Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 53
  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    159
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 20 Times in 11 Posts

    Question How to recover data from a dead hard drive?

    Hi,

    The 80GB HD on my old XP machine recently gave me its valedictory BSOD and is now dead as a hammer. The drive spins up just fine, but nothing I tried enabled me to boot up, as there appears to be significant damage to the boot sector. No problem; that computer was 6 years old anyway, so it was a good reason for me to upgrade to a brand new W7 Pro machine with a 1TB HD, which I've now done.

    I want to transfer the files off my old HD with my handy dandy USB3 SATA to USB adaptor, but when I attach it, power up the old HD (and yes, it is spinning fine), and plug the adaptor's USB cable into a USB3 port on my new computer, the old HD doesn't appear as a drive in My Computer. I can see my usual C: and D: partitions, but no other drive letter appears.

    I'm assuming that this is because file sharing was off on the old HD, though I'm open to other suggestions. If I'm right, how can I enable sharing of the old C: drive, or by any other means get that old C: drive to appear in My Computer in W7 so I can transfer files from the old HD to the new one? Am I totally hosed, or is there a way to make the old HD visible on the new machine? I'm brand new to W7, so if I've missed something really obvious, I'm hoping I can claim that as my excuse!

    Any and all help greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Al
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
    Windows XP/Media Edition, SP3 on Dell laptop
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
    Samsung Galaxy S2 running JB 4.1.2

  2. Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,265
    Thanks
    130
    Thanked 1,152 Times in 1,061 Posts
    Looks like you may have a bad disk. Previous Windows folder sharing has nothing to do what you are experiencing.

    Weird as it sounds, a friend recently had a similar issue. She solved it by putting the disk in the freezer for a while (in a waterproof bag) and she did manage to get it working long enough to recover the data (I am not joking). Whether you do this or not, I would still prefer to use the disk internally, instead of connecting it via a USB port.

  4. #3
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    159
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 20 Times in 11 Posts
    I may have some more info that I hope will help give someone an idea of how I can fix this. I poked around in Computer Management/Disk Management and saw that my old 80GB HD did in fact appear there, though the 70.93GB data storage portion is labeled "Unallocated" (see image below).

    Hard drive shows in Disk Mgmt..png

    Am I toast, or is there a data recovery program that can help me get the files off there? I have a backup from 3 weeks before the crash, so this is just an attempt to bring over all the files that were created in those three weeks. While most are relatively unimportant, there are a few that I'd really hate to lose if I can possible avoid it, so if there's anything short of a highly expensive data recovery service that might work, I'd appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Al
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
    Windows XP/Media Edition, SP3 on Dell laptop
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
    Samsung Galaxy S2 running JB 4.1.2

  5. #4
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    159
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 20 Times in 11 Posts
    Hi, Ruirib,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I've heard of putting the HD in the freezer before, but since my disk is spinning up just fine, I'm not sure that freezing it would help, as the problem isn't mechanical. My W7 just isn't recognizing the old HD and assigning it a drive letter, even though the W7 Disk Management knows that the old HD is there. That makes me think that even data recovery software may not be able to "see" the disk either, in which case I presume I'm out of luck. I hope I'm wrong, but if not, then I'll just have to give up on getting those last 3 weeks of data.

    Thanks again,
    Al
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
    Windows XP/Media Edition, SP3 on Dell laptop
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
    Samsung Galaxy S2 running JB 4.1.2

  6. #5
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,265
    Thanks
    130
    Thanked 1,152 Times in 1,061 Posts
    Yes, seems your problem is different, since the disk can be seen. I think you may need data recovery software indeed. Nothing is guaranted but a tool such as SpinRite may help. Maybe other users may have other suggestions.

  7. #6
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Rochdale, UK
    Posts
    851
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 56 Times in 56 Posts
    You may want to try Recuva, a free file recovery program that I've seen mentioned on this forum a few times.

    I can't vouch for how good it will be as I have never used it.

  8. #7
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    159
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 20 Times in 11 Posts
    Thanks, Browni, I'll take a look at it. If it will work, great, but if not, perhaps somebody smarter than I am (which is almost everybody) will be able to come up with another possibility.

