Recovering Files From A Damaged Hard Drive

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One day I and my girl were sleeping when we hear a loud crash. We ran downstairs to witness my girl’s external hard drive lying cracked on the floor as a result of her mother tripping over the cord on her way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Immediately I hooked the hard drive up to the computer to see if it would still run and if we still had access to our files. Seemingly it worked fine. That morning we got up and hooked up the external drive ready to go about our day and noticed no files were showing up. We heard the machine trying as hard as it could but nothing was happening. I disconnected it and tried again later but the results seemed even worse. The computer was now telling me to reformat the drive which means that, to the computer the external drive was blank. If the files were somehow still on the drive and we reformatted it they would be erased so I wasn’t going to do that.


My girl’s grandfather had a friend that said he could retrieve the files so we sent it off to him. After months and months we hadn’t heard anything back, then one day he starts sending my girl her files. She gets excited thinking everything can be retrieved when he tells her that the hard drive stopped spinning, after the ensuing depression about her losing all of her photos from the past few years and me losing all of my music files we decided to talk about alternatives. Maybe we could send it to a data recovery center or something. To be honest, we had no idea what to do.

A few months later I’m in the studio recording with my producer Onel when I see him using something called “Black X”. I saw him sticking raw hard drives in it and reading them from the computer. He had a shelf full of hard drives with music stored on them and would access the files on those hard drives by sticking them into this Black X thing like it was a video game cartridge. I thought about my girl’s external drive. Maybe it wasn’t the hard drive itself but the device that was broken. If I could plug the hard drive into a new device maybe I could get the files off. I asked Onel If I could use the Black X to retrieve the files. He said we could try. We got the hard drive back and I took it over to his place. We hooked it up and we saw files showing up but it was taking forever to pull them. We didn’t get anything off but it gave me hope. I decided to buy one and see if I could pull the files off.

I go to Amazon and run a search for “Back X” . In the results I see Thermaltake BlacX eSATA USB Docking Station. I buy the Black X, plug in the hard drive and on the computer screen I see a prompt to reformat the drive. I was sooooooooooo disappointed but, not discouraged. I Google searched for programs that allowed me to restore deleted files and came across a program called TestDisk. I downloaded it, ran it, followed all of the instructions and viola all the files showed up and I was able to restore everything, with the exception of a few files that were corrupted. So all it took was Black X and the TestDisk program to get back the files I thought would be lost forever.

I wrote this because I know there are a lot of people out there with similar stories. I know people with damaged hard drives that they hold on to in hopes of restoring all of those old files and hope this helps them in doing that.

P.S if anybody gets the black and wants a tutorial on how to retrieve files using TestDisk let me know in the comments and I’ll put one up.

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