Recovering Data from Damaged Hard Drive is possibe or not?

Posted on 2005-04-20
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
1.    Is it possible to recover data from a damaged Hard Drive or not.

2.    After paritiioning data can be recovered or not kindly give me some advices.

Question by:kashifbadshah
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    Expert Comment


    1.  Sometimes.  "Damaged hard drive" covers a lot of ground.  Sometime data can be recovered, other times not.  It depends on the damage, and it also depends on how much effort and money you are willing to put into the data recovery.  There are things you can do yourself, and there are more things that a data recovery service can do, but that will cost $600 to $2,000.

    2.  The question isn't clear, but I think that you are asking if data can be recovered after a hard drive has been repartitioned.  If the only thing that you did was to repartition the drive, then it may be possible to recover some data.  The data, for the most part, still exists on the drive, but the normal structures for accessing it are gone.  However, there are data recovery programs that can still find and recover the data.  But once you begin using the repartitioned drive, you will begin overwriting the data, which crosses the line from recoverable to unrecoverable.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    To provide a solution to the problem, you can check into r-studio for disk recovery.  after repartitioning, even if the drive was written over, r-studio can read byte level data from the disk and restore the files you need (if they havent been overwritten)

    the site is:

    I've used their software on many occasions and had alot of success with their NTFS product.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    First, what kind of damage.  Does it make a noise, or is it not just not possible to see in Windows?  Need more info.

    Tools for data recovery:                                                  ontrack             Easy Recovery
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    As already stated, it depends on the kind of damage.

    more links and info here:
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    concurrence...physical damage to the disk platters will be impossible to recover from. If it was repartitioned or there were other mainly software related issues, there are tools like those supplied by winternals that can be used for recovery.  I once had to use a service for data recovery. we ended up using Total Recall. They were pretty good. Nothing bad to say about them at least and they got the job done. but it's pricey and not really something if it's just your home computer and you want to retrieve your saved outlook contacts or something like that.

    Accepted Solution

    a) YES it is possible to some extent!

    Formatting a hdd merely removes the FAT table which instructs the operating system what is where, when files are deleted from a hdd you are merely deleting the locational reference of the files/data's location.  This therefore should indicate to you that recovery is possible.  There are various programs on the market available to do this but PLEASE BE AWARE, DON'T TRY TO MANY PROGRAMS, the more programs u try the less likely u are to recover the data or force it from being corrupted.

    The best program to use for such recovery tasks is ontrack Recovery, I have personally used thisprogram to recovery data from a formated hdd and so i can assure it does work (to some extent - not all my data was recovered alot had been corrupted).  

    on the second question - Partitioning - now you are in dodgy terretory, because well partitioning is introducing new FAT - file allocation tables.  This means that any remaining location details to the files is lost and possibly the names aswell (i had this on some data)  This therefore makes it more difficult to recover but it can still be possible.  It also depends what you've done after partitioning - added new os (operating system) if so then the chances are you may have overwritten alot of the data hence loosing it anyway

    Hope that helps and answers your question (appologies for any mistakes)
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    Occam's Razor = Delete/No Refund

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