Up to now, a digital device has become an indispensable part of our life. Computer, mobile phone, and digital camera enrich our lives and brought us a lot of conveniences. The laptop becomes more and more indispensable for people mainly because it’s relatively light and easy to carry around. Well, how could you deal with the problem when data get lost from the laptop?

If problems occurred on a laptop, what are you expected to do? What if the important files lost suddenly and you don’t have a backup for them? Of course, the natural response would be seeking methods for laptop data recovery. But how? As an ordinary user without any data recovery experience, can you perform hard drive file recovery alone?

laptop data recovery

Speaking of laptop hard drive data recovery, you may have the following doubts:

  • Do I need to know how to repair computer before I can actually restore our lost data?
  • If I knew nothing about programming and data recovery, can I recover laptop hard drive data?
  • Will the recovery methods provided by people on the internet damage my existing data?

Well, certainly you don’t have to worry about those things. As long as your hard drive can still be detected by the computer, I know how to help you recover files from hard drive. Even if your OS is crashed or can’t boot, as usual, I still have ways to help you recover data from dead hard drive.

Actually, you only need a recovery program named MiniTool Power Data Recovery to solve all those problems quickly and safely. It provides several editions to help finish data recovery from the hard disk in different cases. Considering that you may have a lot of data waiting to be saved from a damaged laptop hard drive, I advise you to buy a personal license here if you don’t have special requirements.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery Personal

That is to say, whether your hard drive is broken or not, whether the OS can boot successfully or not, you’re able to find needed data on your own. Besides, only a few clicks of the mouse can help to finish the recovery job.

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Laptop Data Recovery Steps

The hard drive is said to be one of the most fragile hardware in the laptop, so it often becomes the “culprit” of common failures occurred after the laptop has been used for many years. To tell the truth, improper using habits can easily make this fragile hardware “injured”.

A lot of laptop users choose to send their laptop to computer maintenance center when meeting hard drive problems. But in fact, you may try hard disk data recovery on your own when hard disk crashes. If you succeeded, a large sum of money which was going to pay for data recovery service will be saved.

Now, let’s dive into the detailed steps to recover data from damaged hard drive on a laptop with the help of MiniTool Power Data Recovery – one of the best data recovery tools.

Step 1: Choose the Most Suitable Option

After downloading and installing MiniTool Power Data Recovery, you are suggested to run it immediately.

Then, choose a proper option from the left action panel of the software main interface. (Of course, you should register first if you have got a license key).

choose a proper option

Which one to choose? You will have a clear understanding after reading the following introduction:

  • This PC”: it is designed especially to help users recover permanently deleted files from existing partition on the computer at a rapid pace.
  • Removable Disk Drive”: as you can judge from the name, it is used to deal with data loss cases on a removable disk.
  • Hard Disk Drive”: it helps to recover data from a hard drive (both internal and external).
  • CD/DVD Recovery”: it is a special function to cope with data recovery from CD/DVD on the laptop.

The software gives support to data recovery from external hard drive or other removable devices as long as they can be recognized on the laptop. When you find an external hard drive is not recognized, please read this to solve the problem:

Step 2: Scan the Target Drive to Detect Lost Files

In the main interface of the software, you’ll see an obvious prompt in the top half of the page – “Select the device to recover”. This reminds you clearly of what you should do:

  • Select the drive which contains lost files you want to recover.
  • Afterwards, click on the “Scan” button to search for missing files.

select the device to recover

Or you can choose to “Load Manually” to import the scan result you have saved last time directly.

Note: The “Load Manually” function is only available after you registered the software with a license.

Step 3: Check Files from Scan Result to Recover

During the scan, you’ll see more and more found files listed in the software interface. At this time, you should do two things:

  1. Browse the found files during/at the end of the scan and pick out the ones you need.
  2. Click on the “Save” button at the bottom right to set a storage path for the files waiting to be recovered and click on the “OK” button to confirm.

browse and check files to recover

Then, when the recovery is over, you can go to that storage path to see whether your needed files are recovered completely.

Note: When it’s too difficult to find the desired files in a myriad of results, you may as well turn to “Find” function, which can search files by filename, or “Filter” function, which allows you to find files by extension, size, and modification/creation date.

After you confirmed that all the files you need are recovered completely, you can quit the software and finally put an end to laptop hard drive data recovery.

Recover Data from Laptop Hard Drive That Won’t Boot

But, what if the laptop on which you’re going to perform hard drive file recovery is crashed/dead? Can you recover data when you can’t access the OS? Our answer is a big yes. Power Data Recovery can also help you with data recovery in this case. Here, you have 2 choices to recover data from crashed OS.

  1. One choice is to take out the hard drive from the crashed laptop and then connect it to another computer which works well, through a SATA to USB adapter; and then follow the above steps to rescue data.
  2. The other choice is to recover data directly from a broken laptop with the help of bootable Power Data Recovery.

Firstly, make a bootable USB/CD/DVD disk by using the Snap-in WinPE Bootable Builder (contained in some full editions).

Please read part 2 of this page to know how to make a boot disk:

How To Recover Data From Corrupted Internal Hard Drive | Guide
How To Recover Data From Corrupted Internal Hard Drive | Guide

If you’re stuck in the data recovery from corrupted internal hard disk, the solutions and software provided here will be of great help.

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Secondly, connect this bootable device (USB drive or CD/DVD) to target laptop; and then, start the laptop and press corresponding button, such as F2, F10 and F12, to enter BIOS Setup Utility (please check your computer model to know the specific key to press); at last, adjust the Power Data Recovery boot disk to the first.

adjust boot order

Thirdly, save changes and quit BIOS Setup Utility to start computer through this boot disk; afterwards, you’ll see the welcome page, in which you could click on “MiniTool Power Data Recovery” to enter the software main interface directly.

click on MiniTool Power Data Recovery

Then, you’ll see the main interface as mentioned in the previous part. Please select the target drive to scan and pick out data to recover as I told you.

