How to recover a corrupted disk and what can corrupt a hard disk?

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Disks store important files and documents. These are old photos, college papers, financial spreadsheets and other data that we don’t want or can’t afford to lose. However, when you have a corrupted disk, this data becomes inaccessible…

That’s why it is important to know how to recover a corrupted disk. Don’t think that all is lost: in many cases, it is possible to save the device and the stored files, especially when you have professional help to do so.

In this article, we will take a closer look at what can corrupt a disk and what you can do to avoid losing the data stored on it.

Como recuperar HD corrompido e o que pode corromper o HD?

What can cause a corrupted disk?

After all, what could have corrupted your disk? Despite being a very robust and secure device, there are some situations that make it vulnerable and can damage its components.

Here are the main causes of disk corruption. Check them out:

Operating system bugs

Faults in the Windows operating system can damage your internal or external disk. It may be that a code error in the system causes a security breach or corrupts the disk’s file index. In these cases, the computer tends to crash and prevent access to the stored data.

Dirty power

“Dirty power” can cause equipment to malfunction. Overloaded circuits, undersized conductors, incorrect wiring and inadequate grounding are some of the technical aspects that make the power system dangerous and can damage the disk. This is why it is important to have an electrician take measurements to make sure everything is OK.


Editing photos directly from the external drive or running an extremely heavy game or program can put a lot of strain on the drive. When this happens, it can overheat or malfunction, corrupting files or the entire drive.

Hardware failure

Hardware problems can also damage the disk. It may be that the device has factory faults or that some impact has affected the integrity or functioning of the parts. In these cases, it is physical damage that corrupts the disk.


Virus and malware attacks are among the main causes of a corrupted disk. Attackers affect the disk drive and corrupt the stored data. That’s why it’s important to keep your antivirus always active and up to date and, in the case of external disks, only connect them to reliable devices.

Excessive sun and humidity

Every disk is designed to withstand high temperatures, but only up to a certain limit (usually up to 60 °C). Inadequate exposure to the sun can cause the computer, laptop or external disk to overheat. In extreme cases, this can burn out the disk controller board and make it impossible to access the data.

Excessive humidity can also affect the internal parts and end up corrupting the disk. The devices have a casing that protects their structure, but frequent and excessive exposure can be a problem.

Registry cleaners

Registry cleaners are software programs that promise to make your computer run faster by cleaning up unnecessary files. A well-known example is CCleaner. In general, they work well, but there is a risk of deleting important data from the system registry and compromising the operation of the disk.

Bad blocks

Bad blocks are physical damage to disk sectors, caused by hardware problems (development failure, for example) or software problems (malware attacks, for example).

When this happens, the disk itself uses a reserved area to allow the user to access the data that was stored in the bad sectors. The problem is when the bad blocks become too frequent and the system needs to make lots of new mappings. In this case, the disk can become corrupted. See all about Bad Blocks on Disks here.

Power cuts or surges

Electrical problems caused by sudden power surges or drops can also damage the disk.

Electrical system instability is common during lightning storms, for example. When the weather is like this, it’s best to unplug your equipment. For stationary computers, you can use a UPS to increase power stability.

Insufficient RAM

When the user runs a very heavy program or game, the RAM becomes insufficient to keep the system running smoothly. In order to avoid crashing, the hard disk compensates for this, in a process called “thrashing”.

However, this procedure can overload the disk and corrupt the device, especially if it happens too often.

Time of use

Disks have a limited lifespan. Depending on the technology, they can last from 5 to 10 years, but consider that this time can still decrease if the device is not used correctly.

So usage time, extended beyond the useful life, can also corrupt the disk, even if you take every care with the device.

How to identify a corrupted disk?

A corrupted disk has some common symptoms, which you can identify when you try to use it.

It is common that, when trying to access a folder or file on the internal or external disk, the computer opens a notification warning that the location is unavailable. In some cases, the computer slows down or even crashes while trying unsuccessfully to access the file or folder.

It may also be that the disk starts making different noises, which show some internal mechanical problem. It could be that the needle is out of place or that the disk is misaligned, due to a fall or impact, for example.

When these symptoms appear, the record may be faulty… So, when you notice any sign of a problem, back up your files straight away in the cloud or on another storage unit to avoid major losses.

To find out for sure if the disk is corrupted, you can run programs that diagnose the device or use the Windows Error Check tool (right-click on the disk drive > Properties > Tools > Error Check).

If you don’t want to or don’t know how to do this, seek professional help to diagnose your device and fix any possible problems.

Is it possible to recover a corrupted disk?

Yes, in many cases it is possible to recover a corrupted disk, especially if you seek out specialized professionals. If you try to open the disk at home or run unreliable programs, you could ruin your chances of recovery.

A corrupted disk doesn’t mean that you have lost your files permanently. Due to a software or hardware fault, the device just doesn’t allow access to the data index.

You can then use programs to repair the drive’s errors. If the problem is mechanical, it may be necessary to perform an intervention on the structure of the disk, which should only be done with specific equipment in controlled environments.

How do I recover a corrupted disk?

Before carrying out any procedure, it is important to save the files on the disk. Locate the data you can still access and make sure it’s safe in the cloud or on another device. This way you avoid taking any more risks.

After that, you can try to recover the corrupted disk with the Windows Error Checker tool. The system will scan the drive for faults and fix them.

If the problems are not serious, this procedure can already recover the device and the stored files. However, it is often necessary to go further.

Another way to recover a corrupted disk is to use data recovery tools such as Recuva, EaseUS and Recoverit. These programs scan the disk for errors that are affecting the device.

However, they may not be effective in more serious cases, especially with hardware problems, and they require a certain level of expertise to guarantee safety in the process. It’s worth noting that any wrong intervention can make disk and data recovery impossible.

That’s why it is best to look for a qualified company to recover your corrupted disk. With specialized professionals, equipment and environments, you can guarantee safer and more effective procedures, especially if you need to open the disk to repair mechanical problems, which can only be done in a specific laboratory.

How do I recover files from a corrupted external or internal disk?

Windows error checking and the use of recovery software can also recover the files stored on the disk. Their function is to reassemble the file index and allow the user to access the data again.

However, once again, we remind you that hiring a specialized company guarantees greater security for the procedures and the chances of recovering the data. If you have important files and documents that cannot be lost, look for the safest solutions for recovering a corrupted disk.

This way, you will have your disk recovered and your files available again.

How Bot can help you

Bot is a company specializing in data recovery, with over 11 years’ experience in the market. We can help you save your files and repair your corrupted disk.

We have professionals who are trained and experienced in the most diverse cases of data loss. In addition, we have the ideal equipment and sanitized laboratories, according to strict standards, to carry out interventions on the devices.

With all this structure and experience, we guarantee high rates of effectiveness in recovering damaged data and equipment.

Would you like our help? In addition to a free quote, we also offer free collection from any address in Portugal. Now, fill in this form to start recovering your corrupted disk.


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