HD crashed beyond software recovery, what to do?

Hello and thanks to all who read and reply... I had a working 200gb Maxtor drive, 7200rpm, 8mb cache, ata133. I was ripping a dvd at full rez which is 1.3mb a frame with 30 frames a second, so basically a 2 hour dvd takes up 100gb. The program I used was unspecific with the size and time so I ended up with roughly 25, 35, and 45gb video clips. Now I know this was stupid, those who read this are wondering how I got 15 times the ammount of data out of a dvd, well forget that cause I know what I did wrong. After I had the dvd in 3 chunks on the drive with a little more than 10gb left to spare I was able to play them in WMP fine. I proceded to shut down and breifly saw an error message for the 'X': drive, it was quick then windows shut down. I ignored it and the next day I click on the icon for the drive and it asks to be formated and I have used whatever software data recovery I could get with no luck. I don't have $300 or $500 to even start to see what can be recovered. I think that in a lab they could get all the data. I had 80gb used before the dvd issues and besides backups and games and porn (that's right I tell the truth, just so happends that it is very easy to collect) the rest was important files and work files that I would like but have mostly forgotten. Any thoughts, ideas, program recomendations etc. are greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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More about crashed software recovery
  1. What software have you used so far? Did you format anything when it prompted you?
  2. I used VirtuaLab by binary biz, and a program called recover my files and a program by stellar phoenix. All are software based and couldn't do anything, some couldn't even analyze the disk. And if I remember correct, other than just trying the maxtor software, powermax, I did not try to reformat. The problem with powermax is that my chipset is not supported so I can't tell the extent of the external damage. I doubt it failed mechanically but powermax should tell me stuff like that.
  3. Try PC inspector, the drive to be recovered from has to be installed in the machine as a slave to a functioning drive with an OP/SYS on it.<A HREF="http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm" target="_new">http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm</A>, if this program won't recover, you'll probably not recover the files, I've used it myself and if the drives not mechanically damaged it will recover the files. Make sure you read and follow the directions, and the program is a free program.

    <b><font color=purple>Details, Details, Its all in the Details, If you need help, Don't leave out the Details.</font color=purple></b>
  4. Thanks, I'll try it. However previously I think that one program said that it couldn't find a header like the head of the drive the part that tells it where to start might be messed up? I am not sure, but I think that everything is on it but the ntfs header was corrupted some how. Also do you have an issue with transfering mp3s to a 2ndary drive and let they get corrupted, I'd enqueue or dbl click a file and the id tag is fine but in winamp they is not track length and it can not play. I tried an mp3 repaire program and it can even open the file. It is like I have an 80mg hollow file. Only happend with mp3s and nothing else though.
  5. I would think that if Stellar Phoenix couldn't get your files back then you are probably going to need a professional data recovery service, then, hold on to your wallet.
  6. Thanks, well I think that it is just the header that is messed up but that is just a guess, I don't know enough to be sure. I guess I can save up but I like to just know what's on there and pinpoint to for recovery so that it can/may be as cheap as possible. I also haven't told my dad who bought the drives for me, he would kick me ass if he knew that I didn't out them in raid first, however I have 3 instead of 4 but it might have important info so I am screwed either way.
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