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Need to get files off an Unbootable hard drive


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#1 superfusion

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:12 PM

The hard drive in my HP laptop which is a Western Digital SATA hard drive recently crashed. The operating system on the hard drive was windows 7. After it crashed, when I started it again it said unbootable hard drive. I took the hard drive out of my laptop and connected it to my desktop which has XP on it, using an USB 2.0 to IDE SATA HDD Adapter Cable. I have tried a lot of data recovery software to see if I can get my files back and none of them work. If anyone has an idea or solution to my problem please let me know.

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#2 James Litten

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:30 PM

Hi Superfusion

A few questions :)

Can you see the drive in Windows Explorer?
If so, what happens when you try to view the files on it?

Have you done any writing to it since it broke like trying to format it or copy files to it? (if you haven't, don't do it. That's very important)

Did you drop it or bump it or did it just go bad all of a sudden?

What data recovery have you tried?

Thanks
James

#3 superfusion

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:29 AM

Hi Superfusion

A few questions :)

Can you see the drive in Windows Explorer?
If so, what happens when you try to view the files on it?

Have you done any writing to it since it broke like trying to format it or copy files to it? (if you haven't, don't do it. That's very important)

Did you drop it or bump it or did it just go bad all of a sudden?

What data recovery have you tried?

Thanks
James


Hello James, I can't see the hard drive in Windows Explorer when I hook it up to my desktop computer. My laptop had the blue screen and when I restarted it, it said unbootable drive. the only thing the hard drive does is constantly make a beeping sound. I used iCare Data Recovery software, Aidfile Recovery Software, DiskGetor Data Recovery.

#4 James Litten

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 10:51 AM

For a problem like yours I try to make a copy of the bad drive as soon as possible. The drive is probably still in the process of breaking so we want to use it as little as possible.
The beeping sound concerns me. It may be too late or it might be connected to the computer incorrectly.

If you can try this and it works, I'll tell you how to do a recovery.

Download the ISO for Parted Magic from here and burn it to a CD...
http://partedmagic.com/doku.php?id=downloads
If you do not know how to make a boot CD of the ISO, let me know and I will get you further instructions.

Put the drive back into the laptop (that way we are relatively certain that it is connected properly)
Boot the laptop using with the Parted Magic CD that you made.
When it gives you the list of options at startup choose...
1. Default settings (Runs from RAM)

Once it boots, you'll see that it looks kind of like XP. Instead of a start button in the lower left it has a button with a picture of a hard drive on it. For this post we will call that the START button.

Go ahead open LXTerminal, START>ACCESSORIES>LXTerminal
Type
fdisk -lu
and press enter

Let me know if it sees and lists the bad drive. Try to tell me as much of the output as you can or take a picture of the screen and post it.

Now you can shutdown the computer.
START>Logout
Choose "Shutdown the computer" and click OK

Does the drive beep in the laptop like it did when connected to the desktop?

James

#5 superfusion

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:58 PM

James the hard drive beeps when it's in the laptop also. I ran Parted Magic and followed your directions and when I was in LXTerminal I typed in the command and it didn't do anything. It didn't show any kind of output, nothing. Thanks for the help anyway James.

#6 James Litten

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:49 PM

I'm sorry to hear that.

That was the most gentle way for us to try and determine if it was recoverable with conventional tools.

If you are going to use a professional data recovery service then take it out and carefully pack it now and don't do anything else with it.

Beeping is often a symptom of mechanical failure. Leaving it plugged in at this point can be a fire hazard or even damage the laptop (though rare).

At least now you have a tool for a quick response if anything like this happens again. The PartedMagic disk you made has the tools Photorec, Testdisk and ddrescue on it which can be used to save a failing disk if you catch it in time.

I really wish I had better news for you.
James

#7 superfusion

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:05 PM

thanks for the help James




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