How to retrieve data from a not responding Hard disk ?

Hi Experts,
A friend brought me his hard disk on which , off coarse, important data is stored.
He made, off coarse, no backup.  So far nothing new :-)
On the disk W2000 pro was running.

The error message when booting is :
Disk I/O error     0000800
Boot.ini  not valid
The following file is invalid or not there : < windows 2000 root >\ system32\ntoskrnl.exe

The only thing I need is to copy data from this disk but...
When I place it in an XP machine :  Error, the disk is not formatted
When I place it in an W2000 machine : inpin error

I have booted with the W2000 cd, option Repair, used the ERD but no effect
I have booted with the W2000 cd, install from CD but Setup tells me that I need to format.
Formatting is not an option.......

How can I manage to retrieve data from this disk ?
What tool should I use to maybe repair the disk to make it work in another system ?

Many thanks for pointers and feedback !
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
File Recovery

**********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***********
Video Tutorial
Try this:

Download Hirren boot - try
Make bootable CD from ISO
Boot from CD
Choose HDD regenerator
It takes a long time but so far the best prog I found to regenerate files from hdd that had bad sectors or fat problems.

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RonaldZaalAuthor Commented:
Hi PeteLong and GGJJ,
Great links, many thanks.  I will go first for this Hirren Boot cd as this looks very very promissing!
I'll keep you posted.
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
First of all I would remove the drive and attach it temporarily as the slave drive in a functional Windows XP computer, and copy out your data to safe storage while you troubleshoot the drive.

You could then either open the boot.ini file on the problematic hard drive for editing from that host computer, or return it and use the Windows XP Startup and Recovery dialog to make sure that it contains the correct lines.

RonaldZaalAuthor Commented:
Hi BillDL,
Tried that but XP tells me that the drive is not accessible and that I should format it.
Thanks for the tip/links though.
Getdataback has been vouched for several times here.

Check this thread ==>
can you boot in MS Dos from cd or floppy and launch Norton Diskedit?
it is found on any install cd of Norton System Works or it's installed once NSW is installed and can be found in its folder in Program Files\...
copy it on a DOS bootable floppy, better make a boot cd and boot in Dos, launch diskedit, press ALT+D, enter phizical mode, select the drive, press enter and tell me if it gives any error message!
try booting from a knoppix, or Bart PE cd to retrieve the data :    --> Bart Pe

if you cannot recover the data, and still need it, send the drive to :      data recovery Cy
RonaldZaalAuthor Commented:
Hi all,
The Hiren boot cd - HDD regenerator ran for 2 days and afterwards I was able to add it to an XP system.
XP then performed a HD scan for almost 3 hours and after 2 more reboots I was able to get to the data.
Many many thanks for all answers and pointers, allow me to split the points.
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
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