Note: Please connect another removable device properly to the crashed laptop in order to save recovered files safely.

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Causes for Laptop Hard Drive Failures

Both hard drive and other kinds of storage devices like USB flash drive are easy to be damaged due to lots of reasons. They can be roughly divided into two categories: physical damage and soft failure. Prompts shown on the screen and other obvious phenomena appeared when the computer is powering on become the gist to determine the case for a specific problem.

When a hard disk actually fails, you should first start an analysis to determine whether the problem is caused by physical damage or soft failure.

  • If it is caused by physical damage, you had better hire professionals to help you.
  • If it caused by soft failures, you may as well try to recover data from broken hard disk on your own with the software I have recommended for you in the above

Please do not do the following things blindly!!!

  • Don’t save new data to damaged laptop hard drive.
  • Don’t try to open the laptop and hard drive in it unless you know exactly how to do.
  • Don’t try low-level disk formatting easily since it will erase all data completely, leaving no chance for data recovery.

Hard Drive Soft Failures

To be specific, hard drive soft failure refers to the loss, damage, and modification of some important & special hard drive data, causing boot failure or read and write failure. Indeed, those data are not actually lost; they can be recovered in special ways.

Soft failure mainly includes:

Commonly Seen Physical Damage

  • Hard drive circuit failure: spindle motor will stall and cause whistle, accompanied by the hard drive light constantly flashing. The possible error message is “1701” or “Hard Disk Error”.
  • Hard drive cavity failure: when the laptop is powering on, the hard disk cavity sounds abnormal. The possible error message is an obvious long “da da da” head crash sound.
  • Hard drive adapter or connector failure: when system power-on self-test is performed to the hard disk subsystem, it can’t pass, and the hard drive light does not shine. The possible error message is “1701, Hard Disk Error” or “HDD Controller Error”.
  • 0 cylinder failure: after a long-time hard disk self-test, boot failure occurs. The possible error message is “Disk Boot Failure TRACK 0 BAD”.

By trying your best to avoid that physical damage & soft failures, you’re able to get away from sudden data loss as much as possible.

Parameters & Performance Bottleneck of Laptop Hard Drive

Designed especially for mobile devices such as a laptop, laptop hard drive is provided with characteristics of small size, low power consumption and shockproof.

Main Parameters

  • Size: generally, the size of laptop hard drive is 2.5 inches (the size of some more compact drives is even 1.8 inches), while that of desktop hard drive is generally 3.5 inches.
  • Thickness: this parameter has nothing to do with the desktop. There’re four standard thickness values for laptop hard drive – 7mm, 9.5mm, 12.5mm, and 5mm.
  • Rotational speed: the fastest rotational speed of laptop hard drive currently is 1000 rpm.
  • Connection: hard drive in the laptop is often connected to the motherboard through following 3 ways – connecting hard drive pins with a socket on the motherboard directly, connecting hard drive with the motherboard via a special line and using an adapter to connect the hard drive with a socket on the motherboard.
  • Capacity technology: for laptop, the requirements for not only hard drive size, but also hard drive capacity are increasing. In order to solve this contradiction, magnetoresistive head (MR) technology or extended magnetoresistive head (MRX) technology is generally adopted in laptop hard drive.

Performance Bottleneck

Though laptop is smaller in size than originally desktop computer, there’re still lots of people prefer to choose the seemingly clumsy desktop. Why? That is mainly because I found several bottlenecks in laptop performance resulted from its hard drive limitation.

Even if the rotational speed of a laptop hard drive is the same as that of a desktop hard drive, the outer edge line speed of the former is not comparable to that of the later. Besides, internal space of laptop is relatively small, blocking the heat dissipation; the battery capacity is limited; and the requirement for components size, electric energy consumption and sturdiness of laptop hard drive is pretty high due to the unavoidable bump occurred when the laptop is moving.

Bottom Line

When you find your laptop is dead, don’t be worried and do the following things one by one:

  1. Determine the cause of laptop problem; does it belong to soft failure or physical damage?
  2. Make the right choice after analysis – turn to professionals or use a powerful recovery tool to perform laptop data recovery personally.
  3. Check the files recovered by professionals or a third-party recovery tool.
  4. Know the common causes for laptop hard drive damage problems and try to avoid them the next time.

Remember, the most important thing is stopping using the laptop right away after finding your laptop hard drive is crashed. Then, seize your time to recover data from dead hard drive. Hope you all can find back your lost files at once.

Laptop Data Recovery FAQ

How long does data recovery take?
It’s hard to give a precise time for data recovery. It may be finished in a few minutes; it can also last for a few days and even weeks. In fact, many factors could have an impact on the data recovery time: the size of the files waiting to be recovered, the status of the drive, and so on.
Are deleted files ever really gone?
If you deleted files from laptop hard drive, they will be kept in Recycle Bin temporarily; the Recycle Bin recovery is easy. Even if you have cleared the Recycle Bin or choose to remove files immediately when deleted, the files are not gone in reality; they can still be recovered.
What is the average cost of data recovery?
Likewise, there is no clear cut answer to this question. The data recovery prices also vary due to many factors. If you have a free data recovery tool, the cost could be zero; if you let professionals help you, the cost could be high (about $100 to $300 per hour in US).
How do I retrieve deleted photos on my laptop?

The best way to recover deleted photos from laptop is using MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

  1. Download & install recovery software on your laptop.
  2. Launch the software and select This PC/Hard Disk Drive.
  3. Click on Settings to check only the photo types you need.
  4. Double click on the certain drive to start a full scan.
  5. Browse the found photos and choose the needed ones to recover.
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