Data Recovered...NOW???

Ok, from my previous post I was able to recover my precious data using GetBackData with the USB/IDE cable.  Since I got my files off the hard drive, is it still usable if I reformat?  What is best way to go about this, I assume put back into the old machine??

Thanks in advance....
precisionAsked:
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BolingConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I wouldn't trust this old drive on my PC.  New drives are so cheap nowdays.  Next time the old drive causes trouble could damage more than your data.  Not worth the risk.

I just replaced my old (2 1/2 years) WD 40 GB with a new Seagate 160 GB for $40 after rebate. Why?  I've replaced 10 bad WD 40 GB drives so far this year.
                                                                                                                                                                    Great drive, runs cooler and quieter, approximately 25% faster according to Sandra.

Hope this helps.
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperCommented:
if the files are not corrupted, you should be able to just copy them to whatever computer you want them on
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CallandorCommented:
If the drive does not experience corruption after a few days' of heavy use, I think it is ok, but keep monitoring it and don't forget to make regular backups.
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precisionAuthor Commented:
Let me clarify, the bad computer I could not boot back up, it would keep rebooting, I had tried everything including, floppy boot disks, safe mode, etc....it would not boot at all...so I took out the internal hard drive in order to take my precious data off, it was successful...now I can put the internal hard drive back in the bad machine and make it like new, that is the plan...how do I do?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Far-and-away the best way to confirm the status of your drive is to run Spinrite (http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm) against it.  Not free, but the best disk diagnostic/maintenance tool you can buy.   If you don't want to buy Spinrite; then (a)  "nuke" the drive with DBAN (http://dban.sourceforge.net/);  (b)  create a new partition (or partitions); and (c) format the partition(s).   If no errors are reported in this process, the drive is PROBABLY okay to use ==> but I'd be sure and keep good backups of the data; or use it only for temp files; downloads; etc. that you won't care if you lose in the event of a drive failure.

... but I'd really recommend running Spinrite at level 4 on the drive => that will give you a very detailed analysis of the state of the drive;  and if Spinrite "says" it's okay, then it's okay.

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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... to use it in your old ("bad") machine, you should still do what I just suggested ("nuke" it; partition it; and format the partitions) ==> you can do this on the new ("good") computer.    THEN -- after confirming that all is well with the drive - you can put it back in the original ("bad") computer; and then you will have to reinstall the operating system.   To guide you through this process, we need to know:

(a)  What operating system do you want to install on the drive?  (Windows 98, XP, etc.)

(b)  Do you have the installation CD?  ... or did the computer come with restore CDs (and if so, do you have them) ??
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precisionAuthor Commented:
So I nuke it with DBAN on the good machine?  I had a devil of a time trying to have "my computer" attempt to read the hard drive, in fact it was show but could not access.  Only way I got my files off (they are off and safe) was with GetBackData.  DBAN will be able to work on the drive if "my computer" was not able to?
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willcompCommented:
DBAN runs from a bootable floppy or CD and accesses the physical drive to write 0s and 1s to the entire drive.  It's independent of OS.

Also run manufacturer's diagnostics.  Not as thorough as Spinrite, but not too bad a test either.
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precisionAuthor Commented:
or should I try in old computer, hate to click wrong!
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... So I nuke it with DBAN on the good machine? " ==>  You can do this on either machine.  DBAN is (as willcomp noted) an independent program that runs from its own boot floppy (or CD).   So Nuke it;  then test it (Spinrite or the drive manufacturer's diagnostics -- freely downloadable); and then install the OS.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"...hate to click wrong! " ==> then just use the old machine; that way theres's NO chance of "nuking" the wrong drive !!!   (I don't think you would do that -- but if you do it on the old machine it's not even possible)
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precisionAuthor Commented:
last question before i try...so i put assumed crappy hard drive back in old machine, burn DBAN with good computer on floppy, had old machine boot in floppy?
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willcompCommented:
That's about it.

Thought I'd jump in on this one.  Don't want to tax Gary too much and make him get off the porch rocker too often :-)
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
willcomp's got it ==> guess I can head back to the rocker :-)   (actually we're on vacation this week => last time I was here my wife's cousin had no internet;  now she has DSL;  but we're heading out to another relative's in 5 minutes and I don't think they have internet access at all !! -- may be offline until Friday !!)
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willcompCommented:
Gary, have a great time.  We'll miss you.
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precisionAuthor Commented:
Hey Hey.... Rockers, vacations & relatives....and I am sweating here with my hard drive and not sure where to stick it!

Just kidding!....
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precisionAuthor Commented:
Boling...makes logical sense...if I did get old drive up again I would be leary to use as normal....where did you get the drive???
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BolingCommented:
Circuit City.  It seems the big box stores regularly use hard drives as lowball sale items.
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