Corrupted Hard Drive

Hello everyone,

Below is an email I sent to Maxtor a couple months ago:

Hello, recently when attempting to reboot my computer, I received a bunch or error messages telling me to perform a chkdsk. The computer wouldn't shut down so I manually shut it down and restarted it. Quick scenerio, I have two hard drives, one that came with my Dell and the second is the one I purchased from you for all my personal things. It's a Maxblast 3 ata hard drive, 40gigs. After restarting my computer, I would double click on the drive it it said "the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable." It wouldn't let me perform a chkdsk and my buddy who is a Linux nerd attempted to mount it from his computer and it was unsucessful. We're bother comp sci majors so we know what we're doing. My friends computer recognized the hard drive and it was partitioned. My friend believes the NTFS is corrupted. Regardless I NEED some type of answer because I have far to valuable information on that hard drive. Please give me a worthwhile solution. I would greatly appreciate it.

Of course, they had absolutely no worthwhile solutions and just passed off a link to an uncountable number of Date Recovery websites.  My problem is, how do I know which one is good and reliable?  If anybody could suggest a company with good data recovery software, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,
John
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nothing8171Asked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Generally they are referred to the most and I think have a pretty good reputation.  NOT Cheap though - $100 just to look at the drive, if I remember correctly, up to $3000 to recover the data (not a typo - 3 thousand)
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nothing8171Author Commented:
leew, that's ridiculous.  I can't be the first person whose home hard drive has crashed and needed to recover the data.  Perhaps $3000 is what's charged to a company, but an individual?

From the websites I've visited, I assume I'm going to end up shelling out $80 - $100, I just need recommendations on who I should spend my money on.
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nothing8171Author Commented:
ontrack.com was a company in which I browsed through.  I'm assuming I would need the "EasyRecovery™ Lite 6.0 - Individual Edition" for $89.00.  Is this correct?  Should I go with it?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I have to warn you, that I don't have experience with the ontrack software - but I've heard a number of people here on EE recommend them and I have heard of them for data recovery ($3000 price).  Keep in mind the process of recovering data MAY be easy (lower cost, but probably still several hundred dollars) or it could be difficult - you have to understand - the process of recovering damaged disks can (but not always) involve taking apart the disk in a clean room - building and maintaining these clean rooms, plus the equipment to recover the data, is not cheap.  They pass that cost on to you.  If your data is that important, you'll spend the money.  Many home users - any myself included years ago - learn this the hard way.  I don't mean to be rude/obnoxious/or even blunt, but that's the way things are, at least as I've seen/experienced them both in person and on EE.

If your NTFS tables are corrupt, the EasyRecovery software MIGHT be able to recover the data.  They seem to offer a free demo that stops short of recovering the files, I'd suggest trying that before you buy it.
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nobusCommented:
here is anothe r one :

http://www.runtime.org/      GetDataBack
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nothing8171Author Commented:
Okay, I suppose I'm just unfamilar with the data recovery process.  I assumed they send me the software and I do everything here at home.  I didn't realize I have to send the hard drive in.  I'll experiment with it.  Thanks for the help.  
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Again, it depends on how severely the drive is damaged.  If it's software only, then it's not THAT expenive, but when some of the hardware itself fails, the process gets messy and the requirements go up.  If it's a matter of file systems corrupted, then software you buy might well be able to do the trick.  I just get very paranoid about any of this because any changes you make to the disk COULD affect your ability to recover data.
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