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Author Topic: freeware for hard disk data recovery  (Read 4981 times)

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« on: February 03, 2011, 11:25 »
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My portable hard disk just had problem again..

I tried the trial version of Kernel Recovery and it seems able to retrieve all the data, but I will need to buy it if i want to copy the data.

So before i pay anything, any data recovery software which is freeware?

thanks.


« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011, 11:31 »
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My portable hard disk just had problem again..

I tried the trial version of Kernel Recovery and it seems able to retrieve all the data, but I will need to buy it if i want to copy the data.

So before i pay anything, any data recovery software which is freeware?

thanks.

recuva is good and recently saved my a$$.. Also pandora software has a good free one as well.. Remember to not do anything with the hard drive.. Do not install anything or change anything as it will overwrite deleted files.. If you cannot use the affected drive as a slave drive to another drive, then install the recovery programs to a flash drive or external drive.. Good luck!!

« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 11:48 »
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I am downloading recuva to try out..so it is a freeware that i can copy all the recovered files?

« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 12:16 »
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actually my case is more like a recovery of a whole portable hardisk, instead of recovery of deleted files..

« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 12:22 »
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Recuva isnt bad, but I am not sure it will recover a deleted partition.
a non freeware software I can reccomend is: "easy recovery pro"

is the HD recognized at all ? (in storage manager for example)

« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 12:23 »
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I had an entire hard disk die last month ... when I turned on the computer it did not even detect that a drive was present.  Am I correct in guessing that this kind of recovery software would be of no use in this situation?

From a little bit of reading, I gathered that one possible fix would be to locate an identical drive and change the bad circuitry for identical, working circuitry using heaven-knows-what cutting and soldering, but I balked at anything this elaborate and expensive.

In any case, all of my valuable stock photos had been backed up to DVDs long before, all except for the processed versions of the last 2 shoots I had made before the crash.  The raw versions were backed up.

One thing I should probably do is make duplicates of all my photo backup DVDs and store them in another location.  If my house burns down I would have to buy back all my bestselling pictures if I ever wanted to move them to another stock site.

« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2011, 13:55 »
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pet_chia: if your harddisk isn't seen at all by the system it can be possibly broken.
Sometimes connecting this harddisk as an external harddisk to usb helps, if you are lucky. Otherwise I am afraid it is over...
When people call me having this kind of problems the first I ask is: are the cables connected well?
You have to open the computer to look at that, but you have to do this also to put the harddisk to an external case with usb connection.
This recovery software is no help when the harddisk is not seen by the system at all.

When considering making a new backup I would suggest to put it on an extra harddisk instead of DVD's. This is cheaper, safer and not so much work.

« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2011, 14:59 »
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Many thanks for the great tips!

jbarber873

« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2011, 16:44 »
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  I know this sounds weird, but if you have a hard disk that won't mount- i.e be recognized by the system, something that can sometimes help is to put it in the freezer for a half hour, take it out and immediately connect it up and see if it mounts. I had 2 days of location shooting saved by this method. My computer geek son heard of it from his freind that works in data recovery. This guy said 75% of data recovery jobs get resolved this way. The reason it works is that the little arm that floats above the disk gets stuck onto the disk, and freezing it contracts the metal to free it up. If it works, transfer all your data right away to another hard drive, because it will only work until the drive heats up again. Not saying it will always work, and only after all else fails...

« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2011, 17:28 »
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Have you tried spinrite?
http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm

My brother has used it several times to successfully recover data from a hard disk.

« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2011, 17:44 »
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Never heard of that freezer tip. Thanks! This can be useful sometimes!
And yes, spinrite is good, but only when your harddisk in recognized by the system.

« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2011, 21:01 »
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actually my case is more like a recovery of a whole portable hardisk, instead of recovery of deleted files..

