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Windows 7: Hard Drive recovery issues

27 Aug 2013   #1

Windows 7 64-Bit
Hard Drive recovery issues

Hi guys,

A friend of mine has asked me to look at her PC to see if I can get the data off her HDD for her. Whenever the PC boots up, it states the SMART test has failed, so the HDD is on it's way out.

I've been trying different things. Firstly, tried putting it into my own system as another drive, and couldn't get past the 'Windows Starting' screen (Windows 7). Then tried putting it back into hers, inserting a Windows 7 disc and booting from that to attempt to create another partition, install Windows on that partition, then hopefully grab the data that way.

Anyway, no luck there either. No hard drives show up (recognized by BIOS). If I click 'Load drivers' then it only comes up with Boot (:X), I'm guessing something to do with the boot CD?

So, gave up with that. Installed a Linux distro onto a USB stick, popped it in, and booted from that. Can't access the drive through that either, but the HDD diagnostics tool on Linux (can't remember what it's called) does recognise it, telling me it has errors. The only error it showed was 'Reallocated Sector Count' or something along them lines. From what I can make out, too many sectors have errors?

So, tried popping it back into my PC, HAZAR! It started with the drive in. Nowhere to be seen! Not in device manager, and not in Disk Management. Restarted, this time, it recognised it to an extent. It loaded drivers for it, and it was visible momentarily in My Computer, but it made it EXTREMELY slow, to the point that it was virtually unusable so I shut down and unplugged the drive.

From what I can deduce of it so far, the HDD is still accessible in someway, but possibly only briefly. Has anyone got any ideas of what I can do to be able to access the drive on my PC at a reasonable speed, grab important stuff that she hadn't backed up (she actually does it now and then) before this happened?

Any help would be appreciated

My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Aug 2013   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hello Barsby and Welcome to SeVen Forums,

There a few Linux based rescue live cd's that I have had luck with. See here
You can also try EaseUs data recovery if you can get a winPE cd or usb to load.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2013   #3

Windows 7 64-Bit

Thanks for the welcome .

Will have a try at some of them and post the results
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Aug 2013   #4

Windows 7 64-Bit

Managed to get it going. Stood the hard drive on its back, so the cables connecting it to my motherboard & psu are facing up. Left it a while to let it all load properly (took a blooming long time), turned off smart sharing or something along them lines in folder options, turned off thumbnail previews (I read that a lot of video files can cause it to slow down a lot) and it went through fine.

Transferring everything now. Thanks for the help. Bookmarked the thread so I can find the Linux stuff in future if needed
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hard Drive recovery issues

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