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Possible ways to recover from drive crash

Posted on 2016-10-04
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Last Modified: 2016-10-08
Recently a notebook of ours crashed after a installing the latest Windows 10 anniversary update 1607; we assume that the update had nothing to do with the crash. That said, we would like to present what happened, what was done and get EE advice on how to recover the data.

The notebook is a Toshiba satellite with 1 tb drive 8 gb ram.  The night before we left the notebook processing the w10 update and the next day,

- the notebook super slow
- we deleted from memory any ram-hungry apps that seemed the culprit
- created new user and logged in
- rebooted and logged off/on various times
- still slow
- in an EE recommendation we booted to safe-mode
- at reboot, the pc stays at the Toshiba logo; no error message
- we have left the device on that logo for an hour or so to see if it was a slow boot since it was in safe-mode; but no, never passed the logo screen
- we have rebooted several times and same problem

We tried,
- removing all input connecting
- removing and reseating of the battery
- press hold power long time
- power on press F2 rapidly (to get into the cmos)
- removing and reseating the memory
- removing and reseating the hard drive  
- changing in the cmos to "fast boot"

And in some these trials we did get the a windows recover screen options, but that is all.

Assuming it could be a faulty drive, we purchased an exact drive model/size etc. (Super lucky) with the difference that the "date", the "drive rev", 'serial" and the code numbering on tha back board are different.

Question,
- how can we disable the logo of the notebook so we can see an actual or the exact error message that would be presented if there no logo?
- based on some searches, there was recommendation of purchasing an exact drive (luckily we did) and changing the circuit board.
- also found recommendation to "blow-dry" or "hot blower" the notebook with heat (some strange reason worked for some people).
- finally, based on all that we have noted in this question, what is EE recommendation or experience in situation like this?
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Question by:rayluvs
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41827891
Note: we have a backup but at least a week ago.  Also what we would like is access the data that is there to extract our work.

Also note that we extracted the hard drive and placed in a external case connected to another drive.  It does detect it but no drives are present.  We into manage storage and the a "Initialize Disk" message appear with options to use partition of MBR or GPT

Can we proceed with one of these to acces the data or is it going to be reformatted by "initialize"?
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 125 total points
ID: 41827976
Base on what you have said, I would stop playing with the drive. It is not recognized sitting in a carrier in a different machine.

If the data is critical, you need to contact a local Recovery service with a clean room to disassemble the drive and extract what they can.

Getbackdata can work but I think you need to be able to recognize the drive first.

http://www.getbackdatasoftware.net/
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41828310
If it really is a disk crash, there is nothing you can except send the disk to a professional recovery agency. A disk crash means the heads have crashed onto the disk surface, scratching. That destroys both the heads and the disk's surface where they scratched the disks.

Besides, that, replacing the circuit board of a disk, even if it is exactly the same revision version, won't do any good at all. That just doesn't work.

So you don't really need exactly the same disk. You can replace the old disk with any model that fits into the PC and has the right interface. Then just restore your backup. A week of backups missing should not be a problem. Data from such a short period you should be able to reconstruct from your memory.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41828978
Hi, we are not playing with drive.  And yes we have consider recovery services but since we are in a project outside the United States, this is not a prompt service as when we are at home. Thus, the reason asking EE advice of possible ways to go about to rescue data.

As for the link Getbackdata, it says that "is not a very effective file recovery program".

In our ignorance we used the word "crash"; we are not sure.  The disk is spinning though and no clicking sound.  

That being said, how can we disable the logo of the notebook so we can at least see the actual error message that would be presented if there no logo?
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41828980
You said you cannot see the drive in a different machine which means it is damaged.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41828982
If you have no other way and you have given up on the data if need be, try SpinRite (grc.com). I have used SpinRite successfully.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 125 total points
ID: 41829260
>>  As for the link Getbackdata, it says that "is not a very effective file recovery program".
  <<   ????  it is by far the best recovery software i know - but it must be able to access the drive
check if t the drive is seen in the bios during boot
then look in disk management, and verify that a drive letter is assigned - if not, give it a letter
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Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 41829800
Replacing the disk circuit board may have been a valid fix 20 years ago, but with modern disks it may or may not work, and if it does it should only be used as a one off to get a backup of the disk.

If the drive is not visible in Disk Management on the laptop and other systems, i am afraid its either resorting to your backups or a trip to a commercial Disk Recovery company
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41830609
John we have not given up, far from it.  We are still trying to acces the data in the drive.  When you say use spinrite in your comment, that is when we no longer need the drive? Like you mean to use spinrite to format it?  If that is the case, we are not at that point.

Nobus, our comment on "not very effective" is because it actually says t on the link halfway down.

Yes the drive is seen in the bios.

In the disk management it display the drive as "unknown" and when right click it give option to "initialize"; can't assign drive letter.

