“Cannot read from source file or disk” usually is an indication that your drive has a bad sector and is not anymore reliable in reading or writing file. Another error that you may encounter is the familiar “CRC – Cyclic Redundancy Check error” which means the same thing, that your drive is failing.
Luckily theres a utility program called SpinRite that can save you from such disaster. I know hard drives come cheap these days, but if you have that important data you want to recover, or just you cant replace the drive, then SpinRite is the solution.
SpinRite is a hard disk repair utility that can frequently recover and repair physical hard disk issues such as CRC errors. – by Leo A. Notenboom, © 2010
As quoted from Mr. Leo, an ex-Microsoft programmer, it clearly shows that SpinRite is the right tool in maintaining and recovering drives.
SpinRite operates on the lower level. It works at the physical drive level, and it does not know anything about files, folders, or disk format your drive has. One function is to rewrite whatever data on the hard drive, by means of the magnetic signals used to encode such data. Another function is to recover data on a hard drive where those magnetic signals become degraded or corrupt. The utility will do exhaustive tests and calibrations to recover data on an affected sector it can’t read. Then it will rewrite the recovered data to that re-magnetized sector or to another physical location of the disk.
In other words, it has two primary uses: maintenance and recovery.
How to repair my hard disk
First, you have to get hold of the SpinRite software. Once you have it, just run it on your computer (or on another computer). You will be presented with a prompt that you need to make a CD-ROM or USB bootable disk. Select your preferred choice. Restart your computer to start the operation. A series of prompts will be shown just follow it logically. The program will run for a few hours (or days), so you need to dedicated a time for this operation. You can leave the computer and let it run on its own.
However its also vital to note that SpinRite is not a file recovery utility. That means it can’t repair data that was improperly written, or corrupted by a virus etc. It does not replace CHKDSK, Undelete, or Recuva. These kind of utilities operate on data stored on the disk. What SpinRite does is actually repair and recover from physical errors on the hard drive like bad sectors, CRC errors and the like.
Another note is it cannot recover from serious hardware failure. If the drive platter does not spin, the internal circuitry has been damaged, or the drive heads dont read/write, then that is beyond the software’s ability.
Where to get SpinRite?
SpinRite is not free. It costs $89 but its a good investment. You can use it for maintenance to refresh / calibrate your drives, or for emergency recovery.