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How to recover data off dead hard drive

by alidickson / May 4, 2006 10:38 AM PDT

I'm using WinXP w/sp2. Last week, I had to do a complete system recovery, reformat, and reinstall windows. I have an HP Pavilion desktop, with 40GB master (w/OS) and 200 GB slave. I have no idea what happened. As far as I know, it just happened for some unknown reason. I just rebooted, and the system never came back on.

Somehow when my OS went belly up, so did my slave drive. I've been all over the internet and looked at multiple forums here, and need some simple direct assistance. My head is spinning.

OK. I've ordered a new PC because I've had nothing but problems ever since the re-install of the OS. Various error messages. And this thing is about 5 years old, and it's been upgraded as much as it can be. I've considered erasing Windows again and re-installing one more time. Would that be wise? Could a poor reinstall result in these error messages (cycle redundancy error is a common one). BTW, I used my recovery disks that I made when the system was new.

My main issue though is that the slave has all of my data on it. It is now not being recognized by my system. I put a different HD on as the slave, and it IS recognized. So I assume this drive is dead, and I need to recover my data! I know companies that do this charge hundreds of dollars. I've looked at various software programs, but who's selling you crap and who's product will actually work?

So, please, someone tell me what to do to recover my data (mostly LEGAL music files) the least expensive way, and in a way that an almost-novice can understand. Is there a program I can buy to do this?

What do you guys recommend? Also, since I'm expecting my new PC any day now, is it possible to put the dead drive on the new PC and retrieve the data onto another disc? Or would it even be recognized?

I've got a headache!

Thanks for any and all suggestions/advice! Please keep it simple!! thank you

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Other suggestions?? (i.e. software recovery)
by alidickson / May 4, 2006 10:55 AM PDT

Can you guys offer some opinions on some of the software that is selling on the internet, such as Hard Drive Mechanic, which claims to be a "wonder drug?" Do they really work??


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Did you ever...
by linkit / May 4, 2006 1:31 PM PDT
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Did you ever...
by alidickson / May 4, 2006 7:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Did you ever...

Yes, I did. Didn't help.

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Is there anyone who can
by alidickson / May 4, 2006 7:57 PM PDT

address my data recovery issue??

That is my priority. Please see my original post. This is more serious than a driver issue.

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please be specific
by linkit / May 5, 2006 1:27 AM PDT

Tell us the EXACT TEXT of ALL your "error messages."

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error message said...
by mjy2172 / May 10, 2010 12:00 AM PDT
In reply to: please be specific

your windows/system/dal.hll file is missing or corrupt please reinstall or repair.

I can not reboot. If using reboot disk, I can not recover any data, get into directories, etc. I need to recover my Outlook files. Everything else is on a zip drive. Please help.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 10, 2010 12:31 AM PDT
In reply to: error message said...

Beyond all you read here, a few ideas.

You should in this order, google these.


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your suggestions
by mjy2172 / May 10, 2010 1:04 AM PDT
In reply to: ideas.

drivesavers costs more than what i can buy a new laptop for, but thanks.

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But can you buy your data back?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 10, 2010 8:29 AM PDT
In reply to: your suggestions

The discussion is about recovery. If your data isn't worth it, then you can decide what to do next.

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How to recover data off dead hard drive
by alidickson / May 5, 2006 11:42 AM PDT

Actually, the error messages and the recovery of my lost data are 2 different issues. I only included that information to explain what had happened. The main error is "cyclic redundancy error". I've googled it, and honestly it was over my head!

But since I am buying a new PC, my focus is on recovery of the data from my slave drive. It is not being recognized by the system, and I therefore cannot access the data.

I've searched the internet, and have seen various programs advertised and hyped. But I'd like some guidance on which program will work to recover the data, and which ones are garbage. I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars recovering the data, and I'd like to know if anyone has had any experience with any data recovery program.

I've also heard that data can be transferred from the dead drive to another drive. Is that possible, and how is it done?