Gerald, that is exactly what we want to; "...get a backup of the disk".  To be more specific, we need certain filles, not the entire drive contents.  Unfortunately, that trip to a commercial disk recovery company is not since we are in project outside the united states.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41830620
FYI on the latest:

- we have to find if our disk is a GPT or MBR (the drive is Toshiba MQ01ABD100).
- as far as we found, our drive since it is 1 TB in size it points is to be GPT.
- lastly we searching for some sort of an apps that would access the drive or at least mount it to acces the files wanted.

We have the drive in a external case and have attached to various  windows 7 computers and it is recognize but not

Question:

- is there a way to check which type is it, GPT or MBR?
- Any advice on an apps with capabilities to access a GPT drive?
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 41830632
You don't need to know whether it is GPT or MBR. Just scan it using getdataback, and if the tool finds your missing files, just register the tool and you can copy them off:

http://runtime.org

If it doesn't find your data your other choice is a professional recovery agency.

I still fail to understand why you can't just recreate the data of that missing week from your own memory. That shouldn't be a too big problem, and it would be likely that you'd have already finished that by now.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41831052
If you recommend to use getdataback is good for us.  Its just that link itself said that its not very effective.  But anyways, following your lead on getdataback this is what we going to do:

- attached the problem disk to a windows 7 pro computer via usb
- download and installed getdataback on the windows 7 computer
- run the apps to look into the usb drive.

This should do it?

Please advice if any additional steps needed.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 125 total points
ID: 41831195
that was an article - expressing his opinion
look here :  https://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm

i have used HDDRegenerator also for reviving disks - and it has worked very well for me :  https://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm
you need to make the bootable cd to run it from
http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41831340
Thanx will do.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41832046
The first link you got isn't the official site for getdataback.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41832301
Which is the official site to getdataback?
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41832388
the link I posted, runtime.org
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41832536
Ok (working on it)
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41833018
Installed a new hard disk in the Toshiba and installed Windows 7 pro license (we couldn't find our w8 or the w10 licenses).

Attached the bad disk to an external casing.

Going to start running each of the apps recommende here for recovery:

- http://findandmount.com/pfm/
- http://runtime.org
- http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html - HDDRegenerator
- http://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizard/free-data-recovery-software.htm
- http://www.getbackdatasoftware.net/
- http://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/repairing.html
- https://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm
- https://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm

Hope one of the help get our data.

Question, any of these apps when scanning may affect or further damage the drive?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41833062
i also posted a link to their site
That is Always possible - any access can do more damage, depending on the actual problem (eg head crash)
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41833102
Thanx, but we have no choice.  Ok will inform outcome.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41833147
You only need to run getdataback (runtime). It is the best tool available for this. If it doesn't find your data, the other programs won't be able to either.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41833164
For Windows 10 you don't need the license, provided you had a licensed version of the OS installed on that PC previously. Just use the media creation tool to download the newest Windows 10 iso from the m$ site. Burn the iso to a DVD, or use WinSetupFrom USB to create a bootable USB stick from the iso (make sure you use FAT32 as format), then boot the PC from that DVD or stick to install Windows 10. Just make sure you install the same version as you had previously installed on the PC (Home or PRofessional). If you get asked for the Windows key, just click on "I don't currently have a key". The installation will continue, and once your system is installed and you have an Internet connection, it will automatically re-register and activate with the m$ servers.

https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows10
http://www.winsetupfromusb.com/
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41833695
Thanx that is a great info.  Last night we couldn't get thru the boot because the notebook said "no eufi".  When googling it said something like the USB must be in fat32 and it was in ntsf.

Ok thanx will read thouroughly your entry and link.
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Accepted Solution

by:
rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 41833798
Yes, in order to be able to install Windows in UEFI mode the USB stick or disk you are booting from must use FAT32 as format (that's why I mentioned that in my comment above).
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41833848
Thank you really, that info has redirected our task.

We are just finishing formatting the USB to fat32 and based in your comment "...make sure you install the same version as you had previously installed...", we will copy the contents of a recent Windows 8.1 Recovery disk we did almost a year ago (note, Windows 8.1 was the original OS that came with the Toshiba notebook and afterward we updated to Windows 10).

We were going to do the same process of OS install in this recovery.

Are we in the right direction?
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41833944
You don't need Windows 8.1. Just install Windows 10 directly. With "...make sure you install the same version as you had previously installed..." I meant the Windows 10 version. If you have been using Windows 10 Home before the crash, you must install Windows 10 home. If it was Windows 10 Professional before the problem, you will have to install Windows 10 Professional. If you install the wrong version it just won't activate as your PC is licensed for either Windows home or Pro.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41833953
Understood.

Thanx!
(we are in that process)
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41834985
Thanks for your updates.
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