Recover damaged or unbootable hard disks with a simple free program

The hardware that makes up our computers is composed of a lot of pieces that make them work properly. When one of them breaks down, we have no choice but to go out and buy a new one, with no more harm than to spend more money. Unfortunately, it is much worse when a hard disk breaks down.

The hard disks we have in our computer are responsible for storing all kinds of information, whether it is the most trivial or logically very important files that we may not even have saved in the cloud. Not only that, but also one of them (if we have several) is responsible for running our operating system, and if it stops working our computer will not do us much good if we do not fix it. This may be due to an occasional failure or because we have been responsible for deleting a partition, for example. If that is what has happened to you, we bring you a free and simple solution that will get you out of trouble: TestDisk.

This program is open source, and is designed to help all users who have experienced problems on their hard drives because they have deleted key information from them or because they have stopped booting (as long as it is not a physical problem of the disk, of course). The program lacks a traditional interface as we may be used to, since when running it we will interact with it through the Windows Terminal.

According to the program’s own web page, TestDisk is able to perform the following tasks:

  • Repair the partition table
  • Recover partitions that have been deleted by the user
  • Recover boot sectors, either from FAT32 or NTFS drives
  • Rebuild FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32 sectors
  • Repair MFT
  • Rebuild NTFS boot sectors
  • Locate ext2/ext3/ext4 backup Superblock

As you can see, TestDisk is capable of solving a multitude of errors that could be causing your hard drive to not work as it should, but it is also designed to be compatible with virtually any file system that exists, in addition to the most used operating systems such as Windows, Linux or even MacOS. It should be added that it is not only designed for traditional hard disks (or HDD), but we can use it with the most modern SSD or even with USB flash drives.

How to use TestDisk

As we have mentioned above, TestDisk does not have a user interface like other more traditional applications, but we should not be afraid of it. The reality is that it is an application with a very intuitive operation, and learning how it works will not take us in any case more than a few minutes. Once we have the program window open on our desktop, we will start by clicking on Create to work with a new work log. When we do so, all the hard disks connected to our computer will appear on the screen, and we will have to choose the one that is suffering from a problem.

Once we have selected the disk in question, we will have to select the type of partition table that this disk has. If you do not have much knowledge about computers, it is very likely that you do not know what to choose, but do not worry about it. The program itself will tell you the type of table your disk has, so you only have to select the one indicated in green at the bottom of the screen.

Once this is done, TestDisk will give us a series of options with which to interact with the hard disk, and in any case the most advisable thing is that we always choose Analyse first, since this way the program will be able to detect if there is some problem in the disk. If the program does not detect your hard disk, or gives you some kind of failure when analyzing, it may be due to a physical error, in which case, and unfortunately, we will not be able to do anything with TestDisk.

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