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Hard drive data recovery before sending to lab


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#1
DOM1

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I have a 150 gb hard drive which has a hard disk read error. I have been told by a local computer man that the only solution is to take it to a lab. Is there any way practical way of retrieving the data, without sending to a lab first.

Regards

DOM1
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#2
Neil Jones

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Run some file recovery software on it.
Realistically you can't do anymore than that because the next stage involves physically taking the disk apart which has to be done in a totally dust free environment, it probably costs an insane amount of money with no guaranteed results.
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#3
DOM1

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What about SpinRite. I've heard great reviews but is that all hype?
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#4
Neil Jones

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All programs are not guaranteed to get anything back at all because a lot depends on the state of the drive in the first place. Just because a program gets great reviews doesn't mean you can use it on your drive and get the same sort of results. If the drive is mechanically defunct you can throw any number of programs at it and they'll all probably turn round and (proverbially) say they don't want to know.
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#5
DOM1

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I'm going to gice it a try anyway, as it's probably one part of the drive that is affected. If it saves spending hundreds of pounds sending it to a lab, then it'll be worth it.
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#6
Ztruker

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I think you are talking abut thousands of pounds, not hundreds.

Rhetorical question: Why, if you have data that is that important, do you not have it backed up? I see this happening over and over again and I just can't understand why people do this to themselves.
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#7
Neil Jones

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Rhetorical question: Why, if you have data that is that important, do you not have it backed up? I see this happening over and over again and I just can't understand why people do this to themselves.


This is not a phenomenon that's unique to fellow computer uses, it also seems particular common in business. Business seems to place lots of demand on a computer and have no back-up plans whatsoever when said computer stops working. Plus they usually want it back yesterday as well.

A few months back now, a company bought a computer into our shop, it had suffered a major software failure and was running Windows NT 4. Which, as it turned out, hadn't even been patched never mind backed up. It was their accounts machine and had all their work on it, none of which had been archived.

Anyway it cost them probably a third of that year's turnover for that company to get a new system from us and get the data off the old drives, formatted in such a fashion that even XP couldn't read it, it was totally unique to NT 4.0. Had to perform what was effectively Data Recovery procedures, because all XP wanted to do was format the disks.

To cut a long story short, we got the documents, we got the work and we advised them on suitable back-up procedures. And it took hours. Now life would have been far easier for the company if they'd backed up occasionally, they lost three working days because of that.
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#8
hfcg

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I just convinced a client to spend $140.00 for a 500GB My book to use as a back up storage drive.
He agreed because last year it cost him $750.00 to retrieve data from a failed drive.
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#9
Ztruker

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I know I'm preaching to the choir. I've had similar experiences with accounting firms and a CPA office. Backup? What's that?

I think this is something the big box manufacturers and perhaps MS should get involved in. Push the concept and make it very affordable for people to buy an external drive to backup to, even bundle it with their systems. Add it to the initial boot process or something. So many people are losing so much important data it's almost criminal.

Also, MS should provide a real backup program and dump the junk they now have. Buy one if they have to.
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#10
hfcg

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The automatic back up utility in Vista works great with an external hard drive.
You can even hook up a secondary drive, or back up to disc.
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#11
Ztruker

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MS should port it to XP then. Won't happen unless it slips into SP3 though.
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#12
DOM1

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I have backed up most of the drive, but I have some very important files I need to recover, which weren't backed up. I have been quoted £300 to recover up to 100gb. This seems to be the minimum cost, through my research.
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#13
Ztruker

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Hmmm, that's a lot less than I expected (about $600 US).

You could install a heck of a good backup system for that :)

Edited by Ztruker, 27 February 2008 - 08:45 PM.

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