I was having frequent crashes and hangs, so I ran Seagate Tools (Seagate Barracuda 250 GB SATA, formatted with 2 partitions in NTFS). It showed critical file structure errors. I ran the Windows Recovery Console from CD. Tried running CHKDSK. It told me there were "unrecoverable errors". I rebooted to the recovery console and tried again. This time it gave me another message (I can't remember, should have written it down, but I think it said something about Windows not being completely installed). In the past I've temporarily fixed crash problems on this disk by using FIXBOOT. Tried it this time, and now I'm hosed. The computer sees the drive as very small (10 MB, FAT) and without WinXP installed.
I did sort of the same thing. Installed XP over the drive with the ghost image i needed to restore all my docks. After a format and everything. I wound up paying 85 buck for software that I dl'ed. It ran a program that took 72 hours to pick up the old data. It all worked and I so happy becuase it was not my computer.
Only down side was that the files get a numeric numbers rather than the old name, so I had to comb through everthing. I cant remember the name of the software right now, but when I do Ill post it.
Wow, thanks for posting about GetDataBack! I tried the demo, and all my important data is recoverable....Too bad its so expensive ($80), but I'm certain this is a valuable tool to have around in the future.
Besides, I've seen more expensive stuff that's not nearly as useful.
Emule and you can find it for download. That is where I originally found it. It's like $130 for both versions. I downloaded it first, then bought it later cause it was reasonable and did a really good job.