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failed hard drive recovery?


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#1
delawaredrew

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Hi,
I'm helping a friend whose Dell inspiron 8600 laptop has a bad HD. It makes funky sounds and the comp won't boot windows at all. She is going to buy a new drive, but would love to be able to get her schoolwork off the old one before trashing it.
I've read some accounts of people freezing their dead harddrives and regaining limited access (until they heat up I guess). It sounds unlikely but she would be really happy if she could get the papers she has been writing off it. Anyone done this, or heard of success. It is worth trying, it is free and easy.
Drew
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#2
Samm

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If the drive is making stranges noises then the chances are that either it is physically damaged (such as a head crash for example) or it has developed bad sectors. Either way such damaged cannot be rectified by freezing.

Its also very likely to damage the drive more, as powering up a drive thats that cold is not good for it.

Has your friend attempted to boot the laptop from a bootable floppy disk or CD instead & then accessing the files on the drive that way? If the drive is really damaged then this probably wont help but it's worth a go. As long as the drive is accessible (i.e the system can see it), even if the data appears corrupt or lost, you may be able to use a data recovery program to recover some of the files.
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#3
delawaredrew

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Thanks for replying-
The drive doesn't work at all now, best guess is that there is a bearing failure or head damage from the sound of it. She has tried taking it to a data recovery place but they did not get anything off of it. The recovery guy mentioned freezing the drive to her as a last resort, and I also found accounts of it online.
The idea behind freezing isn't that it "rectifies" any damage, but since metal shrinks as temps fall it changes tolerances enough to allow the drive to spin again, and hopefully access whatever data wasn't physically damaged by the failure. After a little while the drive fails again. There is a lot of anecdoctal evidence of this technique working, although I cannot judge the reliability of the stories. At this point there is nothing to lose, she can't afford proper professional recovery and the lost files are not so important that they are worth $500 - $1000 to retrieve.
Read here or here

Drew

Edited by delawaredrew, 22 February 2006 - 09:53 AM.

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#4
ZEUS_GB

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If your friend is going to try that then make sure the drive is placed in a sealable freezer bag.
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#5
delawaredrew

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I figured on using a vacuum sealed freezer bad for her drive, to avoid condensation. I'm a little worried about the influx of air that will happen when the drive seeks to equalize pressure when the vacuum is released though.
I doubt that it will work, but if it does I'm gonna look like a hero, which never hurts! If it doesn't work nothing has changed and she is still going to have to re-write alot of her thesis. She doesn't have a recent backup, or all this would be unnecessary. I bet she'll back up more often now!
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#6
macten

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This ought to keep you busy for awhile:

http://www.hddrecove...ads/200ways.pdf
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#7
delawaredrew

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macten-
thanks for the pdf, looks like a few hours of studying in my future.
Drew
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#8
delawaredrew

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ok- update:
The girl went ahead and bought and installed a new drive herself. So the laptop is up and running.
After freezing the old drive, she said it worked again for about five minutes but she was out of blank cds and could not get data off it. She's gonna try it again.
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