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Thread: Broken Hard Drive, any way to get the data off?

  1. #1
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    Question Broken Hard Drive, any way to get the data off?

    I have a hard drive which has just failed, Windows recognises it and claims there is nothing wrong with it but it does not assign it a drive letter. Is there any way to copy its contents? It wouldn't let me format the partition Windows was on and i really need the data off the other partitions.
    (Its a Western Digital 120gb. Windows XP Pro.)
    Thanks.

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    Goron goron Kumagoro's Avatar
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    I would say you are pretty lucky and have a good chance of getting info off it.

    Try using knoppix and see if it will pick it up.

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    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    You can get software to try it yourself, but if the data is really important then send it off to get it recovered. (tou would have to install a new hdd first and install xp)

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    I've already installed another drive and put windows on it so i think i shall have a search for that sorftware, the data isn't immensely important, just things i didn't think i would lose so hadn't backed up. Professional companies would charge a great deal i imagine, i doubt i value the data that much. Thanks for your help so quickly.

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    MD
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    there is an option in the storage part of computer management to not assign a drive a letter, you also have the option to force assign a drive a letter, I had this with putting an old HDD in my new machine last night, it was recognised as foreign, but I got it to import.

    This is how you do it....

    Start >> settings >> control panel >> adminstrative tools >> computer management >> double click on storage >> double click on disk management (local) and then if the drive appears in the list right click on it and go to assign drive letter/import drive.

    It should then install the drive for use, let me know if this works...

    Thanks m@
    Please do not message me about Scan Free shipping, I no longer work for HEXUS.net

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    Is it a problem with the motor not spinning the platters?

    This may sound odd but putting the hard drive in the freezer overnight, then quickly plugging it in and getting all of the contents off it before it warms up sometimes works.

    I have had no experience of this myself but I have read many successes with this method. If you do try this make sure you wrap the hard drive in loads of plastic wrap so it does not get wet with condensation.

    Here is a link to help you with this and other methods of recoovering data: http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-6255-5029761.html

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    It can be done by experts but you're looking at in the region of £200. Unless there's really important stuff on i'd bite the bullet and RMA/ buy a new one.

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    I tried visidigi's suggestion but unfortunately it wouldn't show up. I will try knoppix over the weekend and then if i get no joy i will pop it in the freezer, haven't got much to lose. I found i have some of the data from an old backup on an external drive so it isn't worth paying for a professional, i just wish i could remember exactly what was on there.
    Thanks for your suggestions, i'll tell you if either of these work after the weekend.

  9. #9
    Homestarr Mod
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    we have a department at work who handle this sort of thing. the freezer idea is a one shot method..... if u want me to ask if they will try for you i can. or how much they would charge as a favour to me/hexus

    drop me an email if needs be sevenblades@hotmail.com

  10. #10
    Nox
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    Hmmm, we regualrly get partitions that are flagged as 'hidden' at work, for which we bung in a PQMagic bootdisk, click on the partition, and select 'Unhide' from a menu. This usually happens to second partitions after you've re-imaged the priamry partition though, but I have seen it at other times.

    If windows is recognising it, that probably means the board is fine (bugger!) as if that dies, quite often you can just plug a board off an identical drive to get the data. Ofcourse you need a spare identical drive too :/

    The data is recoverable, its just how much its worth (money) to you vs cost of getting it off the drive.

    Nox

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