[Herts] Recovering a faulty drive

Mike - XP Computers mike at xpcomputers.co.uk
Sat Jul 3 22:05:26 UTC 2010

Depends on the problem of course....


Presumably you are assuming it is hardware failure? (rather than straight
data corruption / file system damage?).


 Can you see anything when you try to read the file system with a boot cd?
Can a disk manager see the drive at all? What about the BIOS? Depending on
what can and can't see the drive, will depend where to focus the effort.


Heard good things about "Unstoppable Copier", but never used it myself.
There is a Linux version too.

ion=1> &Action=NewOSID&DownloadVersion=1


I'd personally want to try the drive as a slave in another working computer
system, rather than working from a boot CD (if possible), but sometimes a
boot CD is the best way.


As an absolute last resort if the hardware is failing, there is the "freezer
trick" (put it in a airtight bag in the freezer overnight - google it for
more info). However, this will trash your drive and might not work anyway...
but if you've tried everything else and the drive hasn't played ball, then
it sometimes works long enough to get some crucial data off... but it will
all depend on what can and can't see the drive currently (and what sort of
failure it has - as it makes some problems worse, and some temporarily
better, before making worse).


Whatever you do, if you think the drive is dying, then keep the computer
turned off for as long as possible, and only turn the machine on to do a
test or try a brief data recovery. Time on, can equal less time left until
absolute failure, so don't leave the computer turned on whilst you
investigate alternative ideas...


If you can get anything from the file system un-aided, then cherry pick the
most crucial files first as the drive might pack for good any time, and it
would be a shame to only get the files you don't need again! However, once
you have most crucial files, then you can look at something like
"unstoppable copier" to try to get data off the whole of the rest of the
drive, but be prepared for it to overheat and stop working. Sometimes
turning the machine off and trying again when cool can help (the freezer
trick being a very extreme form of this!). 


If the file system is corrupt, but the drive still able to read some ones
and zeros, then you want to get the ones and zeros off the drive as quickly
and simply as possible into a usable form. That way you can run a "file
system" data recovery program on an "image of the drive", rather than the
dying drive itself (data recovery software can tip the drive over the edge
for it never to return again taking your data with it!).


Hope this gives you some pointers





From: herts-bounces at mailman.lug.org.uk
[mailto:herts-bounces at mailman.lug.org.uk] On Behalf Of Steve Clark
Sent: 03 July 2010 21:22
To: herts at mailman.lug.org.uk
Subject: [Herts] Recovering a faulty drive


It looks like my old harddrive may finally have died. The PC wouldn't boot
and the drive is making some strange noises.

Luckily I do have a backup from a couple of months ago and there's not much
in the way of essential data on it, but I'd like to recover some files if I

I've booted up the PC with an Ubuntu CD, but I'm not sure on the best way to
proceed from there. I know Malc had something similar a while back. Any


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