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Data Recovery

Posted on 2002-04-28
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I have a hard drive that failed.
Its a 20gb fugitsu laptop drive. Original partiion was FAT32. At this point the system bios cannot detact see or talk to this drive. It acts as if there is no drive present. Fdisk shows that there are no disks present since it has to go through the Bios to see the drive. I have put this drive in several notbooks and niether one can see the drive in the system bios. The drive still spins and doesnt make wierd noises, Are there any data recovery tools that can recover this partition that do not rely on the system bios to talk to the drive.
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Question by:klute
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by:Wakeup
ID: 6976378
Since the problems is probably electronics, a software recovery method will probably not work.
There is a company that does hard drive data recovery.  But is very expensive.  They can be found here:
www.ontrack.com

You may also download fujitsu's diagnostic utils here:
http://www.fujitsu.ca/download/hard_drive.html#diagnostic

The Hard drive may also be under warranty still...Generally HDD's have 3 year warranties.  You may check to see if you can get a replacement.  However data is not under warranty.
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by:Cokane
ID: 6976704
Looks like your snookered, unless you are willing to shell out a fortune.
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by:jhance
ID: 6977552
What you have is a very difficult situation.

First, no software tools will be of any use if the drive is not "seen" by the BIOS.  This means that there is a failure of some sort on the controller board of the drive and the IDE interface is essentially dead.

I have had some limited success in the past by taking an IDENTICAL DRIVE and swapping the circuit boards.  But you must have an EXACT MAKE/MODEL/REV. Level match or you run a significant risk of trashing any data that might still be recoverable.

The data recovery services can probably recover your data since the disk platters are most likely completely intact.  But anything you do may make their job more difficult (and therefore MORE EXPENSIVE).  So if you are considering such a service, my advice is to pack the drive up now and ship it out to them.  Yes, their services are expensive but you need to weigh that against the "value" of your data.  If you data is not so valuable, then obviously you don't want to pay to have it recovered.

I do have a "smart" remark that I often use in this situation.  It's: "This is simple, just go buy a new drive, install it, and restore your last backup to the new drive."  Of course, I realize that if you had a current backup you probably wouldn't be asking this question but it does provide another opportunity to say, BACKUP EARLY, BACKUP OFTEN...
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by:magarity
ID: 6977756
Is the 300 point max limit broken or increased recently?
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by:Jason_S
ID: 6978215
If any software is going to be able to retrieve your data, it will be Ontrack's EasyRecovery (http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecovery).  It can be downloaded for free, and you will be able to see the data that it is able to recover for you.  To recover the data will require a second hard drive, and for you to purchase the software.  At least you would be able to see what (if anything) it will recover.  First, you would want to tell the BIOS your drive parameters (Cylinders, Heads, Sectors).  Then attempt to run the software.

What lead to the drive failing?  Or do I have to ask?
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by:dbrunton
ID: 6978271
magarity

Yes.  Refer

http://www.experts-exchange.com/v3.0/jsp/communityNews.jsp

Much vigorous debate about this.
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by:RoadWarrior
ID: 6980466
Generally if the BIOS can't see the drive, the electronics are probably complete toast, so software won't work, and a board swap as suggested by JHance is the most likely to work. However, there could be other issues.

You could see if firmware is available for that drive and try refashing it, though I can't think how it might have corrupted in the first place, unless someone tried flashing it when it was in a machine with a password lockout.

Oh, there's a util I know that queries the drive directly and does not go through BIOS, it's called dug_IDE, if that can read the drive information then it probably isn't totally screwed, and possibly the machines you have tried it on have had issues with the drive.
You can get that here,
http://www.simtel.net/pub/pd/2526.html
Put it on a bootable dos disk, boot the disk and run it, if says something sensible, then you may have a BIOS or other problem.

regards,

Road Warrior
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by:babylonfive
ID: 6982585
Road Warrior: he was pretty clear that he HAS tried the drive on other computers. SO it probably is screwed.
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by:klute
ID: 6995379
Sorry for taking so long to reply
Thanks for all of the support
the drive is basically toast.
but i was able to retrieve a few files that i was concerned about off of the drive.
Basically what i did was instal the drive on to  a pc with linux and copied what i need off of the drive.
In any case Linux doesnt use the bios or HAL or and IDE controllers to talk to the hardware. You can disable all of your IDE harddrives if you like in the bios and still be able to run Linux. So that is what i had to do, but other then that the drive is toast.
So i am not sure what i should do with this questions points like who should i give them to?
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klute earned 0 total points
ID: 6995415
Sorry for taking so long to reply
Thanks for all of the support
the drive is basically toast.
but i was able to retrieve a few files that i was concerned about off of the drive.
Basically what i did was instal the drive on to  a pc with linux and copied what i need off of the drive.
In any case Linux doesnt use the bios or HAL or and IDE controllers to talk to the hardware. You can disable all of your IDE harddrives if you like in the bios and still be able to run Linux. So that is what i had to do, but other then that the drive is toast.
So i am not sure what i should do with this questions points like who should i give them to?
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by:babylonfive
ID: 6995418
If I may be so bold as to answer your question.

Distribution could be as follows:

Wakeup - earliest response, including mentioning ontrack, quick early suggestions - 200 points

jhance - typical great advice, but wrong in his second paragraph.. the most overall good advice, esp about deciding not to mess with the drive before sending it off (were you to do that) - 200 points

Jason - just repeated the ontrack suggestion - 0 points

RoadWarrior - less timely, but still some good stuff - 100

These values seem obscene, but *you* budgeted 500 to this... seems like a lot now. I now return you to your regular station... fffzzfzfzzzff....
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by:Wakeup
ID: 6995422
Klute,

You found the solution yourself basically.  You knew the drive was bad.  You asked if there was a way to recover the data, we gave you suggestions you found your own.  I would contact Community Support, and ask them to close the question and refund your points.  And you probably dont need this deleted since the information is relevant and good.  Just provide your exact solution here and then open up a zero point question in community support and they will take care of it for you.
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by:klute
ID: 6995443
In all honesty i would rather distribute the ppoints
as babylonfive had mentioned. i Do not feel right about holding on to them because i was able to learn something new from everyones advice. So how would i do the distribution?
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by:Jason_S
ID: 7001221
You can post a zero point question in the customer service area asking them to help distribute the points as you like.

I agree with babylonfive's points distibution for me (0).  I just clarified the ontrack suggestion as it is a nice tool.  The info was already there.
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by:Cokane
ID: 7001811
Or alternatively you could just give all of them to me seeing that I am a really nice guy and I REALLY wanted to fix your problem. Its the thought that counts surely ??!!?!
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by:Jason_S
ID: 7001857
Cokane:  You must be snortin...
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7151049
Klute, have you figured out how you want to disperse the points or do you still need more information?
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by:Cokane
ID: 7156880
I have psychically determined that klute wants all of the points (and much more besides) to be swiftly transfered to my experts points stockpile with immediate effect.
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by:akboss
ID: 8988354
============================
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
PAQ/Refund Points
Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.
 
PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!
 
akboss
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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by:YensidMod
ID: 9056677
Question is PAQ'd and points refunded.

YensidMod
Community Support Moderator @Experts Exchange
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