Computer crashed - all data lost!

  Done and dusted 09:24 22 Sep 2006

My friend's computer crashed recently on which she had two years worth of family photos (not backed up and no hard copies). Many of the photos were of her son since birth. Two people (one of whom works for Barclays Disaster Recovery) have told her that all the information on the hard disk has been lost. Is it worth pursuing this any further? Apparently before it happened she says the computer was running at snail's pace taking an hour to print an A4 sheet of paper! She thinks the last message she had was 'Reboot necessary'.

  ed-0 09:31 22 Sep 2006

Do you know if this person from " barclays disaster recovery " inspected the hard drive or placed it in to another machine?

You see the standard way to access data off a damaged hard drive is to place it in another machine as a slave drive ( this stops the damaged hard drive having to load windows ). If the slave drive is readable, then just transferring all the important data over to the host hard drive ( the hard drive on the good machine ). This can be then either burned to disks e.g. dvd's or can be transfered to a known good hard drive.

  Done and dusted 09:37 22 Sep 2006

I don't know what was done with the hard drive and cannot get in touch with my friend right now. Are you suggesting that the information could still be recoverable depending on what has already been done?

  Graham. 10:03 22 Sep 2006

If the hard drive itself hasn't failed, it should be possible to recover the photos and other data by installing it in another PC as slave, as ed-0 advises.

This is a simple process, and should be tried before any other extreme measures, which themselves may cause damage.

  SANTOS7 10:04 22 Sep 2006

The suggestion that ed-O has put forward should work.
I don't think its the HDD that has died as you don't need it for word processing (an hour to print an A4 sheet of paper).
It may well be you have spy/malware problems to the point it is making your PC unusable.
at this time i would say the data is recoverable..

  Done and dusted 10:08 22 Sep 2006

Thanks everyone for your help. I will pass on your comments. If anyone else has any more thoughts on the matter, please post a message.

  pj123 10:49 22 Sep 2006

If all else fails and as a last resort there are Data Recovery firms which will attempt to get the data back. Their fees are very high though so depending on the value your friend places on the "lost" files would determine whether to go down that route or not.


click here

  Dizzy Bob 16:09 22 Sep 2006

PC World now offer a data recovery service, which is (i believe) no fix, no fee.

Might be worth checking out.


  ade.h 18:51 22 Sep 2006

If she had privacy enabled, she will need to take ownership of the top-level user account folders - ie. C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator - in Safe Mode and copy the files while still in Safe Mode. click here click here

Just a thought worth mentioning in case panic is caused by lack of access.

  Diemmess 20:03 22 Sep 2006

From the beginning the assumption has been that because the PC appeared to die, the cause was H Disk failure. "It ain't necessarily so."

The advice to "hang" it on a working PC as a slave HD is very good advice and should be tried first.
Do try that now, in your computer if you feel brave....... then ade.h extended this advice to some installations which might need his approach.

If someone has a USB case for an external HD, slip the doubtful HD inside and save even opening up a healthy PC. (set its jumper to master first)

  Done and dusted 04:26 23 Sep 2006

Thanks again for your help. I will pass on the new responses in the thread to my friend.

Following on from everyone's advice, the hard disk is on its way to someone very reliable who I use for my computer repairs. Fingers crossed that he can sort it out.

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