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Retrieving hard drive data


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#1 Rconey

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 08:02 PM

Hello, I was hoping that someone could help me or point me in the right direction on how to retrieve the data from a hard drive of mine. I know it's not completely dead, there is no clicking sound or anything obvious like that. When I look into my computer it shows that the computer sees the drive, but it gives no information on it about the size like the other drives. When I try to open it the computer tells me its not available anymore the icon disappears then reappears after a refresh. When I try to look at its properties it tells me it needs to be formatted. Is there some way to know exactly what's wrong with it? Is there a program to help me diagnose the issue and hopefully let me save and backup the files onto another hard drive and my external? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance for any help anyone may be able to give me. I am using Windows 7 home Premium. Thanks in advance for any help you may provide
~Rconey

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#2 AustrAlien

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 03:40 PM

Let's try a couple of things to start with.

Step 1: Test the hard drive. If you tell us the hard drive manufacturer's name (brand name) and model we can point you to the most appropriate diagnostic utility to use. It is best to use the hard drive manufacturer's own diagnostic utility, but Seagate's tool will work OK on most brands. The diagnostic tool is run from a bootable CD (Windows does not need to be working).The first two steps are done on a working computer, while the third step is to boot the ailing computer with the CD that you create in the first two steps.

:step1: Please download SeaTools for DOS (CD) from Seagate's SeaTools for DOS web page

or use the following direct download link to download the latest version of SeaTools for DOS:
Download SeaTools for DOS ISO Image

The downloaded file name is SeaToolsDOS223ALL.ISO
[/list]
:step2: Burn the downloaded .ISO image to a CD using the appropriate burning software.
  • If you do not already have a suitable burning program for writing .ISO images to disc ...
    • Download and install ImgBurn.
      Ensure that you UN-check the box agreeing to install the Ask toolbar during the installation.
    • Place a new (blank) CD disc in the drive tray.
    • Choose Write image file to disc.
    • Under Source, click on the Browse button: Navigate to and select the .ISO file that you wish to burn.
    • Place a check-mark in the box beside Verify.
  • Click Posted Image

    When the CD has been burned and verified as successful, it will be bootable.

:step3: Boot from the CD.
  • (You may need to access the BIOS Setup Menu or the Boot Menu and change the boot order to enable booting from CD before hard drive.)
  • From Basic tests on the Main Menu, run the Short test and then the Long test.

    (The long test will take some considerable time to complete.)
    The results will be shown as either a PASS or FAIL.
    There is a chance that during the Long test, you may be offered the opportunity to attempt repairs on the hard drive:
  • If so, go ahead and attempt to do so, but ONLY after backing up all important personal files.
[/list]Note: You may wish to view the following ...
Please let us know the results of the tests.


Step 2: Attempt to access the hard drive and retrieve copies of your files using a bootable Linux operating system.
If your computer is not able to boot into Windows or simply not able to access the internet, you can use a LIVE Linux operating system run from a bootable CD or flashdrive instead of Windows, to access the internet, to access files on the HDD(s) and do other tasks.

:step1: Using a working computer:
  • If you wish to use a LIVE CD ...
  • Download the Linux version of your choice (usually an .ISO image file).
  • There are many options to use for a LIVE CD. I suggest that you try one of the following:
  • Puppy Linux (smallest download file size at 128 MB)
  • Linux Mint 11 Katya (versions for a CD, and larger versions that need to be burned to a DVD disk)
[*]Burn the .ISO image to CD: If you do not already have a suitable burning program for writing .ISO images to disc ...
  • Download and install ImgBurn.
  • Ensure that you UN-check the box agreeing to install the Ask toolbar during the installation.
  • Place a new (blank) CD disc in the drive tray.
  • Choose Write image file to disc.
    • Under Source, click on the Browse button: Navigate to and select the .ISO file that you wish to burn.
    • Place a check-mark in the box beside Verify.
  • Click Posted Image
[*]When the CD has been burned and verified as successful, it will be bootable.
[/list][*]OR ... if you wish to use a LIVE flashdrive ...
  • Go to UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads and at the top of the page, click on Download (for Windows) to download the application.
  • Follow the instructions further down the page under the heading Installation & Screenshots.
  • Run the application to download and install the Linux version of choice to your flashdrive.
  • I suggest that you try one of the following:
  • Puppy Linux (smallest download file size at 128 MB)
  • Linux Mint 11 Katya (download file size depends on version)
[/list][/list]
:step2: Boot the problematic machine from the LIVE CD or flashdrive.
  • (You may have to configure the Boot Menu or BIOS Setup Menu to boot first from the optical/CD drive or the flashdrive, which ever you are using.)
  • Choose to run the Linux operating system from the CD or flashdrive without making any changes to your computer.
    Do NOT install Linux on your hard drive.
  • When the Linux operating system loads ...
  • You will be able to navigate to all the files on your HDD.
  • You can backup your files by copying them to a flashdrive or an external hard drive.
  • Before using the internet (if you choose to use Puppy, for example) you may have to:
  • Configure/set up the internet connection
  • Download a favourite browser
    (With Linux Mint the foregoing should not be necessary.)
[/list]You may find one of the following guides useful:
Recover files from Windows XP hard disk using Puppy Linux

Recover files from Windows Vista hard disk using Puppy Linux

Recover files from Windows 7 hard disk using Puppy Linux

The easiest way to copy files/folders in Puppy is to drag-and-drop from one window to another. To do this open a window showing what you want to copy. Open another window showing the location that you wish to copy to .... and move the windows so that you can conveniently see both at the same time.

Now, simply drag the items you wish to copy from one window into the other. Simple.

----------------
Recent news, November 2011: You may be interested to have a look at the following:

The most popular Linux is...

No it’s not Fedora, openSUSE, or even Ubuntu. It’s Linux Mint.


Edited by AustrAlien, 02 December 2011 - 03:42 PM.

AustrAlien
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