Recover data from failed laptop hdd?

Hey guys,

My girlfriend's laptop harddrive has kicked the bucket. Last night she tried to boot into windows with no success. The only thing she wanted to pull off it was her paper for school.

So I hooked it up to my computer and it is struggling to read the drive. After a while the drivr will pop up but when I go to access it windows explorer cannot seem to open the drive at all. I'll eventually get the error that the drive is not accessible.

Is there anything I can do to try and get these files off or is it too late for this drive? Any suggestions or tips would be appreciated.
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  1. Best answer
    It's possible that some bad sectors harmed the filesystem, but your valuable file may reside on areas which are not affected directly by them. Even if the file record is lost, the data may be still there.
    I've had success in a similar situation a couple years ago with a program named GetDataBack, and I just read about another similar program which seems to have a free version named Recuva.

    Anything you do, just do not format/make any write operation on it until you're done with the rescue mission. Then you might try to run every kind of error checking on it. For physical errors there are some excellent (usually command line) diagnostic tools by the respective makers, e.g. Seatools for Seagate.
  2. That program worked like a charm, thank you so much!

    I had tried an alternative software called ZAR which somewhat worked. The files she saved were in a folder on her desktop. The ZAR software could see the desktop files but not the folder on the desktop, so I was pissed because it took HOURS to finish scanning the drive.

    So I tried GetDataBack and it worked like a charm. It did take like 4 hours to scan the drive but in the end I was able to recover her paper for class. She has to turn it in tomorrow by hand haha.

    Just wanted to vouch that not all software solutions worked but GetDataBack did the trick, thanks a ton and my girlfriend is very thankful as well.
  3. Best answer selected by Kooper.
  4. I'm glad I could help.

    Wouldn't it be dreamy if it wasn't a hadware failure after all? In that case you wouldn't need to throw it away, but simply create a new partition, which you can do in "Disk Management" (how to access it:

    You know, this "Disk Management" shows disks even if there are no partitions on them or the partitions are hidden, or don't have letters assigned to them, etc.

    Good luck!
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