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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hard drive crashed.
Clicking noise coming from it when comp. turned on.
Black screen with message "Hard drive failure; no bootable disc found."

Sent comp. to be fixed and data extracted from drive.
Repairman could not extract data. Replaced hard drive and got comp. working.

I now have broken hard drive with hundreds of trip photos on it and other valuable data that I would like retrieved and placed on another storage media without having to sell my house to finance cost of retrieval.

One source quoted $2700.00 to get the data with no guarantees that it would not be damaged.

Anyone know of a more affordable repair business that can do the job?
 

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You may need to try and have that hard drive boot as a slave drive. Any small computer repair shop can do it but that is no sure thing. Next time back that PC up. Get a 4 gig thumb drive and just remember to back up your "mydocuments" folder about once a month or you can always pay a service to do it on line.
 

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Polecat:

Where are you located? I'd be glad to give you a hand trying to salvage your images. Trying to mount the 'bad' drive as a slave is the first step. Very easy to do. The original problem could be a bad boot sector -- which should allow you to recover most of the data. There are some other tricks to try if that does not work.
 

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Did a quick search on-line. If the hard drive is damaged mechanically; this site might be of assistance. I'd trying mount the drive as a slave unit first. However, if all of the attempts to recover the data fail -- this could be a reasonable solution.




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Polecat,

If the hard drive is making clicking noises, it's not good. If you sent the computer off somewhere to get repaired, and they didn't get any data for you, it is most likely going to require professional data recovery services. They surely would have tried connecting the drive as a slave or in an external case to attempt to access it.

I used to work for MacMedics in Lanham, and we were able to recover data from alot of hard drives that the computer didn't recognize. Unfortunately, drives that make clicking noises are usually an exception. I think for data recovery that they are unable to perform at their shop, they now send drives off to this place:

Data Recovery | File Recovery | Deleted Hard Disk Recovery

They may be able to help you. My father sent a drive off to them that they couldn't recover data from, but I don't think they charged him much.

This is a great lesson for anyone out there that doesn't back up their hard drive routinely. It's pretty simple to get either an extra internal hard drive or an external drive along with backup software that runs automatically. It saves alot of headaches and money in the end when you hard drive fails, and it will eventually fail.

Good luck, I hope you are able to get your data.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To all that have responded.... First and foremost--- Thank you for taking time to try to help with this problem.

The hard drive is toast! Well done toast I am told, however, I still believe (maybe I am too optomistic) that there is data on the hard drive disc that can be retrieved.

The HD is absolutely NOT bootable I have been told). It cannot be configured as a slave. It does not work mechanically.

It was sent to a lab with clean room capabilities and they could do nothing (in their power) to get data from the disc. To what extent they tried is an unknown. They got paid for their efforts of evaluating the status of the HD and told me there's no hope. I don't agree even though I am not a HD "expert".

Here's the way I see it: Inside the case is a disc with data on it. Some of the data may be corrupted, but perhaps not all of it is. There's still good stuff remaining on the disc. If I had the capabilities of operating on the HD I would obtain another HD like the one in question and swap the disc. I would then hook it up as a slave and extract whatever data is salvageable. Does this make sense? To me it does, but I do not think some companies would go to this extent for a mere $995.00 or $2700.00.

Has anyone out there in TF land performed such a proceedure or know of an entity that does such? NCIS could have it done between commercials!:D

Thanks again for your assistance.

P.S. Most of the data I need recovered is a month's worth of photos (well over a thousand) taken on a trip to Alaska. Images, some of which, are not duplicatable ever again.
 

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Here's the way I see it: Inside the case is a disc with data on it. Some of the data may be corrupted, but perhaps not all of it is. There's still good stuff remaining on the disc. If I had the capabilities of operating on the HD I would obtain another HD like the one in question and swap the disc. I would then hook it up as a slave and extract whatever data is salvageable. Does this make sense? To me it does, but I do not think some companies would go to this extent for a mere $995.00 or $2700.00.
This is basically what they do in the clean room. The clean room is where they can take the drive apart to access the platters inside. They have the specialized equipment to be able to get the data off your platters if it is salvageable. If there is physical damage to the platters, it is very likely that all your data is lost.

Some of the problem could be the formatting of the drive as well. Depending on how the drive is formatted (NTFS, FAT, etc...) there is going to be some sort of table (basically a file) that tells the operating system how to find the files on the drive. If this table is messed up, all the data could be lost. Drives don't necessarily write all the data in order either. A single file may be written across multiple platters or on different parts of the same platter.

Basically, if the professionals that were going to take $3000 to get your data back for you couldn't do it, it can't be done.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your reply Mike. I kinda thought that's the way it could be accomplished. I sent the drive to a lab in VA and they said they could not extract any data from it, but they were very reluctant to divulge the method they used. Their recovery fee, if successful was $995.00.
It cost me $65.00 for them to determine if they could or could not retrieve any data.

Another lab wants $2700+ regardless of success. ????

I'll hang onto the hard drive in hopes of a miracle down the road.:rolleyes:
 

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