Why doesn't my hard drive load Windows?

Episode 1411 (43:13)

Jerry from Torrance, CA
NewerTech USB 3.0 Universal Drive Adapter

When Jerry turns on his Windows PC, all that comes up is a folder that says "Windows." Leo says it sounds like the hard drive has become corrupt and has failed. It can happen at any time, and the older the hard drive gets, the more likely it will fail. Can he get his data back? Leo says he can use recovery software to do so. He can get an external USB hard drive enclosure, or a temporary connection kit like the NewerTech USB 3.0 Universal Drive Adapter, and connect it to another computer and run recovery software to get the data back. He can probably even just drag and drop the data over.

He can also use SpinRite to examine it sector by sector looking for bad sectors. When it finds one, it will move the data off the bad sector and then mark it as bad. This will make the drive useful again. Another possibility is that the file catalog has been corrupted. That's a file system issue. Piriform's Recuva can fix that.