retrieved from an HDD or SSD depends on whether it is physically damaged. If you are not confident that you can take it out yourself, consult with a store where you purchased it or a nearby PC shop. And since it takes time and effort to remove an HDD or SSD from the main unit or purchase parts to retrieve the data, keeping a backup is still the best preventive method to protect your data. Not only HDDs and SSDs, but also DVDs and USB memories can be used for a backup. It is important to copy your data to another medium anyway. One option is to use a cloud service that automatically makes backup online. HDDs and SSDs are consumables and no one can predict when they break. Always keep a backup in case of an accident.

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