How to recover data from a dead hard drive

how to get your data back from bad hard drive

Your hard drive died so how do you get data off it? I will show you how to recover data from a dead hard drive.

If your computer or laptop won’t boot, don’t panic, you may be able to recover data from a dead hard drive.


There are many reasons why your computer won’t start up or boot. This goes for both pc or mac. 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!

portable usb hard drive to backup data
Western Digital usb external hard drive to backup data

It’s best to either save data to an external hard drive such as a thumb drive or external usb hard drive. It is recommended to save your data to a 2nd external hard drive, in case your first external 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 COMPUTER’S 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 to recover data from a dead hard drive. If the hard drive is truly dead, mechanical-wise (hardware), then this post will not help you. If your hard drive is getting power but just isn’t booting up, this post will show you how to recover your data from a dead hard drive.

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

How to recover data from a dead hard drive

  1. Connect a usb hard drive dock to a 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 of recovering data from a dead hard drive.

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