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(NT) Hard Drive Problems!!! I need serious help with this on

by Eitan_spread_peace / August 19, 2006 5:11 AM PDT

I have had this Samsung 160 GB IDE Hard Drive for about 1 years, and it has failed terribly. Or so I think.
The main problem I believe is the MBR is damaged, and there are some damaged sectors. What I was wondering was, does anyone have any not too expensive and fast solutions?
I have been trying numerous ways to recover my hard drive for about 5 months or more.
It would help me soooooo much if someone would respond quickly, because school is going to start soon, and I must concentrate this year! and have my hd back!

By the way:

I did send my hard drive already to a local hard drive recovery center.
They sent me this in my email:

Dear Eitan,
We have received your Hard Disk Drive, upon our engineers evaluation we have diagnosed your media with a severe software problems. The crashed media has a lot of damaged sectors and logical failures. It may still be possible for us to recover your data, in order for us to proceed we would need a confirmation either by e-mail or by phone from your side as soon as possible. From the moment we receive your confirmation the recovery process will begin. However we cannot always guarantee a totally successful recovery as well as maintain the time frame promised. We truly appreciate your business. Customer Satisfaction is priority number one for our company. We are looking forward to hearing from you in the nearest future.

price for the recovery comes to $1150.00

I think this pricing is wayyyy to high... Anyone else think that?
I am running XP Pro, I have 2 external hard drive enclosures, and can aqcuire software.
I may be getting a new computer though, so hardware is subject to change.
It would help soooo much if someone could help me!

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Re: data recovery software
by Kees Bakker / August 19, 2006 5:24 AM PDT

A DIY solution (software) is offered by http://www.ontrack.com/ for example. But I don't think it's freeware.
They will do a free advice anyway, so you can compare the costs. With $1150 at stake you might like a second opinion.

Consider thinking about a backup strategy.


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Actually about 1/2 the price of some recoveries.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 19, 2006 5:25 AM PDT

The real question is...

Is what I'll lose on that hard drive worth that much to me?

My next question is this. If you feel that it's just the MBR, you can rewrite that with Windows supplied tools. Your choice here.


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Re: fixing the MBR and such
by babareeba / August 19, 2006 6:02 AM PDT

Here are some steps to consider:
1) buy a new drive at least as large your old one
2) plug the new drive into the same system as the old one. Be very sure you know which one is which (ie, which one is the primary and secondary). Use the BIOS to verify.
3) Using the disk manufacturer's software, or a commercial tool like Drive Copy or Ghost, copy the entire old drive to the new one. Tell it to ignore errors. (BTW, the disk manufacturer may have diagnostic software also. You can run the read-only tests to see how bad off it is. Don't run any "destructive" tests because they'll destroy your data.)
4) Remove the old drive. Plug the new drive into the same cable and cable location as the old one.
5) Find your original Windows CD and boot from the CD. Press R (for Recovery Console). In the Recovery Console, run two commands: "fixmbr" and "fixboot".
6) Run "chkdsk C: /p /r" assuming the drive is the C: drive. Watch what comes out on the screen. If you only see 20/so errors or less you might be okay. If you see lots more, then your chances of recovering things this way are low.
7) Remove the CD and try to reboot on to the new drive. Look around for your important files. If you find them, burn them to a CD/DVD, immediately.

Microsoft link for recovery console (XP):

If steps 5 and 6 above fail, or copying the drive in the first place fails, and the data is important, you may either need to go with a service, or look into finding and using recovery software yourself. The reason for getting the new drive, is that clearly your old one is shot. If your old drive is in warranty, and you're successful in recovering the data, then contact the manufacturer for a replacement. Don't forget to erase your old drive before sending it in (the manufacturer's software might be able to erase the old drive. Before you do that, disconnect the new drive, just to make sure you don't confuse them.).

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HD Failure
by jakeisaround / August 19, 2006 5:38 AM PDT

You can fix the MBR using the recovery console of XP and the command "fixmbr". You will have to boot from the XP CD to get to the recovery console option. You can also run "chkdsk" the MS disk check and recovery software from the recovery console. If neither works your HD is probably fried. Good luck; take the advice of the backup person in the future. Acronis True Image is the best software and a second 160G HD just for backup is cheap. Do not do backup using an external USB drive unless you have lots of time.

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Try Norton Ghost
by tonydrane / August 19, 2006 5:46 AM PDT

Have you tried copying the damaged hard disk to a new drive with Norton Ghost? If you prep a new drive w/fdisk -mbr and then copy the image over then sometimes you can recover the data on the new disk.

My two cents,

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Try This - Has always worked for me - Won't work head crash
by joeyso / August 19, 2006 6:40 AM PDT

Try this program. Should only be $30 or so to buy. Run the program first then see what it recovers before you buy. You will have to use the dead hard drive as a secondary drive on a Windows 2000 or higher machine that works correctly. It may take awhile depending on the condition of your dead hard drive but it will be worth the wait. I have used this program 50+ times and it will only not work if the drive has had a head crash.

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