I understand you. I know what it means to have a broken computer and not know how to recover data. Thousands of files, photos, jobs of various kinds, mp3, gone up in smoke and inaccessible just because you can’t turn on a computer.
But I have good news for you. The solutions are there and above all, they are within everyone’s reach.
In this article, I will explain how to recover data from a broken, damaged, compromised computer. Whether the problem comes from the software or the hardware, if the hard disk is not compromised, your files are easy to recover.
You will certainly find yourself faced with two cases …
- Your computer turns on, but Windows (or any other operating system) is damaged. Never format in these cases; you could compromise your data permanently, especially if you reinstall the operating system. First recover the data, and only when you have saved it on another medium, reinstall the operating system.
- Your computer does not turn on, for example the case where the motherboard is damaged. In this case, we extract the hard disk and recover it in the way I will tell you later.
Know before continuing to letter this article, that any action taken after reading this, is under your full responsibility. Data recovery is a delicate operation that must be done by expert hands, so if you don’t know what you are doing, you will not do it. This is because, although the operations I will describe are simple, if done incorrectly, they can lead to the permanent loss of your important data.
But now let’s continue with the article let’s analyze case by case …
Recover data from broken computer while Windows does not start
This is the simplest case for recovering data. Our goal is to view the contents of the hard disk without starting the operating system, which, as mentioned above, is damaged. In this regard, there are modified versions of Windows and Linux called Live versions. Live versions means that they are not installed on the hard disk but that they are bootable from the CD and are specifically designed to solve technical problems on the computer.
A famous version is Hiren’s Boot Cd. This has a number of truly exceptional tools installed. You can recover data; check the status of your hard disk, ram and much more. In short, a version made especially for technicians.
Alternatively, you can create a live version of Windows yourself using Bart Pe Builder, a software that allows you to create live versions on a CD and boot it from your computer. Specifically, the program creates .iso files, that is, image files that you can burn, using the appropriate functions, on an empty CD. Since your computer does not start, you can try to create the live CD from another PC.
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1) Settings from the BIOS
If you want, you can also skip this paragraph, in case the BIOS of your computer is already set correctly.
To start the boot phase from the CD, we need to set the right settings in the BIOS, the program that allows the operating system to start. If you are not good with computers, be careful when you enter the BIOS because you could change unwanted settings.
To be clear, BIOS is that program that you see as soon as you turn on the computer, the program appears for a few seconds and then disappears. If you look, as soon as you start the computer, you will see that the Bios itself tells you how to log in. In fact, generally at the bottom, a message such as: Press Del or Press ESC or Press F2 is displayed.
Then press the indicated key. Once you enter the BIOS, you will have to make sure that in the Boot phase, that is in the boot phase, the Cd is read first and then the hard disk. These settings may not be necessary, in fact your Bios may already be set to read the Live CD when the computer is turned on before the hard disk. In fact, you have to keep one thing in mind:
If the BIOS reads the hard disk first then starts the operating system installed on the hard disk first, if it reads the CD first, it will start what is present first on the CD (especially if it is a boot CD, for example the live versions that we’re going to use).
2) Recover data from old hard drive partition
Started Windows from the live CD go to Start, then to Computer and notice how many partitions are available. You will surely find partitions like C: or D: in front of you.
One of these should be the old partition where you had saved old files, photos, various jobs … in short, all your precious data to be recovered. Well now, connect an external hard drive to your PC via the USB port and transfer your precious data to external media.
Recover data from broken computer that won’t turn on
To recover data from a broken computer with turning on the speech is less cumbersome from the software point of view, but you will have some manual operation to be performed. First of all you will have to disassemble the hard disk from your computer, then through a SATA / IDE to USB converter you can recover the data easily. Having to deal with my clients’ computers, I often found myself facing this problem: recovering files from computers that didn’t turn on. Punctually I went to connect the hard disks in a machine (another way to call a computer) that I kept at home used for this, hooking them as SLAVE. You can do this too: it is a question of connecting as a SLAVE a hard disk together with the main disk in the data bus.
It is a longer and more cumbersome operation, which I still do not recommend. My recovery work changed when I discovered the converter that converts data from SATA / IDE interface (typical of hard drives) to USB. A product that proved to be really efficient even with old hard drives. It manages both 2.5 and 3.5 inch hard drives.
The operations that you will have to do in this case are three …
- Remove the hard drive from your computer. For notebooks, just open the rear door to pull it out.
- Connect the hard disk to the converter device, which in turn must be connected via the USB port to another fully functional computer.
- Retrieve data from the device to which the device will give you access, generally a drive such as E: or F: will appear in the Computer section of Windows.
Well, we have come to the end of our article. Certainly, the operations to be carried out require delicacy and competence, but if you follow my instructions and document yourself well on the internet about what you don’t know, it shouldn’t be difficult. And remember that the responsibility for the safety and “health” of your data is yours, as well as everything you will do with your hands. If you have any doubts do not hesitate to ask in the comments.