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How do I backup data from a failing hard drive?

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  • Storage
  • Hard Drives
Last response: in Storage
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December 12, 2013 11:38:18 PM

It is a 5 year old Acer laptop and everything is stored on the C: drive. The file system is NTFS.

When I boot it says 'no bootable device' and after several tries of restarting and booting again, CHKDSK runs. It starts verifying files, then says 'file record segment ____ is unreadable' about 20 times. It got stuck on 9 percent of this after 4 hours and rebooted itself only to do the exact same thing again.

I ran system restore, which didn't work. I can boot into BIOS, but am not sure what to do from there.

All of my data is on the failing drive and I don't know how to retrieve it before it dies completely! Please help!

More about : backup data failing hard drive

a b G Storage
December 13, 2013 12:00:57 AM

If you only have the laptop and have no backup computer, you need to buy a new hard drive and a USB Hard Drive Adapter... Remove the old Hard Drive, install the new one in it's place, install the OS on the new hard drive, connect the old hard drive to the USB adapter and backup your data. The old hard drive may not boot but it's more likely to be read from a USB adapter in any computer. In my experience, hard drives don't fail completely the first time they fail to boot and you can probably still be able to recover your data from it.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/catego...
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December 13, 2013 12:38:44 AM

Chicano said:
If you only have the laptop and have no backup computer, you need to buy a new hard drive and a USB Hard Drive Adapter... Remove the old Hard Drive, install the new one in it's place, install the OS on the new hard drive, connect the old hard drive to the USB adapter and backup your data. The old hard drive may not boot but it's more likely to be read from a USB adapter in any computer. In my experience, hard drives don't fail completely the first time they fail to boot and you can probably still be able to recover your data from it.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/catego...


Hey Chicano, thanks for the response :) 
I'll buy a USB adapter over the weekend for the hard drive and plug it into my new laptop
If that doesn't work, what do you think of programs such as Hiren's BootCD and iCare Data Recovery System?



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a b G Storage
December 13, 2013 1:19:35 AM

The hard drive may be accessible from the USB adapter so you may not need to use the Hiren's CD or ICare application... but in case it's not accessible, use the ICare Data Recovery application... The Hiren's Boot CD is good in case a computer isn't booting and you don't have a second computer to recover files from... It may also be usefull in case the hard drive isn't accessible from the new laptop.. I've used it to view a failed hard drive contents when they couldnt be seen from a working computer, so both options are usefull... I'd start with ICare though... if at all necessary.
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December 13, 2013 9:48:36 AM

Chicano said:
The hard drive may be accessible from the USB adapter so you may not need to use the Hiren's CD or ICare application... but in case it's not accessible, use the ICare Data Recovery application... The Hiren's Boot CD is good in case a computer isn't booting and you don't have a second computer to recover files from... It may also be usefull in case the hard drive isn't accessible from the new laptop.. I've used it to view a failed hard drive contents when they couldnt be seen from a working computer, so both options are usefull... I'd start with ICare though... if at all necessary.


I ended up booting Ubuntu Live from a disk (which didn't work) but then tried again with an external HDD. Some files were corrupt but most of the important ones were still intact and accessible! I just dragged them onto some external storage. I'm so relieved, thanks for the help :D 
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