How to get data off bad hard drive with usb hard drive dock. Geek Squad SUCKS

how to get your data back from bad hard drive

If your computer or laptop won’t boot, don’t panic, you may be able to recover your photos and documents from the bad hard drive.


There are many reasons why your microsoft computer or apple computer (imac, mac mini or macbook) won’t start up or boot. One reason is a bad hard drive. Whether it’s hardware or software related, you more than likely find yourself replacing the bad hard drive with a new one and reloading the operating system or OS.

Where do you store your data such as photos, videos, music or documents? If you’re like most computer users, you store all your data on your computer’s hard drive. If that hard drive dies, you can lose all your data!

This is why it’s best to either save data to an external hard drive such as a thumb drive or external usb hard drive. You also need to have an identical drive with the same data as duplicate in case that hard drive fails. ALWAYS have a backup of your data!

I’ve been a computer tech for 25 years and as much as I’ve said DON’T SAVE DATA TO YOUR MAIN HARD DRIVE, people still do it! THEN when their hard drive fails for good us technicians are expected to resurrect the dead. We don’t do magic. We warned you.

You have a couple options in getting your data back from a bad hard drive. You either spend hundreds or thousand of dollars to have a clean room retrieve the data for you, or you can try a couple things on your own.

If the hard drive is truly dead, mechanical-wise (hardware) then this post will not help you much. If your hard drive is getting power but just isn’t booting up, then this post will more than likely save your data.

The idea is to power up a laptop or computer that is working and connect a usb hard drive dock to it. Here are the steps:

  1. Connect a usb hard drive dock to working computer
  2. plug your bad hard drive into the usb hard drive dock
  3. The bad hard drive will show up as a hard drive on your working computer, just like a usb thumb drive does
  4. Create a folder on your computer and call it DATA. This is where the data from your bad hard drive will be saved onto your working computer
  5. Double click on the bad hard drive and right-click / copy the data you want to transfer to your working computer
  6. Go to the DATA folder you created and right click and select PASTE. This will paste the data from the bad hard drive to your working computer


Let me know if you have any questions on the process. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more tech videos on pc and apple repair tips and tricks along with other cool stuff.

I write about anything techy, music, photography, artsy and whatever I think you may find interesting.


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I’m a video editor of 25 years, computer technician of 25 years, audio engineer 20 years, photographer 25 years and guitarist 20 years. I post photography and stop motion animation videos, but mainly guitar playing. This post may contain affiliate links to products I use and review.


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