recover from hard disk failure

Posted on 2004-08-06
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hi there,

My hard disk has failed and I would like to ask how to recover data from that disk if at all possible.

I usually backup all my data to cd once a month, but unfortunately I never bothered to backup
my bookmarks. I really reall don't want to lose them because I've got nearly 2 years worth
of very usef links.

I've tried mounting the drive as a 2nd disk on another pc but the fails to appear.
Is ther any other way of recovering from a disk failure. Even some way of retrieving some
of the data?



Question by:jjbarnsley
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LVL 57

Assisted Solution

by:Pete Long
Pete Long earned 50 total points
ID: 11734844
bang the drive in anothe rworking PC and try one of these

File Recovery

When a file is deleted either from the Network, By a program or from the Command Line, is does not get put into the recycle bin. However the file is NOT erased, instead the information that points to the file is erased. By erasing the pointer, the file becomes "Invisible" to the Operating system. Using Third party software these files can be recovered.

**********Freeware Recovery Tools**********

Deleted File Analysis

PC Inspector
(FAT 12/16/32 NTFS)

(Also have a Netware version - NOT FREE)

**********TrialWare Recovery Tools**********

Undelete 3.0 (30 Day trial available)
(NT/2K/XP) - Can run direct from the CD

File Recover

(FAT12/16/32 NTFS NTFS5 and Ext2FS)

Recover My Files

**********Shareware Recovery Tools**********

File Scavenger
(NT/2K/XP) - Supports Reformatted Volumes -Limited to 32Kb file size!

GetDataBack for FAT
(FAT) Works Even After FDisk and Format, Can run Over the network.

GetDataBack for NTFS
(NTFS) Works Even After FDisk and Format, Can run Over the network.

(FAT 12/16/32 NTFS) Runs From MMC Console

(FAT 12/16/32 NTFS) Runs from DOS Bootdisk

FinalData Plus

************Commercial Products************

File Restore ($39.00)

HDR Data Recovery ($485.00) Trail available

**********Good Link to More Info***********

Author Comment

ID: 11734883
I've mounted this disk in another pc, but it fails to appear. It looks possibly like phyiscal hard disk failure.

How can I get past this? Doe those tools handle physically damaged disks?



Expert Comment

ID: 11735023
Is it detectable in the BIOS during startup?
Is there noise "clinking sound" coming from the drive?

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Expert Comment

ID: 11735801
Well if you really want to try it, here is a site with stories of how other people did it and some of the pitfalls. Pay special attention to the Stories link:

Assisted Solution

by:Jeff Rodgers
Jeff Rodgers earned 100 total points
ID: 11736925

1.remove the drive from the PC and whack it against a door frame.  (if the head is stuck this will loosen it) Reinsert in PC.
2.remove the drive from the PC , place the drive in a sealable ziplock bag, and freeze it. (here the cold causes any tight parts to contract thereby freeing up anything that is stuck)

If you can get it to register in BIOS try software like Power Quest Lost and Found which will allow you to copy your data to another drive. Drive Copy will sometimes help as well/.

Whatever you do ... if you can get it to work it will only work temporarily... Copy your Data off of the Drive immediately to a new good hard drive.

Good Luck


Assisted Solution

AshuraKnight earned 100 total points
ID: 11742780
If it's still detected in BIOS you can get your data back
I'll advice GetDataBack software from
You can do trial run to see whether it could get your data or not then you register to copy the data back to "healthy" HDD :)

And a link to bunch of file recovery softwares :


Accepted Solution

Shattuc earned 250 total points
ID: 11746594
The banging on the door Idea is not a good one, I'd use this as a last resort.
 what you can do, which you might have to shop around for a special cable, to see if the drive is physically locked up...

needed: a hard drive in use indicator light on your PC.
a data transfer cable without the little square tab on it.

what you do is, disconnect the power from all other HD's, (while the computer is off) put the crashed HD in, connect the power cable, and the data transfer cable, but, reverse the data transfer cable, instead of putting the red stripe closest to pin 1, put it on the other side. also before forcing it on, make sure it isn't one of those connectors that is missing the pin hole somewhere near the middle. if you can get the data transfer cable put on in reverse, and turn the computer on. if the HD is still capable of data transfer, all that will happen is the drive activity indicator light will come on and stay on.

If the drive is physically frozen, the light will not come on. nothing will happen.  try the ziplock in the freezer. and repeat. if all else fails, give it a good rap, but, make sure that you are jarring it on a plane on the same axis as the platters, although this will not guarantee a non damaged surface, the chance of damaging the surface does drop a little bit.

Expert Comment

ID: 11749480

Expert Comment

ID: 11759973


   I once had the same problem, and wanted to try some of the softwares available over the net. but a friend of mine told me that the more you scan the hard drive, the more difficult it will be to recover the files back.

     So when our hard drive crashes then it is a better option to contact an data recovery expert who guarentees your data revovery and get your data 100% back.

     I had sent my hard drive to this company

 They recovered my hard drive completly.

        Try to contact them and get more information.

       I hope you get your data back as early as possible.

Expert Comment

ID: 11760047
Hmm in my opinion it's not making a big difference :)
I did scan my hdd several times until i got my hands on getdataback.
I could recover all my data though :)
With 10 files missing because I accidentaly write some file on the hdd -.-

Author Comment

ID: 11789050
Thanks everyone, some really useful comments here. will try things out

LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 11844183

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