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Grrr!! Rats! Rats! Rats! Help!!


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I'm having a serious case of the screammin meamies. I am on vacation! Plans for the week included buying a 1T portable hard drive to back up my laptop onto. Hard drive was bought but said plans got put off due to other things getting in the way as in one of my mares doing her best to make my vet rich.

 

 

The "fun" began when said laptop locked up while I was online. Tried activating the Task Manager to shut it down and restart the puter but the program would not come up so I just turned it off. Apparently that has corrupted my hard drive and the puter will not load into Windows. Fortunately I have 2 laptops so I was able to access Gateway's website and find out what I needed to do to get it back up and running. Gateway said to pull the hard drive, copy it so I would not lose all of my data and set the puter back to factory specs which would erase any data on the hard drive. I went down to Best Buy to have the Geek Squad check it and according to them, the data on the hard drive cannot be accessed so I've had to buy a new hard drive. Not a biggie except for one minor detail. . . .

 

All of the stuff I have loaded on said hard drive, pics, a ton of bookmarks, a semi serious collection of eBooks [Kindle!] and an equally semi serious collection of audio books! OUCH! To top it off, the Geek Squad informed me that a MINIMUM charge of $250, which could go as high as $2500, would be needed to send the old hard drive off for data recovery. And that is not including the cost of another portable hard drive to copy the data onto.

:mo money: OUCH!!

 

The HELP! is this:

 

Is there anyone out there that can do the data recovery without it costing me the proverbial arm and a leg ? Any recomendations for someone who could?? I can redownload the ebooks and the audiobooks but considering how slow my internet connection can be, that could take forever. Also the pics, bookmarks and assorted other goodies, for the most part, cannot be replaced.

 

HELP!!!

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I or my husband can do the data recovery needed for you and definitely will not charge the geeksquad prices, so pm me and I'll give you the hubby's ph# and you can discuss with him what's needed and he'll give you an estimate on prices and what's needed before you mail off the drive.

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DO NOT RUN CHKDSK ON THAT DRIVE....

I have had people send me drives after doing that and recovery went right out the window. Let the Pro's handle it and pack it real well and if you have a static free bag (the new drive came in one) use it.

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GAWildKat and/or LilBeaver - How about if the HD has a mechanical problem vs. a software problem. Are either of you able to recover the data?

 

I got the same estimate of $300-$1500.

 

Believe me though, I NOW have everything double backed up - 1T backup harddrive and an online photo backup (photos are the only thing I am worried about loosing).

 

RR

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Here is one that may work, put the drive in the freezer for around 2 - 3 hours then remove it plug it in and see if it comes up. This is a one shot deal so it is either going to work or not.

Another one if your not worried about the warranty and the disk isn't spinning is go to Home Depot buy a set of those real small torx screwdrivers. First plug in any adapters you need to slave the drive off on another system. Now remove the sticker on top of the drive and remove all the screws and pull the top. Next without getting finger prints on any of the innards plug the drive into another system (slave it off). Now using, in most cases, a torx and try spinning the disks there is a screw right in the center you can use so you don't have to touch the disks. I have had them so tight the drive would squeal when trying to get it spinning but once it frees up recover your data using the system that it is connected to. When your done if you want to you can take the whole thing apart and make clocks out of the disks because that is all it is going to be worth when your done. Don't try saving it for anything toss it out afterwords and don't try using it as a drive after you put the cover back on even though it may work it is going to die again.

If you getting a clicking popping noise in most cases you need to remove the disks and put them into another drive to do the data recovery, send it out to have this done. I have also been able to remove the circuit board and swap in another one from the same make and model drive and had that work.

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To everyone who offered help and advice, everything is much appreciated. The hard drive and the portable drive are on their way to Rick [LilBeaver] for his assistance in recovering my data, also much appreciated!!

 

Rick :You_Rock_Emoticon:

 

Thanks again everyone!!

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RedRider:

 

Short of your drive catching fire, there is almost always a way to recover the data. I have had plenty of drives fail on me over the years, hardly any of them failed to an extent that I was not able to recover most (if not ALL) of the data. The exception to that rule is when the drives are part of a RAID array and a series of drives in the array fail. As a function of how the RAID system works with respect to storing data, it can be nearly impossible (or not worth the time required) to actually recover the data in a readable format.

Redundant backups are ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS an excellent way to go.

 

That being said, depending on the extent of the mechanical problem (failed read head(s), electrical short, damaged platter, etc etc) sometimes they can be recovered and sometimes they cannot be. With newer drives they use an on board technology known as S.M.A.R.T. (self-monitoring analysis and reporting technology) that further helps warn a user that their drive is about to fail and, as a result, further reduces the percentage of true mechanical failures BEFORE someone knows that their drive is going to bite the dust.

 

As an aside: I would NOT recommend putting a drive in the freezer for any length of time for ANY reason. Arguments against this start with the moisture collection within the drive itself and its crystallization upon freezing could cause some major problems with the platters or read-heads themselves. Sure, some people have had luck freeing up a stuck spindle by doing that but performing the repair properly is also very likely to recover your data. More importantly, the magnetic recording method used by the GMR/CMR read/write heads in the disk drives as well as the magnetic media themselves all have intrinsic magnetic properties that are temperature dependent. Unless someone really wants to know more, I will go ahead and stop here - but I could give a few hour lecture on the magnetic properties of these systems and the intricacies of how and why they work the way they do [but I figured no one really wanted to know THAT much about magnetic media].

 

Disclaimer :duck::duck::

No, I am not a computer expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I am a condensed matter/solid state physicist working in the area of semiconductors and various magnetic systems. I manage a few servers of my own and have been monkeying with computers and working with them [unfortunately] for many years now.

 

RedRider: I hope that addressed your question. If you have a specific question or something about one of your drives feel free to send me a message with the details of what happened, symptoms, any 'official' claims as to the diagnosis etc etc and I would be perfectly happy to give you my opinion.

 

-Lilbeaver

 

GAWildKat and/or LilBeaver - How about if the HD has a mechanical problem vs. a software problem. Are either of you able to recover the data?

 

I got the same estimate of $300-$1500.

 

Believe me though, I NOW have everything double backed up - 1T backup harddrive and an online photo backup (photos are the only thing I am worried about loosing).

 

RR

Edited by LilBeaver
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