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HDD failure?

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#1 Nick504


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:02 PM

Hi, a friend of mine asked me to look at his laptop the other day. It had stopped booting to windows. No OS detected, couldn't boot from HDD, still detected in the BIOS however. It's on a laptop which has 2 IDE connections so I switched the drive to the other and changed the boot order, same problem. The disk was essentially full and he was after a new one so I suggested now could be the time. Anyway the new HDD arrived today, got hold of a copy a Windows 7 and installed it, laptop now boots fine into the new copy of windows, everything is running OK but he needs data off the old HD. I thought the new OS would be able to access it but it isnt recognised in my computer. It is still recognised as the secondary drive in the BIOS and in windows drive management but cannot access it. Drive management can see it and says the device is working properly but it wont initialize, wont turn offline and any access attempt comes up as an I/O error. It has win7 and all his data on so formatting to just save the hard drive for storage isnt an option (just yet).

Any thoughts on how to recover anything off the HD?



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#2 James Litten

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:39 PM


First to clarify a few things. It sounds like you have the computer up and running with a new drive and have moved the bad drive to the secondary IDE channel and can see it but can't access or see any of the files on it.

It might be beyond a simple repair or close to it. First find out from your friend what is the most important thing that they need recovered.

Next what I would probably do (it's so much different to see these in person than through a forum :) ) is plug in an external drive at least as large as the bad drive. Then I would boot the computer using a Puppy Linux LiveDVD

Then I would see if I can mount and see the files on the bad drive. If so, I would immediately copy the specific files that are 'most wanted'. Then I would get files of secondary importance.

If I can't read the bad drive, I would try Pudd to copy it to the empty external drive. MENU>UTILITIES>PUDD

Then try to see if the files are readable on the external drive. If not, then I would get a copy of Testdisk for Puppy and try it (or Photorec which comes with it) on the external drive and place the bad drive on a shelf in case you need to try recovering it again later.

The main thing to remember is that if you are fortunate enough to access and copy files on the drive, you should get everything that is important as quickly as possible because it may be your last chance.

If you try this and have any problems or questions, let us know.


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