Do turn off your computer. If you suspect a hard drive failure turn off your computer and do not re boot. It is time to check your back ups and weigh your options. Remove and replace the problem drive until a decision is made on how to proceed.
Do not run cheap data recovery software on a suspected failing hard drive or on a hard drive where you need to recover deleted data. Contrary to what data recovery software companies want you to believe, you are putting your data at substantial risk by running software. An image of the hard drive needs to be made to a secondary hard drive before any software is used. This way the original data is never altered and if multiple recovery attempts or techniques are needed you can always go back to the original drive.
Do not attempt self data recovery techniques on physically damaged hard drives. Opening your hard drive, putting it in the freezer, replacing the PCB (printed circuit board) etc will only make things much worse. There is a reason there are data recovery professionals. We have special tools, techniques and experience to preserve your data.
Do not open your hard drive; it should only be accessed in a controlled environment and at that, using techniques approved by the manufacturer. If you have already opened the hard drive carefully put the cover back on, do not touch the discs, and let us know that it has been opened prior to our receiving it. Be aware that opening the hard drive may increase the fees for the service.
Never assume that your data is unrecoverable. We have recovered data from hard drives that have been through fires, floods and even a laptop hard drive that was run over by a truck. If a non data recovery specialist has determined your data is unrecoverable it’s probably false. Inter-Data Recovery Services gives you the best chance for a successful recovery.
Do not reinstall the operating system especially when trying to recover deleted files. This will partially or completely overwrite the files you want back. At the very least it will destroy the directory structure.
Do not run chkdsk, scandisk or any other program that will write to the drive. This will move and alter the data which will usually overwrite the data you are trying to recover. These are powerful tools but only on a good working hard drive.