Hard Drive has failed – can I recover data?

  siba 01:06 04 Aug 2005
Locked

I bought my first serious PC two and a half years ago from Evesham. Athlon 2700, 512 RAM, 120 GB HD, big video card for games. I never had a problem and began to use it for everything. Cos it all seemed so easy I never got into the habit of backing up my HD.

A few weeks ago my HD got a little weird, going slow and a bit noisy. Then it started saying there was insufficient memory to run certain programs, (eg game). Then last week it refused to boot up displaying the message “A Disk Read Error Occurred. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart”.

I spoke to Evesham support who diagnosed a hard drive problem and suggested reformatting the drive with the recovery disk supplied with the PC. Strangely he did not warn me that this would erase all data on the disk but having looked through this forum I had learnt that and queried him. He then suggested trying instead to recover the drive using the recovery disk, and if that did not work then taking the PC to a computer shop for data recovery.

Following his instructions I tried the recovery using the CHKDSK /R command but this did not work – after checking 33% of the disk it stopped saying there were on or more unrecoverable errors on the HD. I tried to check the directory with the DIR command but it only returned an error message.

I took the drive to PC World in Tottenham Court Road and they tried to open the drive and recover any data they could. After a couple of days they told me that nothing they had tried had worked. They said I should try a data recovery specialist, and that would be expensive and may well be unsuccessful.


I know I should have backed up my drive.

But I didn’t, and I have two and a half years of stuff on it. Every photo I have taken and worked on, which is thousands, all correspondence, diaries, archives, financial records, articles, research….

Is it really true that all this information can be lost? Surely if I have the drive there is some way it can be read and recovered??

If anyone has any advice or recommendations I’d be grateful for it.


Many thanks for any help

Siba

I am not at a desk so won’t get replies straight away but I check online periodically throughout the day.

  DieSse 01:32 04 Aug 2005

"Is it really true that all this information can be lost?"

Yes (that's why everyone bangs on about backups)

"Surely if I have the drive there is some way it can be read and recovered??"

There are specialist data recovery services that can dismantle the drive and read the disks - they will almost certainly cost an arm and a leg. If you want to go down this route, please ask again.

There are some data recovery programs you could try - but you will really need to get your drive into another functioning system before you can sensibly try to run anything to try and read it. Such activities are not for the faint.hearted, and with respect, unlikely to be successful unless you can sit with someone who knows a fair bit about systems. By remote control via this forum, I would honestly hold out little hope.

You can search with google for professional services, and get a few quotes - and you can likewise search for hard drive data recovery programs.

  Happy Soul 01:36 04 Aug 2005

click here
click here look down the list.

  siba 11:55 04 Aug 2005

"There are specialist data recovery services that can dismantle the drive and read the disks - they will almost certainly cost an arm and a leg. If you want to go down this route, please ask again. "

I think I will have to go down this route, I will pay whatever I can afford to get the info back.


Thanks for the link to Drive Rescue. I don't think I know any system techs who would hold my hand through a data recovery program. If I did find someone, how would we run the program given that my HD won't boot up?

  Sapins 12:08 04 Aug 2005

Before you pay out lots of the folding stuff try this free programme click here

  DieSse 13:17 04 Aug 2005

"how would we run the program given that my HD won't boot up?"

Put the drive into another system as a slave drive.

  Sapins 16:00 04 Aug 2005

If you do as DieSse says you should be able to run the programme I posted the link to.

  ectfabs 18:01 04 Aug 2005

Put the hard disk on a windows system as slave
scan for virus etc ,run chkdsk ,
see if you can access any files ?(photos)programes most like won't work but MY DOCUMENTS may be ok to copy to cd/dvd

  siba 18:43 06 Aug 2005

PC World technician already tried to hook up as slave and several other ways of accessing drive. It does show in the BIOS but best he could get was a brief recognition of the drive but no reading of any info on it. It makes bad noises.

So looks like a mechanical fault and the advice on the link from Sapins points the same way. If mechanical then no disk recovery program will help and the advice on the site is don't even try cos you could damage the disk more.

So I think expensive data recovery is the only option.

Thanks to all for help. If anyone is interested in the damage (physical and financial) and the result let me know and I will tell you what the data recovery achieved.

  DieSse 19:31 06 Aug 2005

One last thing you might try if you're game enough.

Wrap up thr drive in newspaper - then put that into a plastic bag. Put the plastic bag into the freezer overnight. Take out the drive and immediately try it (get everything ready to do so first, and be prepared to dry any condensation from the outside before switching on).

Has been know to work long enough to get some contents off - will not do any damage to the internals (inside the sealed compartment).

It's best if you can do this as a slave drive in a working system to allow quickly doing copying.

  davinstanley 02:44 21 Nov 2005

I recommended you use Easeus DataRecoveryWizard to recover your data. It's recover methods are awesome and easily to use. Really great tool.
You can visit click here.

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