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Recovering data from a dead hard drive


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#1
dnrflorence

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I recently installed a new hard drive on a friends computer. She asked if there was any way to recover any of the files from it. I have searched the internet and found that you can recover data from a Lynix based platform by using a live OS program called Knoppix. However, I did not find anything on recovering data from a windows based platform. Does anybody know of a way (Live OS, special program) that I can recover files from a dead HD? She needs a folder that contains a lot of important data from her divorce evidently. If anybody knows of a way please let me know. Thanks! :whistling:
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#2
gerryf

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put the drive in the new pc as a slave, boot, and windows will discover the new drive if it is not completely dead

to paraphrase Miracle Max from Princess Bride "See, there's a big difference between mostly dead, and all dead. Now, mostly dead: (it's) slightly alive. All dead, well, with all dead, there's usually only one thing that you can do..."
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#3
dnrflorence

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I tried that. The bios recognizes the drive as a slave. When I boot up windows it does not assign it a drive letter and will not give me access. When I go to the hardware devices in the system folder it appears there also. When I click properties of the drive it tells me that it is working properly?? :whistling: When I go to the drives on "My Computer" it is not listed. So give it to me straight Doc, is it dead or can the data be recovered?

Edited by dnrflorence, 28 June 2006 - 06:49 PM.

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#4
gerryf

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right click MY COMPUTER choose MANAGE, go to DISK MANAGEMENT

IS it there?
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#5
dnrflorence

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Nope. What next?
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#6
gerryf

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then your drive is probably all dead instead of mostly?

Maybe if you described the symptoms of the death? I have had drives die, and simply rebooting them 100 times brought it up once long enough to recover data.
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#7
dnrflorence

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All that she could tell me was that her teenage son was working on the computer when it just shutdown. She added that her kids liked to download music and such. Does that help any?
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#8
gerryf

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no, it's hard to say what is going on...harddrives can fail for multiple reasons---defective platter,bad circuitry...you say it sounds like it is spinning up.

Might want to try the old harddrive in the freezer bag in the freezer for an hour or two, then plug it in
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#9
dnrflorence

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What?! Are you serious or do I just not get your humor?! LOL! It sounds like you want to put it into a bodybag?! :blink: If you are being serious then I will try it. What have I got to lose?! :whistling:
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#10
gerryf

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No, believe it or not, I am serious.

Place the drive in a freezer bag, and then in the freezer for about two hours. Then place the drive back in while it is still cold.

If the motor, head, or platter is stuck, this can often free it long enough to get your data. Old tech trick
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#11
dnrflorence

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Uh...OK...I'll try it this evening. I am at work right now and I don't have the drive with me. Like I said I have nothing to lose!
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#12
dnrflorence

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I have one question before I do this. Is this like a last resort kinda thing? Seems to me that if this does work then it will probably only work once and then it's garbage. Am I thinking correctly? If so, is there anything less damaging to try first or is this my only alternative?
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#13
gerryf

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this is no more damaging then not doing anything.....it is actually less severe then the alternatives of a) dropping the drive from about a foot on a hard surface, or hitting it with a hammer (not hard, but a gentle tap)

So, to answer, this is not a last resort thing....it is the next to last resort thing.

After that, I would connected it to the pc as a slave and just keep booting over and over and over.

If you want to spend a couple thousand, there are services that will take the drive in a clean room, and rebuild it to recover data
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#14
dnrflorence

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I think that I will stick to the "Doctors book of home remedies for hard drives". I don't imagine the lost data is that impotant to the lady that I am working on this for. The quick, less inexpensive route is the best choice. I will give it a shot and let you know what happens.
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#15
dnrflorence

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I tried it. It didn't work. Anything else?
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