Computers, Laptops & Tablets Accessories & Hardware Can I Recover Files From a Dead Hard Drive? Are My Files Lost Forever? Share Pin Email Print Accessories & Hardware HDD & SSD Keyboards & Mice Monitors Cards Printers & Scanners Raspberry Pi By Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated December 03, 2019 If by failed, you mean a physical problem with the hard drive, then no, a file recovery program isn't likely to help. Since file recovery software needs access to your hard drive like any other program, it's only valuable if the hard drive is in otherwise working order. Physical damage to a hard drive, or other storage device, doesn't mean all hope is lost, it just means that a file recovery tool isn't your next step. Your best solution to recover data from a damaged hard drive is to employ the services of a data recovery service. These services have the specialized hardware, expertise, and lab environments necessary to help repair and restore the data from damaged hard drives. However, if you're experiencing a BSOD or some other major error or situation that's just preventing Windows from starting properly, that doesn't necessarily mean that your hard drive has a physical or unrecoverable problem. In fact, just because your computer won't start, doesn't at all mean your files are gone - it just means that you can't access them right now. What you need to do is get your computer started again. See How to Fix a Computer That Won't Turn On for help doing that. If that doesn't work, connecting the hard drive with your important data on it to another computer, either directly or via a USB hard drive enclosure, is your next best solution.