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Hard drive crash

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July 9, 2012 4:51:55 PM

I live on the eastern coast and we had a series of recent electrical storms. During this time, my hard drive stopped working in my laptop. I have been unable to boot Win7 from the drive. Subsequently, I tried to run a start up repair (one of the options on boot) and it was unsuccessful. I dismantled an external hard drive and plugged my laptop's hard drive in since they are both SATA drives. My other pc seems to recognise the hard drive (it makes an icon ni My Computer for it), but I do not know if it's recognising the hard drive or just the adapter itself. When I try to open the drive from there, it tells me it cannot access the drive due to an I/O error.

I would appreciate if anyone has an advice on good open source and free software that I could use to recover the data from the drive. I have already tried Piriform Recuva and it was unsuccessful in recognising the drive in the first place.

Any advice would be good. I am a college student and cannot afford professional data recovery services so any solution needs to be DIY. I really need to recover these files as they are both school and work related quite crucially so any assistance would be greatly appreciated. :) 

Thank you.

I am not sure if this helps but the failed hard drive is a Western Digital 320 GB 5400 RPM with 8 MB cache speed. I don't know if this information is useful. i am a few days out of a two year warranty but i need to recover my data before i can return the hard drive to the company if that's even ultimately an option (I have heard that WD will not honor problems that are related to logical failures which this seems to be, since the drive can power up and by all indications audibly it is working fine (you can hear it spinning and clicking inside and sounds like a normal operating drive)).

More about : hard drive crash

July 9, 2012 6:49:10 PM

The fast search option is unsuccessful and suggests using the complete search option when I clicked 'Proceed'. The complete search option hangs and never moves forward.

Any other suggestions?

I tried http://findandmount.com/download/ but it said there were no visible partitions found or no partitions found period.
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July 9, 2012 7:13:46 PM

Try fixing it with Spinrite from http://grc.com. You might get it working long enough to recover your data and move to an SSD drive for a speed boost.
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July 10, 2012 12:52:06 AM

mmuonio said:
Try fixing it with Spinrite from http://grc.com. You might get it working long enough to recover your data and move to an SSD drive for a speed boost.


I tried to run SpinRite's recovery options. I got an error after it ran for about 1 hour.

Division Overflow Error!

A critical error occurred at: B022
from which SpinRite CANNOT Recover
The system has been halted!

[... block of text recommending the following and above be pasted...]

eax: 00578218 esi: 00000000
ebx: 00000000 edi: 0000003F
ecx: 00000000 ebp: 00000000
edx: 0057004F esp: 00003FEE

ds: 10A4 es: 10A4 fs: 6FE8
gs: 0040 ss: 3433 fl: 0292

Earlier, I tried to run a Knoppix LiveCD to see if I could access my files. It could recognize a drive was plugged in but could not navigate to that drive citing an error in the networking bus?

I don't know if any of the above information is helpful but any advice would be appreciated, I desperately need to get the files out off of my hard drive. :( 
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Best solution

a b G Storage
July 10, 2012 3:57:48 AM

TestDisk, Data Recovery
TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy.

TestDisk Step By Step to recover lost partitions and repair damaged FAT/NTFS boot sector
Recover deleted files from NTFS partition

NOTE If seeked lost file are still missing, give PhotoRec a try. PhotoRec is a signature based file recovery utility and may be able to recover your data where other methods failed.

PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.
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July 10, 2012 4:48:05 AM

PhotoRec is currently recovering my files. It claims it will take about 256 hours to do a 320 GB hdd.

Hopefully this pulls my files back, I tried to use Test Disk but it said the file system was too corrupted.... I was wondering... I know that PhotoRec doesn't keep the file system, but does it keep the same file names or will I be facing reorganizing a lot of files? I don't really mind doing this as long as I can get my files back in the end..
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July 11, 2012 2:42:51 AM

Have you got all your files back yet? Let me introduce you a freeware and I hope it may help you anyway. I just recovered my lost files by using it.
Download Here: http://freeware-recovery.blogspot.com/2012/07/free-dele...
It is free and easy to operate.Connect your hard drive to your pc and launch the freeware, follow the tutorial and wait for your files to be recovered.
But the scanning may take much time if your files are large. You can preview the files before saving them.
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July 13, 2012 2:10:59 AM

I just wanted to say thanks to the poster who recommended TestDisk. Despite other softwares saying the drive's data was unrecoverable, somehow TestDisk was able to read the original file system and let me copy all my files with the path and file names left intact. So grateful, it really saved my bacon!
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July 13, 2012 2:11:16 AM

Best answer selected by Paleothyris.
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