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bad drive
by djujecmaoseoionnn / May 7, 2006 7:46 AM PDT

first determine if the drive is running or not. Actually listen to it and feel it when the system is turned on. Try to tell if the heads are synching up with the disk when it is turned on. Is it making a constant slow click sound such as a head would make as it seeks the disk for data. If you dont hear or feel the drive running at all I am afraid you would need to take it to a recovery technician where the drive is actually disassembled to get the data off of the disk. This is very expensive. If the Drive is running and seeking then your problem could be solved by useing a disk utility of some sort but from my experience of many years it doesnt work very often if the drive is bad. I would get the new system running and take your drive to a computer shop and just ask them to do a data transfer onto a new drive. Or even just ask them to test it to see if it is good. They will charge something just to test but then you know right where you stand. Dont mention that the drive is bad, If they come back and tell you it cant be done without big bucks then it is probobly true and even then no one can garauntee data integrity until after they have it. No one! That is the cheapest way to find out if the drive is bad or if your skills are just a little limited for this duty. It may seem a little dishonest but if you walk in and say My computer died and my data is gone help me! I can assure you they will charge you much much more. A data transfer and the price of a new hard disk should be less than 200.00. Not much but less. Ideally you would take the new computer and ask for a data transfer to the new drive or to just install the old drive in the new machine but then if something in the new one doesnt work who is to blame. This is a judgment call. Buy software that you will use once and probobly wont work or take to a facility and ask for help. Thats for a decent drive. I would not connect the bad drive to my new computer until it is tested at a reputable repair shop and shown to be good. Bad drives can corrupt and destroy other components without notice. At the shop I managed for awhile HL Computer we tested drives all the time so I know you can find someone to check it out. Let me know

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bad drive
by alidickson / May 9, 2006 12:48 AM PDT
In reply to: bad drive

Yes, when the drive was in the PC it appeared to be running. "Vibrating" and warm. It's no longer in my system. I didn't listen to it, but I can put it back in and do that. Are these sounds loud enough to hear from 2 feet away? Or do you have to listen with your ear on the drive? I heard nothing from 2 ft. that I recall, but I wasn't really listening for it.

I live in a small town, but I have located a guy to test it for me for $50, so I'll do that. Thanks for your suggestions. I'll let you know!

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how to recover data from a dead drive
by latenights / February 21, 2008 11:50 PM PST
In reply to: bad drive

Your suggestions for alidickinson reflect a lot of experience. I have a 120Gb IDE drive and it just stopped working, although I suspect the entire external case was dropped, but noone will admit it. It whirrs (no louder than usual) when I plug it in. It gets warm like usual, not hot. I have it in an external USB case. It does not even make the USB connection sounds any more and won't appear in the My Computer list. When I go to Adminstration Tools > Computer Management, it does not appear in the storage list. I really need this data. When I opened the case, I see the vendor tricked me by putting in a 120Gb Maxtor with words "Refurbished to Maxtor's Specifications", whatever that means!!!
What would you suggest? I was thinking of putting it on as slave to a desktop to see it it makes a difference, but then I see the more you run it, if it is damaged, the lower the chance of full recovery. The drive has precious family memories and no backups anywhere.

I take all the advice you gave alidickinson so maybe you can suggest something to try in this case. Also in your opinion do these data recovery program really work, or are they just a waste of money. If you can't see a drive how can you access its data? I don't have much skill with this either, but I agree the computer stores may just charge me the earth to tell me what I already know, or worse, lose the data. It has kept me up with late nights, hence the nickname "latenights"

I will await your reply before I turn it on again.

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hi maybe I can help..
by t4kat / February 22, 2008 7:32 AM PST

where are you located?
I've had some luck recovering data..

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My location
by latenights / March 26, 2008 2:09 PM PDT
In reply to: hi maybe I can help..

I am located in Netherlands Antilles (Dutch Caribbean), but I will have a friend traveling to Miami soon.

How much experience have you had doing this?

Could you give me an approximate price?

THanks in advance

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desk top using windows xp would not boot up.Tried main disk
by arm1439 / July 29, 2009 8:18 AM PDT

how do you know if the hard drive is dead

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press f2
by Pigeon1205 / September 15, 2009 7:35 AM PDT

you could always try pressing f2 on boot up on the pc and check to see if the hdd is active on the BIOS screen

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Data Recovery Help
by poressr / October 2, 2009 4:47 PM PDT

No need to worry.You can try out Stellar Phoenix Windows data recovery software.This software helps me to recover my lost data.This software supports FAT32, VFAT, NTFS and NTFS5 based partitions and volumes.Software demo version is free in which you can see the preview of your recoverable data.

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