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Data Recovery from Damaged Partitions on a HDD

Last response: in Storage
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September 3, 2006 4:26:05 AM

I have a Sony Laptop GRX500 Series... It came with a 40g harddrive. I also bought a 200g external for the laptop months after.

It's 3yrs old though the drive has 2 NTFS partitions spliting the size. I was playing world of warcraft just last night and all of a sudden I hear a loud spin up sound coming from my laptops drive with no computer activaty. I had to force a power down on my comp, restart and boot windows but windows crashed before loading. Tried again then it loaded an I got back into WoW.....

Then I heard that sound again and the comp crashed again, I knew it had to be something with the drive itself so I pulled it out, it felt really hot, and something was shacking in it. I put it back in and now its telling me no operating system can be found.

I put in the Sony Recovery disk in and its telling me that the drive has no partitions on it at all, and for me to fix the OS, I have to repartition/reformat the drive.

I negeleted to do this because I know that drive information can still be recovered if its not overwritten.

However, is it possible that the drive is shot altogether and I won't be able to save the information at all? Or is there a program that can restore the date?

I did check online and they have a Laptop to IDE convertor, but will that work?

Or should I take it to like Geek Squad at bestbuy and see if they can recover the info, least on 1 partition? They told me they can get 9gigs for like 30bucks but anymore would be 160bucks.

And I know there's more then 9gigs on the drive.... mp3's videos and personal files.

Any advise?
September 3, 2006 7:13:55 AM

well if you think about it... hot hdd... shaky bits... isnt it kinda obvious?

its dead mate. sorry for your loss.
September 3, 2006 8:10:13 AM

I have a bytecc IDE/Noteboot to USB adapter and it works fine.

There is a new model with support for SATA drives so the old one goes for about $18 at newegg.

My prefered recovery software is GetDataBack For NTSF.

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But before you make any recovery attempts you should try to determine if you have a damaged drive or a completely dead drive.

I suggest booting to the hard drive manufactures diagnostic utility and running a quick drive self test.

That should give you a clue whether the drive is damaged or completely dead.

Just don't attempt to repair anything.

If the drive seems like is partially working, then you should invest in an USB adapter and some recovery software.

Recovery software usually is avaliable in a trial version which will scan the drive and show you what files you can potentially recover if you pay for the full version.

So there if there is any sign that the drive might have some readable data you are not risking much by purchasing an adapter.

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In any case there is nothing Geek Squad can do for you that you can't easily learn to do better yourself.

The problem with most repair shops is if someone is truely qualified to work there, then they usually can get a much higher paying job elsewhere.
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September 3, 2006 1:37:41 PM

My deepest sympathies. As someone that's lost an awful lot of drives over time (somewhere around 5-6 and counting), I know the pain. Began running home systems in RAID 1, which helped the last couple of times before last, but the last one blew away two drives on what I assume was probably a software glitch. Oh well.

Anyway, some very good suggestions so far. The only one I might add is that there are bootable Linux (mostly Knoppix based) CDs that might be helpful in analyzing some NTFS problems. Depends really how far gone the drive is. Otherwise, if you have more than one system, hook the old drive up via a USB drive box from whomever you like. Watch a bit the power requirements of the drive, not all USB externals work on the bigger/more power hungry 2.5" drives. But still, better to debug this on a running system, if at all possible.

If you don't have a second working system, and the Linux boot CDs cannot get anything back, I'd take the drive off to the side, replace it in the system, and rebuild. After rebuilding, hook it via USB and an external drive case, get off what you can (which is liable to be not much).

Good luck!
September 3, 2006 8:15:55 PM

What would be the linux equivalent of GetDataBack?

That is a program which that can recover files from a badly damaged or even a repartitioned and reformatted hard drive?

I use live linux DVDs sometimes, but I am really clueless when it comes to linux.
September 4, 2006 10:35:53 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions guys, I'll look into getting an adapter and testing the drive on a different computer.

Thanks again!
September 4, 2006 11:04:21 PM

Even if the drive doesnt seem accessable on any computer, there are data recvery companies that will be able to recover the data, but it will be expensive. Really expensive.

A friend of mine paid £450 ($800 or so) to have a 250gb drive recovered because he had some photos on it.... anything that is that valuble to be (hypothetical as there isnt anything) would be on 10+ DVDs distributed throught familiy members :s

I'd suggest that in my experience, the reasion 95% of drives die is inadequate cooling. Drives shouldnt get hot to the touch if you can help it. A single 80mm fan can cool 4-5 drives and keep them happy for years.
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