Hard drive will not be recognized; trying to recover data

I am trying to recover data from a bad Hitachi Travelstar drive from a Dell Inspiron 5100 notebook. After the notebook started hanging at boot, I removed the hard drive to recover data that was not backed up (important Quicken files). When I connect the hard drive to my desktop bench machine (using an IDE adapter) to recover the drive will sometimes spin up, then will not be recognized by XP. I tried Knoppix Linux too, as this has worked well in the past. Any suggestions to make it become recognized?
lanehartAsked:
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debuggerauCommented:
I've had some limited success in the freezer, leave overnight in plastic bag and try again cold...

If you have another dive of the same type, you can try swapping out the driver board.. ugly though..

On older drives, the bearing used to freeze and a slight knock with a screwdriver would sometimes free them - but this is not so useful with fluid bearings...

There are third party services, but they are VERY expensive..

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briancassinCommented:
If it is not being recognized at all then the driver controller board is probably toast. As suggested if you have the same extact model you can try swapping the boards otherwise this is going to have to go to a data recovery specialist that can remove the platters in a clean room and reconstruct and correct any missing data or errors.

http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/ is the most well known in the industry. If you are a business they also have partnership accounts available.
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ded9Commented:
Hi,

First check the jumper settings is it set to slave. Also check the power cable to the hard drive. Can try a different power connector.


Ded9
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johnny_the_knifeCommented:
I agree the logic controller is likely to be faulty.  Depending on the value of the data, I would suggest finding a data recovery sepcialist and parting with some money before doing ANYTHING else, as making changes now could make the problem worse, read, more expensive.

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lanehartAuthor Commented:
Jumper settings are fine. Amazingly, I put it back in the laptop and it has recognized it when I boot up in PDL (pendrive linux). However, it is "unable to mount" the volume. I would use the Hirens Bootdisk, but the CD rom drive does not work and it will not allow me to boot from an external. Is there a data recovery program that I can run directly from a flashdrive?
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johnny_the_knifeCommented:
My advise is to try and clone the disk then work on the clone, not the original disk.

Like I said before - you could well make this problem worse by continuing to mess with the disk.  If the data is irreplaceable and can't be lost, then you should probably take it to a data recovery specialist and get a quote.
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lanehartAuthor Commented:
What is the easiest way to clone it using Linux or a flash drive?
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johnny_the_knifeCommented:
I don't have any direct experiance with this software, but either of these two should do the job:

http://www.feyrer.de/g4u/
http://sourceforge.net/projects/clonezilla/
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_Mr_LimoCommented:
Do yourself & everyone else a favor, don't hit your drive with a screwdriver or anything else...

I agree with J - the - K - make an image of the drive & work from that - this drive is physically failing & the more you mess with it, the less your chances will be of getting data off it.

DriveSavers data recover is the best in the business www.drivesavers.com - they're not cheap, but have gotten data back for me that Ontrack could not...

Limo


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lanehartAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the tip. I was actually able to boot up using PenDriveLinux and pull the files that I needed after mounting the drive. I just needed a few files and was able to get them off before the drive went back down. Fortunately I have not had to use any of those expensive recovery services yet. I even got lucky with a drive that had been water damaged...
Thanks for all of your help. Some tools mentioned herein will be great for the toolkit :-)

Lane
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_Mr_LimoCommented:
Best tool for your tool kit...

BACKUP!

data duplication is the ONLY thing.

Great that you got what you needed though

Limo
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lanehartAuthor Commented:
Sorry. I will fix it.
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lanehartAuthor Commented:
Thanks.
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briancassinCommented:
thank you
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evaultCommented:
Actually swapping the controller boards is a very iffy proposition. With some drive brands, an exact model number match will give you a good (notice I did not say very good) chance at restroring the drive's functionality. With other drive brands you need to match more than the model number. If you don't get an exact match, you can end up physically damaging the drive, and the platter and lose the data even for a clean room. Sometimes there have even been firmware revisions within the same model numbers. Very iffy proposition, indeed.
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