How to restore some data files from a crashed laptop ?

Castlewood
Castlewood used Ask the Experts™
on
The hard drive on one of our HP nc6230 laptops is apparently crashed. We need to restore some critical data files still on that hard drive. The os is XP. I used to use BartPE to boot up the XP and then copy out the files I want. But this time not working. Any suggestion? Any effective utility to download ?? thanks.
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Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011
Commented:
Here is a cheap 2.5" to 3.5" drive convertor that will allow you to plug the drive into a PC and read the data from it, assuming the drive controller has not died.
http://www.addonics.com/products/io/aa25ide35.asp 

Author

Commented:
The converter is certainly a good idea. Thanks.
But what if the drive controller is dead?
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Then you are looking at sending the disk away for professional recovery which will cost you an arm and a leg.
Is the drive making a repetitive clunking noise?
If not, then that's good news.  If it is, then that's not good news.
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Personally I use a DiskJockey Pro which allows me to connect all types of drives to my laptop and then I can scan the disk, run chkdsk on it, or pull files from a drive.
It is a little bit of a 'sledgehammer to crack a nut' for your scenario, but if you keep having problems then it is a good way to get up and running again quickly.
I just used it tonight to repair a laptop drive that was blue-screening no matter what Mode I tried to use (including Last Known Good, Safe, Normal etc).
Ran a chkdsk on it and fixed the problem immediately.
http://www.diskology.com/djstandard.html - US$ 499!!
Thanks Alanhardisty... That DJ Pro (and all of the diskology products) look like some very useful tools. I'll be saving up to get one on these for sure.

To the OP: In this situation, I would try booting to knoppix (live linux distro) and using a program like dd to image the drive. Once you have a drive image copied to a stable good drive, you can then use a program like GetDataBack for NTFS on windows to scan the image and recover any deleted files.

Again, if the controller has died... it'll cost and arm, leg and probably right eye too but that single unbacked up file can very suddendly become very valuable at the prospect of losing it.

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