I have a PC with a HDD that has failed the SMART test. I took it out and tried to plug it in a SATA port on my main PC (working fine) but I have been up against several issues:

  • when I plug it in then turn my pc on, it will stay on the "windows loading screen" and not go any further.
  • When I try to hot plug the HDD into my pc, it will not load in and I cant open either the file explorer nor window partition disk options (I enabled the hot plug option in the bios)

My main goal is either copy that HDD onto a new SSD (with a tool like samsung magician) or at least backup all the files.

I've tried:

  • launching windows in safe mode
  • hot plug the HDD
  • raid sata mode (it then says it doesn't detect windows)

Some extra info:

  • I've noticed in my BIOS settings that I can explore the files of that HDD
  • I thought about getting a sata to usb adapter but I'm not sure it'll help
  • That HDD has a windows OS on it
  • My motherboard is an Asus TUF B450 plus


Just to explain how I managed to get back my files, I used the usb adapted method as suggested and this is what happened:

  • On windows OS, it was the same as pluggin the HDD in a sata port on my motherboard, can't mount the disk (tried safe mode & all the other options). So in conclusion, if you only have windows, god help you.
  • I have a dual boot with ubuntu and I could mount the HDD and extract / save the data (but I could feel the HDD dying as the transfer speed was very slow and it was overheating very fast, the disk sort of unmount itself when overheating, so only do small transfers at a time). Linux saved my files :)

hopefully this helps others with their smart failures ^^


Mount it via an external USB/HD/SATA adapter.

USB drives don't report SMART status.

This will not affect your chances of recovery, merely prevent the OS from locking you out.

Don't attempt to boot from it nor do anything that will write to it - this is your one-shot to rescue data from it.

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  • thanks for the answer ^^ just to know, if I go on linux, will the OS still block me? – Fire Frost Apr 17 at 17:44
  • 2
    It may do. idk nix well enough. You are down to your last chance to recover data from this drive, so don't play with it just to see what happens. Of course, if it's fully backed-up, just smash it & recycle it. It's dead, it just hasn't quite stopped breathing yet. – Tetsujin Apr 17 at 17:46

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