Need help with a friend's hard drive, details inside

I apologize for the length of this message, but I'm going to put in as many details as I can.

My Objective: Find a way to recover 15 years of my friends hard work, if at all possible.

Computer Specs relating to problem:
-A running computer
-2 SATA hard drives, one that is recognized fully by the BIOS, but isn't able to load in to Windows, and one that boots up in to Windows 7 Ultimate just fine.

When I set the problem drive to boot it states this message: "Reboot and Select proper Boot device, or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key." Upon hitting enter, it blinks the underscore at me a few times and repeats the message.

When I boot in to the working drive OS, and check disc management, it originally was stating that it was completely unallocated and wasn't even recognized as a drive by the working OS. I didn't format it but I set it to active / extend volume, and now Windows recognizes it as a RAW drive. Allowing me to use recovery programs, which I'm attempting now with "Recover my files v4.94", but all other attempts to access the drive through regular Windows means have failed.

How this happened: He said he was trying to do a RAID setup, and accidentally put in the wrong command. I'm not exactly sure what he did, but since then it won't boot up. He said he tried a recovery program that he paid $80 for and was able to backup data, but wasn't able to use any of it. Not sure on the details of that either. So essentially I'm flying blind in to the situation.

Basically, I just need to repair the booting sequence, or recover his data somehow. Any help would be appreciated.

Edit: I do not have the Windows CD he used to install the OS, he has it but has been really busy and unable to drop it off, so I'm just using what I can from the internet.
6 answers Last reply
More about need friend hard drive details inside
  1. He is a pirate, and you will not get help her for a pirate. Call it Karma. Pay for your stuff and maybe bad things wont happen to you.
  2. He's an ex-pirate. But it would seem he hasn't deleted / formatted older stuff he used. He has a legit copy of Windows 7 Ultimate, but this particular hard drive he gave me was used before he got it I guess.

    He has stacks of computer towers and hard drives laying around, so I just asked him to grab me any tower and drive he knew was in working condition so I could try to recover files without having to use my own tower / hd.

    I hate to say it, but the amount of excess cables and parts he had jammed in this tower when I got it, makes me concerned that he royally messed up this hard drive with his RAID attempts.
  3. What do you mean by "was able to backup data, but wasn't able to use any of it"?
    You could try putting the data that he has backed up onto another drive and seeing if it will boot.
    If it does you could probably format the drive then put the data back onto it.

    If in the backup there is nothing in any of the files chances are it is already lost.
    Hope you can fix your problem :)
  4. Yeah, it is a confusing situation, I don't know what he meant either by he backed it up but couldn't use it. After I got the bootable Windows drive to recognize the drive exists, I was able to backup the data that was still in tact and use it.

    I've solved the problem on my own now, it's just a long process as to backing it all up individually since the program won't bulk save.

    I appreciate the help, but I think I've got it solved now, he said he'd stop by today to let me know which files he needs. Thanks to both of you.
  5. Glad you were able to fix it :)
  6. Thanks :)

    Well, technically I successfully accessed and backed up his important files, but as for restoring the hard drive completely (optional), I've gotten to the part where in the XP recovery console it's asking for his password. Tried about 20 different ones, not sure if the password is messed up or hes just giving me the wrong ones. But at least the worrying is over because we have 15 years of his music work saved.
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