Bad hard drive. Lost data?

Ryan Simpkins plug at
Fri Nov 3 19:53:59 MST 2006

On Fri, November 3, 2006 19:22, Gabriel Gunderson wrote:
> On Fri, 2006-11-03 at 18:10 -0700, Christer Edwards wrote:
>> If you can get it to spin up enough for SpinRite to look, it might
>> work.
> How would this work if the BIOS can't even detect it?

I've been through this a few times. Here is your best bet.

Find an *exact* model of hard drive that does work. Take the board off of it and
stick it on the bad one (not too complicated, but it takes patience).

If you do not have an exact model, find a *good* data recovery service that has the
board in stock (most places do this for just such occasions). Expect to pay them
lots of $$$ for the privilege however. They will do the same thing you would have
done had you had a board.

Data recovery places surprisingly do not do too much more than what a techie at home
can do. Advanced places can try a few more things. The old 'get the platters out and
put them in X equipment to microscopically read them' isn't really an option.

If they or you can not get the drive to detect with a new board chances are the
heads or physical disks are messed up. At this point you start looking at obscene
amounts of money and *time* to get any data off of it. And most of that data would
probably be useless to all but a team of file system engineers.

Unless the data is *highly* critical (which I am guessing it isn't) the best bet is
to call it a learning experience and let it go. From now on let's hope the user has
learned how important those backups can be - even if they are a month old.


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