recovering data from an old crashed hard drive

  loonogs 01:04 13 Apr 2009

i believe that there are companies out there whch can recover data from crashed hard drives.
how do they do it ?
are there any tools available to the average joe ?

the data on this drive is not critical but i wolud just like to mess about with it a bit.

  jack 07:29 13 Apr 2009

does it function at all?
IKf it does not then- no chance
If it does run then try

click here
PC Inspector.

lots of it out there, but the drive has to be a runner.

  radi8or 07:39 13 Apr 2009


Don't know how they do it but they'll charge you an arm and a leg and take the shirt off your back. :0))

Suppose it depends on whats gone wrong if it's mechanical not much "the average joe" can do if data not critical you could take the cover off (guard against static) and investigate sometimes the head jams and just needs a poke. Drives are assembled in a dust free,clean and static free environment so you take your chances.

If it's not mechanical you could paste your title into google and do a search for recovery software.


  Technotiger 07:46 13 Apr 2009

You need a external USB drive enclosure to put the drive into. You could then connect via USB and 'play' with the drive/contents at your will.

click here

  jack 08:22 13 Apr 2009

AsTechno tiger said- you will need to connect it to a functioning PC
One of these will come in handy
click here

  m800afc 10:14 13 Apr 2009

O&O Disk recovery.
If you can get the drive to function at all, this software may help. It helped me to recover from a crash, and is relatively simple to use.

click here

  DieSse 11:27 13 Apr 2009

"How do they do it?"

One way is to remove the disks from the drive, and mount them on a specially built rig. It has to be done in a clean-room. That's why it's expensive.

Sometimes simply the electronics board in the drive can be replaced by another identical board (must be absolutely identical) if that's what's failed.

A lot depends on what has failed and the failure mode. The original meaning of "crash" was where the drive heads had physically touched the disk and actually damaged it. As the heads touch the disk there is a build-up of debris that just gets worse and worse until the heads don't fly at all and crash onto the disk surface.

The worst crash I ever saw was one of the old large "looks like a wahing machine" type drives which had been left on over a weekend. The screeching noise on Monday morning had to be heard to be beleived, and inside the drive was full of aluminium "powder" from the disks themselves. Whole drive a write-of at a time when they cost around £20-30K.

  loonogs 12:03 13 Apr 2009

Thanks all,
crashed in that it was making a bad sound, could not be identified by xp but could be detected by bios on start-up

will put it into another pc and give it a go

  DieSse 13:34 13 Apr 2009

Detected by the BIOS probably means the circuit board os OK.

Making a bad sound suggests a mechanical error - what exactly depends on the sound.

  Technotiger 13:42 13 Apr 2009

Better to put it into a USB enclosure, then connect it to another PC.

  Graphicool1 14:00 13 Apr 2009

I have a HDD that went down some months ago. I tried making it a 'Slave' and putting it into another PC. But even as a 'Slave' the BIOS wouldn't let the 'Master' HDD start or run! A local PC repair shop tried and failed to retrieve my work.

I know there are laboratories who can retreive your Data from such catastrophies. They strip down the HDD, remove the disc and put it in another - donor - shell. A friends son tried, with one of his and succeeded to do it. I've decided that, when I get round to it I'm going to give it a go too. After all there's nothing to lose now.

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