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Recover data from crashed hard drive

Posted on 2012-03-17
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Last Modified: 2012-03-18
I recently experienced a hard drive crash and have gotten my computer up and running again on windows 7.  Unfortunately I've lost some data that was not backed up and would like to try and recover.  Its not critical stuff  and not worth the expense of sending to a data recovery company, but it would be nice to get back some of what was lost if I can do it for under $100.  I'd rate my ability as intermediate with this sort of thing.

I tried connecting the drive as a second drive in my computer and the BIOS seems to recognize it but windows 7 will not boot with the drive connected.  - does this mean its a lost cause or is there something else I can try?
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Question by:BLCSwimmer
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Accepted Solution

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John Hurst earned 1000 total points
ID: 37732706
In this situation, SpinRite (grc.com) is probably a good bet. It is not free, but has a good track record. I have used it before. It is possible that some data can be recovered and some cannot.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:Ashok Dewan
Ashok Dewan earned 1000 total points
ID: 37732728
you can recover data by following softwares
1. Recuva :- http://www.piriform.com/recuva
2. Stellar phoenix(tested , its good) :- http://www.stellarinfo.com/download.htm
2. getdata back :- http://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm
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Expert Comment

by:shahzoor
ID: 37732941
try to choose format recover in any of the data recovery software
you can try this one also

http://freedatarecovery.us

Its better if you can connect  the harddrive via usb external jacket and try to recover the data. Recover my Files is the best for that but its not free
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 37733148
Test-Disk/PhotoRec are free. Though PhotoRec was originally for recovering photos from SD cards and other flash media, it works on hard drives, too, and has signatures for *many* file types... so if you know what types of files you lost, you can have it focus its search for just those types.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37734283
first -  is the drive seen in the bios, when connected to a WORKING PC ?
if the answer is yes, you just boot from that PC -and access the files - tyou can have access denied problems though - you then need to take ownership of the files and folders
another way, is booting from a live Knoppix cd to copy the files you need  - no access problems here:
ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.7.0CD-2011-08-01-EN.iso 

this of course assumes the data can be read from the disk  - if the surface is scratched - there is no way to recover it
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Author Closing Comment

by:BLCSwimmer
ID: 37735619
It turns out that I had a full backup on an external mybook drive that was doing automatic backups and didn't realize it.  In the end I only lost the last day or two of data- so there was no need to go any further with the bad drive.

I'll split the points amongst thinkspads_user and neil40m since if I did have to go further I would have started with their suggestions.

thanks expoerts.
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37735630
Thank you, and I was pleased to help out.  ... Thinkpads_User
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by:Darr247
ID: 37736308
Guess I'll have to tell TestDisk/PhotoRec's author to start charging $2000 for it... people think the expensive programs must be better because they're not free.
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