How to Repair Hard Drives

recover hard drive

The hard disk is without a doubt the most delicate piece of a computer, as well as the one subject to ruin with greater ease. When it gets damaged, your computer starts to malfunction, crashes frequently, crashes, displays error screens, and in the worst case, it won’t start again. Not to mention the possible risk of losing all your data.

If you find yourself dealing with situations of this type and if you suspect that your computer’s hard disk has broken, you must not despair, thinking of having to throw away your multimedia station or of necessarily having to buy a new hard disk . Before doing this, in fact, you could try to repair the hard disk, since these problems are often attributable to errors of a software nature. How do you say? Do you think you don’t have the necessary computer skills to repair your PC’s hard drive? Do not fear! By resorting to the use of special resources available “as standard” on Windows and macOS – and using them following the indications that I am about to provide you – it is not impossible to do this, quite the contrary.

So if it is your intention to find out how to repair your computer’s hard disk , I suggest you take a few minutes of free time and dedicate yourself to reading the following lines. You will see that, following my suggestions step by step, you will have no problems in completing your “business” today, as long as, as already mentioned, the problems of your hard disk are attributable to its software and not to its hardware ( in those cases, I’m sorry, but there is very little to do, if not contact authorized centers). I wish you a good read and make you a big good luck for everything!

Index

  • How to repair hard drives on Windows
  • Error checking utility
  • Command prompt
  • How to repair hard drives on macOS
  • What to do in case of problems

How to repair hard drives on Windows

If you want to know  how to repair the hard disk on Windows , know that you can use two solutions integrated in the famous Microsoft home operating system for your purpose. In this case, I am referring to the error checking utility , which is equipped with a user interface that facilitates the work of repairing the disk, or using the Command Prompt , therefore using the CHKDSK command , which allows you to customize the repair of the disk thanks to some ad hoc variables. Let’s take a closer look at both solutions.

Error checking utility

Let’s start by seeing how to make the best use of the Windows error checking utility , which in the older versions of the Microsoft operating system was present in a more limited version, called ScanDisk .

Windows 10 / 8.x

If your PC is equipped with Windows 10 or Windows 8.x , know that the disk check is performed completely automatically directly from the operating system and, therefore, there should be no need to act manually.

However, no one forbids you to manually check your PC’s hard disk. To do this, simply start Windows File Explorer by pressing on the yellow folder  symbol located on the taskbar and, once this is done, open the This PC menu located on the left bar by clicking on the () button  , click right on the name of the unit you want to examine (eg Local Disk C:) and select the Properties item from the menu that opens.

To conclude, click on the Tools tab located in the window that opens, press the Check  button and then press on the item Analyze unit present in the box that opens. Now all you have to do is wait for the operation to complete and for the possible repair of the errors identified by the control utility.

Windows 7

If your computer is stopped at Windows 7 , however, you can invoke the error checking utility by opening the Start menu (to do so, just click on the button depicting the Windows flag icon  located in the lower left corner screen) and select Computer from the menu that opens. Then right click on the icon of the unit you wish to check and eventually repair (eg Local disk (C 🙂 ) and, in the menu that opens, click on the Properties item .

Now, presses on the Tools tab , click the Run ScanDisk … button  and check the boxes Automatically fix file system errors and Search for bad sectors and try recovery . To start the error search procedure and their possible repair, press the Start button  and wait for the operation to be completed. I already anticipate that the analysis procedure may take several minutes, so be patient. OK?

Command prompt

As I mentioned earlier, it is possible to repair the hard disk on Windows also using the Command Prompt and, in this case, the CHKDSK command  (short for CheckDisk , which in Italian can be translated “check the disk”). As I said before, this command allows you to customize the execution of the disk check with some variables that are listed below (also in this chapter) and that can be useful if you are experiencing certain problems in repairing the disk.

To use it, start the Command Prompt : type the term ” cmd ” in the Windows search bar , right click on the icon of the application of the same name, select the item Run as administrator from the menu that opens and confirm the operation by pressing on the Yes button  .

Once you have launched the Command Prompt, give the commands CHKDSK C: / F / R or  CHKDSK C: / spotfix (only on Windows 8 and later versions) and press the Enter key on the keyboard. Confirm, then, the start of the disk check procedure when the PC restarts by typing the letter S first and then giving Enter again  on the keyboard.

 

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As I said before, there are also variables that allow you to customize the execution of the disk check. Here are some that can be useful to solve any problems encountered during the hard disk repair procedure.

/ F – to repair errors on the disk.

/ R – to locate the bad sectors of the disk and recover the information present in them. To use it you must use the variable / F.

/ V – to view the name and full path of all files on the disk (only for disks formatted with the FAT or FAT32 file system).

/ X – to force unmounting of volumes. To use it, also in this case the use of the variable / F is required.

/ scan – to correct errors that can be resolved without rebooting the system (only on Windows 8 and later versions).

/ spotfix – to correct disk errors the next time the system is restarted (on Windows 8 and later only).

If you wish to have more explanations on the use of these and other variables and, more generally, on the use of the CHKDSK command , take a look at the guide I have linked to you. I am sure that this reading will also be useful to you.

How to repair hard drives on macOS

If you use a Mac and want to try to repair hard drives, you can resort to the use of Disk Utility , the “standard” application available on macOS practically always and thanks to which you can create and format disks, create disk images and check (as well as correcting) hard drive permissions.

The first thing you need to do to repair hard drives on Mac is therefore to start Disk Utility : you can do this either by opening the  Launchpad and going to the Other folder or by opening the macOS Applications folder or, again, doing a search with Spotlight or with Siri .

Once the main window of Disk Utility appears, press on the name of the hard disk on the left (for example 1 TB SR31000528AS Media ) and then click on the SOS tab located at the top. Then press the Run button to start the procedure that allows you to analyze and verify the integrity of the hard disk.

Now, wait for the disk analysis procedure to complete (it may take a while, do not be discouraged!) And, once the analysis is complete, the SOS tool will check for errors and, if necessary, repair them. If you wish, you can expand the menu. Show details to see in detail which errors have been identified and possibly repaired.

In the unfortunate event that Disk Utility fails to repair the disk by correcting the detected errors, try repeating the operation. If the problem persists, I invite you to  backup the data saved on the disk, reformat the disk and reinstall macOS , perhaps helping you with the guides I have just linked to you. 

If you were wondering, know that you can try to repair the disk also by operating from the  Terminal , by giving the diskutil verifyVolume “/ Volumes / [volume name]” command and, in case any errors are identified, repairing them using the command  diskutil repairVolume “/ Volumes / [volume name]” 

ATTENTION: To avoid data loss on a Fusion Drive , do not connect it to a Mac that has been updated to macOS 10.8.5 (or earlier). More info here .

What to do in case of problems

Have you tried to repair your computer’s hard disk and, despite having followed all the instructions that I have given you in the previous lines to the letter, do you continue to encounter problems ? In this case, I’m sorry to tell you so cold, but the issues in question could be traced back to a hardware problem. To avoid losing all your data, try turning to one of the solutions to recover data from damaged hard drives that I recommended in my post on the subject.

Once the data is recovered, you can think of  replacing the damaged hard drive with a new one . Before rushing to a new disk appears, however, I invite you to read the buying guides in which I explain which hard disk to buy  and which SSD to buy : I am sure that these insights will allow you to make the purchase that best suits your circumstances and to your pockets.

If you want, you can also try to contact a specialized center for the recovery of data from damaged disks but, I warn you, their services are not very accessible from an economic point of view.

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