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Windows 7: Recovering data from a hard drive


02 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 
Recovering data from a hard drive

My secondary hard drive recently stopped reading on me, though it seems like it still has the data on it (and it still spins, I can hear it turn on).

For a while it seemed that putting it in the freezer for a while would allow me about twenty minutes or so of time to copy data (which I got some of), but even that seemed to stop working. I already got my replacement drive in the computer, so I'm using an external enclosure for any data recovery attempts.

Is there any other way of getting Windows to recognize the drive? Maybe some "home remedies" like the freezer method.

Another note, the computer, when booting up, recognizes the drive installed (in SATA slot 2 as a WDC Non-Raid drive, with accurate capacity, 698GB or whatever), so that's another sign it's not completely dead.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Feb 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

How to use CHKDSK (Check Disk) - Windows 7
If the computer will recognize it, it may be time to have a little look.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Wow, that didn't help in the slightest.

Windows does not recognize the drive, and CHKDSK was even run on it (automatically) back when it was dying, but not dead yet (during windows startup). The method you showed does not work, since windows does not see the drive anymore (hence, no drive label. Even device manager does not see it).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Feb 2011   #4

 
 

Have you tried accessing it via a Linux Live CD or USB stick?

James
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2011   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Yup, tried Ubuntu live disc, which DID recognize the drive, but couldn't open it (I can't remember the exact error phrase, but when I clicked on the drive it claimed it couldn't open it). And I'm not sure if there were any recovery programs I could have used through linux.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

No need to flip out, I would try the above with the drive plugged directly into the motherboard, not in the external enclosure.
Taking the extra controller hardware out of the equation may increase your chances of it detecting.

You obviously know the drive is dying though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

If you tried the freezer method, and neither windows nor Linux can access the HD contents - I think you are out of luck.

There is a possibilty it is the drive controller board rather than the drive itself that has failed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2011   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Today was the first time I tried with the external enclosure, before this it was all internal SATA connections (even when I tried to access it from Ubuntu).

And yeah, it seems like the freezer isn't doing it anymore (left it in there for a couple hours and it didn't read at all anymore).

One thing I saw that would probably work, but I think is beyond my skill level (or at least what I trust myself with). It's to switch the plate in the drive into a working drive so I can access the data off of it, though that seems extreme and possibly beyond me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2011   #9

 
 

If by 'plate' you mean 'platter', I think that would be beyond most people.

James
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2011   #10

 
 

One thing you might try is to look into what a controller for that drive might cost, as per SIW2's suggestion. (all prices are not equal, and I think there are reasonable deals to be had). If it doesn't cost too much, it could be worthwhile. Even though freezing the drive (which seems to help mechanical issues) seemed to produce results, you just never know. Was the drive making any noise?

James
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Recovering data from a hard drive




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