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Old 03-18-2007, 10:15 PM   #1
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how to recover data from a dead hard drive

I have an old toshiba computer which I have used for years. It seems that the
hard drive died (the system does not boot). Does anyone know how I can recover
the data from the hard drive?
Old 03-18-2007, 10:24 PM   #2
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What is the Operating System? Windoze or Linux something? Is the drive NTFS formatted or a Linux format? What make/model of drive is it? And do you have another drive from which you can boot the computer, or is the whole machine unusable right now?

As for Windows/NTFS, there are loads of NTFS data recovery tools. **MOST** of them are not very reliable, and almost all of them one has to purchase/pay for somehow. The trial versions only tell you what they can recover, but won't actually do the job.

There are a fair number of Linux-based recovery methods, but I personally am not familiar with them, as I am pretty new to Linux. Incidentally, when my Maxtor Drive died, I tried literally over a dozen different tools, and NONE of them would recover very much. I got hardly anything back, and eneded up completely wiping the drive in order to use it again.
I hope someone can point you to a useful, working tool to use, but just don't put much stock in anything you can download.
And-- if it IS Windoze, and you have the Install CD, you could reinstall/repair Windoze from the CD, provided the drive is not physically broken, and you won't lose any of your personal files or data/music etc, only Windows settings and stuff like that.

Last edited by GrapefruiTgirl; 03-18-2007 at 10:26 PM.
Old 03-19-2007, 12:43 AM   #3
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I suppose you just want to recover the data on the HDD?, Well I suggest using a Knoppix 5.1 boot CD, boot up the machine with the CD and copy the data you need off the machine to a backup drive,network etc.....
Old 03-19-2007, 05:37 AM   #4
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I would say that depends on EXACTLY what is wrong with that drive.
If the drive itself is bad, you probably won't have much luck getting anything off it (unless you take it to a specalty shop, that can basically re-build them, but that's usually not worth it-there are exceptions, but unless whatever is on it is vitally important.....).
However, if only the OS on it got corrupted, but the file system is still fine, you should be ably to hook it up to any machine with an OS that will read whatever file system it is formatted with and copy whatever you need to off it.
If all data is there, but the file location record (whatever it is called for the file system used on that drive) is corrupted, have fun using a absolute disk editor to manually re-write it! (Again probably not worth the effort) - but if this is the case - you might have gotten lucky and have more than one copy of that, and be able to find a utility that will read the copy, and write it to the location actually used by that files system, and be able to retrieve most if not all your data.


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