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Any Hope To Recover Data?


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#1 jorgeus12

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 03:53 AM

Hey, I'm hoping somebody here will be able to give me some guidance as I'm running out of ideas...

Background:
Partners computer decided randomly one morning that her system HDD doesn't work anymore. I tried all sorts of bios settings, cable and jumper combinations but the bottom line is that her computer would not recognize the drive even existed, not even at bootup let alone in windows after reinstalling windows onto her backup drive. I placed the damaged drive into my computer and not only did it not show up anywhere but it stopped my backup hdd from displaying in windows (told me it had to be formatted).

I've determined that the only way I can get anything out of the hdd is to place it on an IDE channel all by itself. Luckily my primary hdd is a SATA drive so all I had to do was unplug my backup drive and we were in business, sort of...

So windows now recognize the new piece of hardware and installs drivers for it. The problem now is that the Disk Management utility shows the physical drive (80g WD drive with 2 partitions) as only 7.5g in size. I assume that this space is what was left over from the 2 partitions. I also noted that my computer is VERY slow to boot past the windows loading screen when the damaged drive is attached.

Recover My Files Results:
Not good so far I'm afraid. I download the latest version and have tried to run fast and complete format recovers on the 7.5g physical drives to no avail. The search starts and it all seems OK but it runs incredibly slowly. I left it running overnight and almost 9hours later the search box read something like, "searching drive 0-80 of 16540064". Yes, that says 80 of 16 million. Now after 9 hours my very poor math skills tell me that I would have to wait somewhere around 100 years for that search to finish

Oh and my computer that I'm trying to repair the drive on is WinXP Pro x64 edition. I don't know if this makes any difference but the stupid OS stuffs up so many programs that I never can be sure

So what now? Is there any hope left?

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#2 fozzie

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 06:43 AM

Why not give PC Inspector a go. You can find it in the freeware section ( check my sig). Before trying anything I would check the HD with some utilities from the manufacterer. Furthermore what kind of partitions you have (FAT32/NFTS?)

#3 nforce

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 11:51 AM

I would stop with that windows rubbish. You might end up causing more damage than good by "repairing" it. It sounds like the partitions got screwed up. I would search google for a Dos based hard drive repairer or data retriever. And like said before, maybe the manufacturer has some tools to help.

If you successfully retrieve the important data, then maybe you can use a tool like killdisk or maybe even the windows built in disk checker and/or formatter. This would totally wipe the hard drive and you can start over (if the hard drive isn't totally broken)

Something like this happened to my friend once. He found a way cool tool that let you choose a partition and gather data from it (dos based). He had ruined his partitions before and retrieved all his data. I'll ask him for the name if he can remember it.

#4 usasma

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 04:08 PM

The more you access the drive, the more you may destroy the data that's on there. But you'll need to use something in order to recover the data - so it's a Catch-22 of sorts.

There are different ways to recover data. First trying the utilities suggested here, then moving on to the pay-for utilities. Those can range in price up to about $1600 for an 80 gB hard drive (I speak from experience here - having lost a nearly full drive a couple of years ago). That involves disassembling the drive in a clean room and moving the platters to another hard drive and reading them from there.

Edited by usasma, 18 February 2007 - 04:09 PM.

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#5 kaleb_keith

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 01:53 AM

It sounds like your drive has some serious errors and unfortunately I donít think a data recovery software solution will be up to the task in your case. You will have to look for a physical data recovery solution. Look for a reliable data recovery company. We have 1000 PCs in our office and we often hire services of Salvage Data Recovery Lab of Stamford. I donít have their address readily available. I will have to ask our IT Manager. You may search in internet by the name to get further detail from their site. Let me know if you have problem.

#6 acklan

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 02:20 AM

I just went through this with a 160Gb drive that had 3 partitions on it. The primary partition had drive errors on it. I used the Ultimate Boot CD to recover all of my Data including most of my personal setting in the Windows XP Pro directories.
It worked for me.
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