How can I recover data from a hard drive that is no longer detected?

Dhananjay September 19, 2011
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I have experienced a problem with my hard disk as it was reported to be corrupt. I replaced with a new disk and tried connecting the old one through USB port, but the PC does not detect it.

I have some very important and personal files stored on my old disk and would like to retrieve it. Can someone offer me any solutions as I do not wish to hand over the disk to anyone for data retrieval, due to the nature of the files stored.

Thank you in anticipation.

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  1. Anonymous
    September 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    try on a friend pc and see if it works

    also you can use unknown device identifier
    http://www.zhangduo.com/udi.html

  2. Anonymous
    September 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    try on a friend pc and see if it works

    also you can use unknown device identifier
    http://www.zhangduo.com/udi.html

  3. Jeffery Fabish
    September 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Recently my friend's hard drive went bust after Windows told him "A crash was imminent". After about two months it finally did and he thought all of his data was gone. After burning a Linux Live CD to a disk/usb and booting from it it recognized the hard disk (there was only one) and I was able to copy his most important files to the USB drive.  I encourage you to try this, too. 

    1.) Reconnect the hard drive (Try first as standalone drive)
    2.) Burn a Linux Live CD to a USB or a CD.
    3.) Boot from the CD or USB. You may have to change the BIOS boot priority.
    4.) If the distribution recognizes the disk, copy the files to the USB, send them via email, upload them to a backup facility, etc. 

    Expand on "I tried connecting the old one through USB port". Is this an external hard drive? How did you connect it via USB if it was an internal?

    • Dan
      September 20, 2011 at 3:47 am

      Yes, I connected the old disk to the USB port as an external mass storage disk. Anyway, thanks for your tip. Will burn Ubuntu to a USB and boot from it. But will it recognize it? Also I forgot to mention yesterday that when I connect the old disk I hear a continuous "tick tick" sound. What could be the problem?

      • Mike
        September 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm

        "Ticking" usually is a sign of mechanical failure 
        http://datacent.com/hard_drive_sounds.php 

        Whatever it is, having it turned on will make things just worse. You are better of with professional data recovery. 

        • Dan
          September 26, 2011 at 5:59 am

          Guess have reached the end of the road as I cannot afford steep professional charges. Thanks all the same for your guidance.

  4. Sonny Bass
    September 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Download a copy of PartedMagic, burn to disk, boot from disk and try Testdisk in the sysyem tools. You could also try Recuva from Piraform. I have had good luck with both. Better luck with Testdisk.

    • Dan
      September 20, 2011 at 3:41 am

      Thanks a lot for your suggestion. Will try and let you know the result.

      • Tina
        September 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm

        Looking forward to hearing your feedback!

        • Dvgodbole
          September 24, 2011 at 2:34 am

          Sorry for the delay, but due to the nature of my job, can try out the suggestions only on weekends, job permitting. Also, I have posted additional query to which I am awaiting reply.

      • Tina
        September 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm

        Looking forward to hearing your feedback!

      • Tina
        September 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm

        Looking forward to hearing your feedback!

      • Tina
        September 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm

        Looking forward to hearing your feedback!

    • Dan
      September 24, 2011 at 2:32 am

      Downloaded Parted Magic (pmagic-pxe-6.6-x86-64). On opening the zip file, I could not find any .exe file but two folders, boot and pmagic. Iam not a computer techie but a normal home user so I am in a quandary as to how I should proceed. Please bear with me and request you to kindly take me through the paces. I have a licensed version of Easeus Partition Wizard but am not too sure how to use it. Also, in my initial request, I had forgotten to mention that when I connect my faulty disk as an external storage disk in the USB port, I hear a constant "tick tick" sound which I am told is a mechanical failure. Could this be the root cause of my problem and could you offer any solution? Thanking you in the meanwhile.

      • Sonny Bass
        September 24, 2011 at 3:36 am

        Do not double click to open the zip file. Zip files must be extracted, this can be done with a number of programs such as UniExtract  http://www.filehippo.com/download_universal_extractor/changelog/
        7-zip http://www.7-zip.org/
        Once extracted you should have a folder,double click to open,now you should see an ISO file PartedMagic x.x.iso. You now need to burn this file as an image using a burning program such as ImgBurn, or CDburnerXP http://www.imgburn.com/
        http://cdburnerxp.se/en/download
        This would most likely be the version of PartedMagic you would need http://sourceforge.net/projects/partedmagic/files/partedmagic/Parted%20Magic%206.6/pmagic-6.6.iso-i686.zip/download
        Once you have the disk burned, be sure your computer is configured to boot from CD and boot from it. Good luck there is a learning curve with recovery and using recovery software. Yes the ticking is a sign of mechanical failure,you may not get but a brief amount of time to attempt recovery.  

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