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Laptop hard drive is now RAW

Posted on 2014-07-22
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Last Modified: 2014-07-23
A client dropped her laptop 'HARD'. During bootup process it cannot find hard drive. Removed hard drive and put it in an INSIGNIA 2.5 USB 3.0 SATA HDD ENCLOSURE. Connected the drive to my desktop and it would not recognize it. Went into disk management and it showed the drive as shown in the attached file. when I tried to access it via file manager, it would display and error indicating that either the drive needed to be formatted.

How can I access the hard drive and save the client's data? Free solutions are great, but I will pay for something that really works as time is money.
RAW-HDD.PNG
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Question by:RSchierer
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4 Comments
 
LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 40213131
What do you need to save any data for? Restore it from the backups!

Also, connect the disk to an internal SATA connector of your PC, not via a USB enclosure. With the enclosures you just add a further point of failure.

If not all the data was backed up, you can try making a 1:1 clone of the disk to another disk using CloneZilla, and then do any further recovery attempts on that cloned disk, as any further use of the damaged disk will probably damage it further, making recovery more and more difficult, even for professional recovery agencies:

http://clonezilla.org

Scan the cloned disk using getdataback. If any of the needed data is seen, register it so you can copy data off:

http://runtime.org

If that doesn't help, send the disk to a professional recovery agency, like Gillware, but be prepared for paing several $100's:

http://gillware.com/
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:dovidf
dovidf earned 125 total points
ID: 40213170
http://www.300dollardatarecovery.com/ is an economical place for data recovery.

I've used it in the past with excellent results.
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:web_tracker
web_tracker earned 125 total points
ID: 40213262
It sounds like the partition table is damaged it is this part of the drive that tells the drive how it is partitioned or formatted. If the heads have been damaged from the fall a highly likely probability the more you use the drive the more damage you can do to the drive, such as scratching the platters. The more you use the drive the more damage you will do to the drive making data recovery impossible, even for the data recovery places. It is therefore crucial if the data is more valuable then the drive itself, to take it to the data recovery facility before it is damaged beyond recovery.  If the heads are fine and only the boot sector is damaged than you may get by with using data recovery software. I would run diagnostics on the drive first to ensure that there is no hardware issues. Then you can try using data recovery software if it tests out okay.
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LVL 47

Accepted Solution

by:
noxcho earned 125 total points
ID: 40213602
If data is really valuable - stop trying to recover it yourself and let specialists do it. It could be that the start of the drive where the heads are normally located has been damaged during this fall and trying to use the drive now can do thing worse.
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