If the disk still works and is not damaged you can try to load linux (fedora 13 or other) onto a computer through a cd and connect the disk drive to that computer. Linux is very good at reading drives that are unreadable by windows.. Otherwise I would recomend sending it to a data recovery place if the disk is damaged  (couple hundred bucks).. The Freezing thing mentioned above may work, but most likely you will damage the disk further if you try to keep running it and the arm will rub the plate and scratch the $h*&^ out of it and then even a data recovery place won't be able to recover it for you..

« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2011, 04:06 »
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You are right about the freezing tip. It is only useful as 'last option'. And you have to buy a new harddisk, for it is only to recover some data. The harddisk itself has become useless.

My workflow should be:
First start the computer and go to the bios section (On the screen at the start you can mostly see which key, or combination of keys you have to press to get to the bios.) and see if all settings stay correct. Correct the settings if the harddisk is not correctly recognized.
No problems in the bios? Shut  the computer down and then open the computer case.
Untie the connection cables from the harddisk one by one and connect them again. carefully and firmly.
Start the computer and see if it had helped. (I always start the computer with an open case, so I can see if the harddisk works or remain silent. Be careful when doing so and touch nothing!)
If the harddisk remain totally silent, it seem clearly be broken, but you can try the other tips also if you want to spent some more time on it.

pet_chia wrote that she only is missing the processed version of two shoots. Processing them again should propably be cheaper then data recovery. Which is very expensive.
So the question is how useful it is to spend time on a harddisk that has to be replaced by a new one for it works no longer well.
But if you want so: go further with the next options:

Take the harddisk from the computer and connect it via usb. (There are different options to do so: external case, special cables...)
Or start the computer first with a linux bootable dvd and see if it will be recognized. If this is so: copy the data you want to save.)
I've sometimes also seen that connecting a harddisk to another computer helps too. strange enough.
If this all not helps, try the freezing tip.
But very likely you will find out that the harddisk has died silently.

A data recovery centre can restore data even from burned harddisks and from broken harddisk plates. But it is very expensive and not all data can be restored that way of course.

 

« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2011, 04:14 »
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By the way: Not all times a harddisk remain silent when it is defect. Sometimes you can hear by the strange sounds it makes, that there's a defect on a harddisk.
Then it is clear that it has to be replaced by a new one.
 

« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2011, 07:50 »
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 I know this sounds weird, but if you have a hard disk that won't mount- i.e be recognized by the system, something that can sometimes help is to put it in the freezer for a half hour, take it out and immediately connect it up and see if it mounts. I had 2 days of location shooting saved by this method. My computer geek son heard of it from his freind that works in data recovery. This guy said 75% of data recovery jobs get resolved this way. The reason it works is that the little arm that floats above the disk gets stuck onto the disk, and freezing it contracts the metal to free it up. If it works, transfer all your data right away to another hard drive, because it will only work until the drive heats up again. Not saying it will always work, and only after all else fails...

Great tip!  I will try this if and when I will get a chance.  Quite curious actually.

jbarber873

« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2011, 08:27 »
0
 I know this sounds weird, but if you have a hard disk that won't mount- i.e be recognized by the system, something that can sometimes help is to put it in the freezer for a half hour, take it out and immediately connect it up and see if it mounts. I had 2 days of location shooting saved by this method. My computer geek son heard of it from his freind that works in data recovery. This guy said 75% of data recovery jobs get resolved this way. The reason it works is that the little arm that floats above the disk gets stuck onto the disk, and freezing it contracts the metal to free it up. If it works, transfer all your data right away to another hard drive, because it will only work until the drive heats up again. Not saying it will always work, and only after all else fails...

Great tip!  I will try this if and when I will get a chance.  Quite curious actually.

  Thanks! I was very doubtful when my son told me about this, but I was more desperate than doubtful, so I tried it. As others have said, check all cables and try using software to mount the disk first, but before you throw it away, try freezing. And hopefully you will not get a chance to try it. The best solution is to back up EVERY DAY.

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