HDD recovery via BackTrack 5

So I'm trying to recover an entire partition on my wife's old laptop HDD via an external USB enclosure to try and recover as much data as possible.

Here's what I've tried so far:
-While it was still part of the laptop, I tried running HP Tools & BIOS Hard Drive Check and it came up with a "Hard Drive Error"
-I tried running testdisk on it via Windows and every time it results in a BSOD.
-I tried running Recuva and it said that there was a cyclic redundancy check error.
-I downloaded and created a BackTrack 5 Live DVD but it says that the drive can't be mounted.

Other information that might be helpful:
-Seagate Momentus 5400RPM drive
-Vantec NexStar CX enclosure (SATA to USB 2.0 interface)

Is the drive completely toast? Is there anyway to save it without sending it in for professional recovery?
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  1. I should also add that when I look at in Windows it shows four partitions some of which are readable, but the main one (the one I need to get to) is not.
  2. Doe anyone have any experience using Linux forensics programs? Ie. dd_rescue, autopsy, or other carving tools? I've heard those have been able to work wonders...

    Or maybe this needs to go in the linux forum?
  3. testdisk-6.14

    download that and its twin program that downloads together to fix partition and restore data.

    Its completely free and it helped me just a few days ago when a helpful program named "aomei partition assistant" relived me of all my data on my d: drive. If you have extra data and time and would like to lose both- I highly recommend that you use this fine Aomei's product.

    ~30% of data recovered by testdisk was unusable and all of it was without the proper name or folder location. Most of the important data was saved... fortunately.

    I wanted to extend the C drive by taking some space from D. Windows 7 refused to do so, but Aomei promised it could. It tired, got to 5% and gave up, leaving me with broken "raw" d drive and 30% unusable files. No other program- and many have been tried would recover more than a few images.
  4. Data recovery professionals will advise you to clone the drive as quickly as possible without dwelling on bad sectors. A freeware tool for this purpose is ddrescue. Ddrescue is a multipass cloning tool that tries for the easy sectors on the first pass, and the more difficult ones on subsequent passes. It keeps a log, allowing it to resume after an interruption.

    Ubuntu Rescue Remix:

    I would advise that you avoid thrashing your bad drive with data recovery software. Instead I would use such software on the clone.
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