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need help recovering data from a failed hard drive

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me12345

Registered
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Here's the deal: 4 months ago I bought an IBM 80gb hard drive. I then proceeded to format it in NTFS (Under windows XP Pro), and fill it with over 70gb of files. Some of these are television episodes and movies, along with schoolwork, spreadsheets with my banking records, and various other files. Then, in one instant my monitor (way out of warranty) failed (can't show green anymore), and upon rebooting, my hard drive failed. I have backups of some of the more important things like my banking records (though the backups are a couple weeks old), but most of the drive's contents weren't backed up. The drive is still under warranty, but I want to attempt to recover as much data as possible before I RMA the drive. I've already performed a partial recovery (maybe 10-20%) using a program called GetDataBack from Runtime Software. Unfortunately, it only found a few of the television episodes. It also uncovered some 'lost files,' but wasn't configured to identify anything but a few file formats. I need suggestions on other programs to try, or possibly the extra file information I would need to recover other file types using GetDataBack. I am trying to recover asf, avi, doc, exe, mpg, ram, rm, rtf, txt, xls, and zip files. Most of the file system information appears to be lost, though judging from the lost files that were found, alot of the data looks like it's intact. Windows does not recognize the partition anymore however, and I/O errors are generated when some or all corrupt sectors are contacted. This slows windows to a crawl, so the perfect program would have its own bootable operating environment. Here's the biggest problem though: I'm dirt poor :) Car problems, the monitor, and a new hard drive for recovered data have sapped my meager college student bank account. Freeware would be preferable, or at least programs with reasonable fee's. I know a few $300+ apps with what I'm looking for exist, but I need something much cheaper. Does anyone know where I should look?
 

su root

Senior Member, --, I teach people how to read your
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Location
Ontario, Canada
a very nice one that recovers alot is EasyRecoveryPro.
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecovery/

If the data is worth the purchase of the program, it should be able to retrieve most of it. (depending on how the hard drive has died). I believe they let you download a 'demo' version that lets you see what you can recover with it.

good luck, and I know how you feel... i lost about 80gigs about a year ago due to a format gone bad, and this recovered about 95 gigs off an 80gig hard drive :D
 
OP
M

me12345

Registered
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Unfortunately it doesn't look like that program is any good for hardware level problems (It just claims to help with software level data loss). I got copies of r-studio and Winternals Disk Commander from my school, but r-studio only works from within windows, and I couldn't find a way to make it stop retrying sectors with I/O errors 10 times. I let it go 13 hours (was asleep 10 of those) and didn't get 3% of the scan finished thanks to the several minute freezeup on every I/O error retry. I'm running the Disk Commander scan right now though, so maybe that'll do it. Still looking for any help with this recovery though, so if you know something I might not, please post :)
 
OP
M

me12345

Registered
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Disk Commander did it. I recovered almost the entire drive's contents with only a few corrupt files. When I tried to do a full scan of the drive Disk Commander froze up after it reached it's first I/O error(3% in), but when I tried telling it to use existing file table information, it retrieved the entire file table even though the 2 other programs had failed to find anything.
 

flixotide

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Location
Denmark
I can recommned "lost & found".... its pretty hardy, launched from floppy, it'll work its ways through tough tough bugs on the HDD, where many other tools fail.

It's pretty hairy to use, and requires a second HDD to recover data to... but it has saved my life more than once, for the mere price of 70 euros..

Sorry... no links...

Cheers, Flixotide