View Full Version : recovery from dead drive?

12-17-2005, 08:46 PM
I bought a new 80GB drive a few years ago for my Windows 98 machine. This year, the machine itself crapped out on me and I decided to buy a whole new system, from Dell (with Windows XP Home).
I had a lot of stuff on that drive and didn't want to just transfer it (my new drive is also 80GB), so I set it up as a Slave on the Dell machine. It worked for a while, but now it is not found in File Manager, etc. (Sometimes it would show up there, but show no files in the folders.)
I tried to install it on the Dell as the only drive (set jumpers to Master), but it didn't work. It got to the first screen, showing the keys to access BIOS but the next screen was blank with a flashing cursor. The keyboard produced nothing onscreen. CTRL+ALT+DEL did not even work.
I had a look in BIOS and the hard drive option is set to AUTO and it shows that it is seeing the proper drive (not NO DRIVE and not the previous, Dell drive).
At this point I'm thinking I have to get a pro to recover my data. Just to get an idea of cost, I emailed OnTrack for a quote and they seemed to indicate that they may be able to recover my data remotely, using my internet connection. I figured if they can do that, why can't I do it?
So (thanks for sticking with the story thus far) is there any software that can recover this data from a disk that XP does not show and that I cannot otherwise access?

A simple solution for a difficult problem is one of my favourite things in the world!

12-21-2005, 09:35 PM
put the old drive in your dell as the only master and put your windowsXP cd in the drive.
Boot from the CD and enter recovery console mode.
Type 'fixmbr' to run the utility that fixes the master boot record.

Then remove the CD, switch the drive back to a slave and boot from your new dell HDD (as master) and see what happens.

If it can detect it in windows as (say) drive D: yet when you try to access the data it just gives an error then try using some file recovery software to analyse the drive. A quick search on google should give you a few options.

12-22-2005, 04:03 AM
Thanks, I'll give it a try. I don't have a Windows XP CD (I hate when they don't include it). But I think I can borrow a friend's - it shouldn't matter, right?

12-22-2005, 09:28 PM
Thanks, I'll give it a try. I don't have a Windows XP CD (I hate when they don't include it). But I think I can borrow a friend's - it shouldn't matter, right?

yeah, any windows XP CD should work fine. Even win 2k recovery console will do - that actually works better than winXP's IMHO...

01-17-2006, 09:15 AM
Try Easeus DataRecoveryWizard (http://www.easeus.com). It never failed me before so I thnik you will find it worth trying.

01-17-2006, 02:09 PM
Have you tried putting the drive in the freezer first?

01-18-2006, 01:47 AM

That's a neat trick - I've done it before. Should be the very first thing anyone does! :thumbsup:

Copy all the files to a different drive while the problem drive is still cold.

01-18-2006, 10:40 AM
You could always get yourself a CO2 gun..I know someone who cooled down a hard disk out of a server which had overheated by spraying it with Carbon Dioxide from a fire extinguisher! :D