    Cheers,
    Al
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
    Windows XP/Media Edition, SP3 on Dell laptop
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
    Samsung Galaxy S2 running JB 4.1.2

  9. #8
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 212 Times in 199 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by HealingHands33 View Post
    My W7 just isn't recognizing the old HD and assigning it a drive letter, even though the W7 Disk Management knows that the old HD is there.
    AL,
    Hello... Did you Right Click on the HD's Partitions and try "assigning a drive" letter yourself? The Previous drive letters will not carry over as C: is the default and you can't have two "C:'s" Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  10. #9
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Fishkill, New York, USA
    Posts
    410
    Thanks
    93
    Thanked 35 Times in 31 Posts

  11. #10
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    159
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 20 Times in 11 Posts
    Hi, Fred,

    Regarding:
    Did you Right Click on the HD's Partitions and try "assigning a drive" letter yourself? The Previous drive letters will not carry over as C: is the default and you can't have two "C:'s
    I appreciate the thought, but I'm not sure how to do that and am reluctant to swim in water that's starting to get over my depth. This is in keeping with what I call "Al's First Rule of Holes," which says, "When you're in a hole, stop digging." I don't want to make things worse and spend untold hours fixing messes I could have avoided making in the first place. If there's a simple, non-destructive, and easily reversible trick I can try, great, but otherwise, I'm in favor of calling the local IT fixit company and saying, "Help."

    Rmonroe36, I checked out that link you posted (Thanks!), but it refers to changing a disk that's showing up as a "dynamic" drive. Mine is showing up as a "Basic" drive, so theoretically it should be at the state to which that Linux solution would bring it, but for whatever reason, although the old HD shows up just fine in W7's Disk Management, it doesn't appear when I look at my computer in Windows Explorer.

    Guys, I really appreciate the help, but unless there's something super-safe and relatively simple that I can try, I'll probably just have to hand it over to an IT pro. Still, if anybody has such a thing I can try as a last-ditch attempt before I make that call, I'll be most grateful.

    Cheers,
    Al
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
    Windows XP/Media Edition, SP3 on Dell laptop
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
    Samsung Galaxy S2 running JB 4.1.2

  12. #11
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 212 Times in 199 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by HealingHands33 View Post

    I appreciate the thought, but I'm not sure how to do that and am reluctant to swim in water that's starting to get over my depth.

    Still, if anybody has such a thing I can try as a last-ditch attempt before I make that call, I'll be most grateful.
    AL,
    Assigning a drive letter is about as safe as you can get....If you go back into "Computer Management"> Disk Management".... Right click on each partition ( Disk 1..that doesn't have one ), and choose a drive letter from the "drop down" list presented ... Once you do that you will be able to "see" the Hard Drive using Windows Explorer.. and be able to check the DATA .(If it's still present) Regards Fred
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-01-20 at 15:23.
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  13. #12
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Rochdale, UK
    Posts
    851
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 56 Times in 56 Posts
    Unfortunately not Fred.

    You can't allocate a drive letter to unallocated space on a drive.

  14. #13
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Hartford, WI, USA
    Posts
    145
    Thanks
    34
    Thanked 30 Times in 17 Posts
    On a brand new customer computer with supposedly USB3 I had to download the USB3 driver from the manufacturer's web site to get it to "see" disk contents in a very similar situation.

    If you don't have a brand name computer you have to go to the motherboard's manufacturer's web site. And check their documentation for your mobo as well to ensure that USB3 is turned on. What about the BIOS?
    Last edited by eikelein; 2012-01-21 at 06:19. Reason: Typo...
    Eike J Heinze
    What I am about
    SE Wisconsin

  15. #14
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Slough, Berkshire UK
    Posts
    917
    Thanks
    51
    Thanked 52 Times in 50 Posts

    seeing a HDD

    Have you tried connecting it to a standard USB 2.0 to see if its USB3 drivers needed as previous poster says.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  16. #15
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 212 Times in 199 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Browni View Post
    Unfortunately not Fred.

    You can't allocate a drive letter to unallocated space on a drive.
    Browni,
    Hello...Yes you are correct... However at this point (Failed HD) you have to start thinking outside of the box... or just throw the HD away... ex: What if the two other partitions have some "Data" on them that the original C: partition needs for the OS to "See" it? So "Give Em" a Drive letter and re-boot and see what happens with the drive using "Windows Explorer" "Just Thinkin" Regards Fred

    PS: While I'm "Thinkin" I would also try this ...At boot time , enter "Boot Menu"... Arrow down and select the HD in question.. hit "Enter" It might boot the drive ...Done this myself at various times after "messin up"

    PPS: Pulg the HD directly into the "Motherboard" and try booting... If you get a MBR-3 error ..at least it would be a clue..
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-01-21 at 09:14.
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •