Hard Drive Dead - any hope of retrieving the data

  robertlondon 19:39 07 Mar 2010

I'm useless at computers. Useless.

A few months back my old desktop computer wouldn't turn on at all. Nothing - no whizzing, no lights - Nothing.

I took it to my friend who I'd describe as "good at computers". He's taken it to bits, tested it and says the hard drive is dead. He thought it might be something to do with the electronics board on the top. He said there was nothing he could do and that the only way to get it going would be to "rebuild it in a vacuum chamber"! Doesn't sound good.

Is that it?

Is there any way I can get the data off the hard drive - or perhaps more importantly, is there a company somewhere in the UK that could get the data off my dead hard drive?

  john bunyan 19:46 07 Mar 2010

I have a local computer repair shop who is very good and charges about £45 for such things. I think PC World's Techguys (avoid if poss!) charge about £100. How many more people are there who do not back up to and external HD. Sorry robertlondon but there are so many like you.May be worth looking up computer repairs in your local Yellow Pages and making a few calls. Good luck.

  canarieslover 19:51 07 Mar 2010

Google for Data Recovery Services, there are quite a lot of them around. Depends on how much value you put on your data, but they aren't cheap.

  Terry Brown 20:22 07 Mar 2010

Normally, you would get a S.M.A.R.T warning about wear on a hard drive a while before it failed, if it was a mechanical fault or the in-built board was failing. have you tried putting it in another computer as a slave drive, as it is possible the pin setting at the rear that sets it as a master, has failed,and so it is not recieving the power or the connection (link) has failed, which would be classed as an electrical fault, and you would not get a warning, just like a fuse blowing.

Has your friend left the Hard Drive in auseable condition, if not- it's too late.

  rawprawn 20:33 07 Mar 2010

I would buy an External Caddy if you are not sure about mounting a slave in another computer, and put the HDD in it and have a look yourself. From what you have said it's not really clear that the HDD is totally dead as Terry Brown points out it is better to have a look.
click here

  robertlondon 18:24 08 Mar 2010

An update from my "good at computers" friend (this sadly means nothing to me)...

"Yes, the drive has been tried as both a master and a slave in 2 different PCs just to make sure it wasn't the HD Controller on the motherboard. In fact what happens is that whenever the ribbon cable (it's an IDE drive) is connected the PC doesn't boot at all - not even to the POST screen. This doesn't happen when it's just the power cable connected which is why I suspect the controller board on the drive"

Are "data recovery services" gonna be able to deal with this? Because that's the way I'll probably go given the options???

  Technotiger 18:34 08 Mar 2010

It is still a good idea to try it in an External caddy, as has already been suggested. These caddies connect via a USB port and most have their own external Power source.

If you do try this, perhaps resulting in it being accessed by the computer, then this little direct download program will recover your pics. click here

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