How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)

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Does anyone know of freeware which can diagnose & recognize an already
crashed hard disk on an IBM laptop?

My kid's IBM laptop hard disk "stopped working" (it had been making noise,
he said).
- The IBM laptop would not boot no matter what I tried
- I put the laptop hard disk in a different working laptop - same thing
- In a 2nd IBM laptop as a 2nd disk - it still wasn't recognized.
  (Even though it was a second disk in a second bay, the good laptop would
not boot, saying "Operating System not found" even though it was clearly
the second disk.)

I figured I'd see if I could be a hero and save his lost photos and email.

After googling, I bought a Vantec "SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter" and
connected the crashed laptop IDE hard disk to the USB port of a second
(good) laptop. The hard disk would not be seen, even when I used the WinXP
"Disk Management" utility found by right-clicking on My Computer. (A second
hard disk worked fine so I know the Vantec IDE-to-USB adapter was working.)

After googling some more, and with the laptop 2.5" IDE hard disk externally
tied to the USB port of a good computer, I tried using the TestDisk &
PhotoRec 6.9-WIP, Data Recovery freeware (from
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Download ) - but "TestDisk" also did
not see the hard disk attached to the USB port via the Vantec adapter.

Googling some more, I downloaded PCWorld's "Recover Data for Fat & NTFS"
shareware at  
"http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,66229-order,1-page,1/description.html

At least this program recognized the good disk (disk 0) and the bad disk
attached to the Vantec IDE-to-USB adapter (disk 1) - but PCWorld's program
said the crashed hard disk was zero size:
- Physical Disk Number: 1
- Model: USB Device
- Media Type: Fixed hard disk media
- Cylinder: 0
- Head: 0
- Sectors Per Track: 0
- Disk Size: 0MB

And, when I tried to recover data, PCWorld's Recover Data program said
"Encountered Bad Sector(s) while reading disk."

Digging further, I found PC Magazine recommended PC Inspector
(http://pcmag.ph/hard-disk/recovering-from-a-hard-disk-crash /) for freeware
hard disk recovery after crashes.  

I even put the hard drive in a zip-lock bag in the freezer (based on google
results) but nothing changed when I repeated the tests.

QUESTION:
What hard-drive crash-recovery WinXP freeware do you recommend which will
diagnose a hard drive and perhaps recover some of the lost files?

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
So others start where we left off ...  

Here is the freeware/demoware that PC World suggests at
http://www.pcworld.com/video/catid,1610-page,1/video.html
 How to Resurrect a Crashed Hard Drive   - PC World Video  

If the drive spins up ...  
- Start the PC with a boot disk & back up data.
- Ultimate Boot CD for Windows v3.05 (6/23/2007)
- http://www.UBCD4Win.com
- http://find.pcworld.com/57857

If you have bad sectors ...  
- Use HDD Regenerator v1.51 demo version bootable regenerating CD
- http://find.pcworld.com/57877

If you know the manufacturer ...  
- Download manufacturer specific freeware diagnostic utilities
- http://www.tacktech.com
- http://find.pcworld.com/57878

Data recovery software ...  
- File Scavenger v3 Disk Data Recovery  
- Stellar Phoenix  

Mechanical recovery for clicking but not spinning drive ...
- Wrap in cloth & zip-lock bag and freeze for 24 hours

Mechanical recovery for stuck drives
- Frisbee the disk to overcome stiction

Electrical recovery for not spinning drives
- Connect to a high wattage power supply

Last hope
- Data Recovery Service like 800-440-1904
- http://find.pcworld.com/57858

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
Erica Eshoo wrote:

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I don't understand this one. Doesn't the device draw the amps it needs  
regardless of the supply's maximum output rating? I can see it making  
sense if the original power supply was overloaded/overrated and not  
really delivering, but the video implies that the power supply "pushes"  
the current rather than allowing the device to draw it.

Cheers.

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
On Sun, 04 Nov 2007 08:43:26 -0800, bluerhinoceros wrote:

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I agree with you - this is a wierd suggestion by PC World.
But, I can tell you watched the video because that's exactly what it says.

PC World seems to imply that a larger capacity power supply INITIAL
current/voltage (they call it wattage) surge into the reluctant disk drive
could JOLT the dead disk drive into cooperating - sort of like a Taser for
reticent hard disks.

http://www.pcworld.com/video/catid,1610-page,1/video.html
Does anyone else know more about this PC World suggestion to resurrect my
dead but spinning hard drive - is it science or is it voodoo?

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
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Interesting!

So, you're saying that, since I clearly hear a sequence of initial loud
clicks (about a score of them in about as many seconds) in the naked laptop
hard disk drive hooked up to the USB port via the IDE-to-USB adapter ...
then my drive is spinning for sure because it's clicking?

I had already realized it was spinning because when I pressed on the top of
the hard disk drive, I could hear a whirr as I made something touch
something else.

I've already put a spare hard disk in the kid's laptop - but now I have an
activation problem. I can't get past the activation screen which just
hangs. I'm sure the hard disk has a valid WinXP but obviously for another
laptop (not the one I put it in) - so I'm not surprised the Winxp OS balked
... but shouldnt' Windows XP give me the opportunity to enter whatever
information it needs?

How do I enter whatever information it needs if it just comes up with a
blank Windows Activation box which hangs for hours with no way to enter
anything.

Why is the world punishing me! :) Was I a bad girl or something! :)

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)

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The copy of wins on the drive doesn't like the changed hardware that it
sees when it trys to boot.  Re-install time.........;-(

--
Best Regards:
                     Baron.

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
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Yep, it was that furious drunken grave dancing that you were warned about.

You wouldnt listen...



Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)

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Most laptop hard drives have a label that says DO NOT PRESS HERE!

A hard drive depends on a 100% dust free interior to work correctly.
By causing the cover to rub on the spindle that holds the disc in place,
even for a moment, you have likely ground off a few tiny metal particles.
These particles will probably end up between the heads and the disc.
This will scratch the disc and damage the heads.
That hard drive is no longer reliable.
If you get the system up and runnig you should retrieve all the data you
can off that drive then destroy it (to prevent someone else from
stealing your information.)

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)

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Urban myth!

--
Best Regards:
                     Baron.

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
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Its always science. Tho rather mangled in the case of that article.

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Hard drives are immune to that.



Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
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I think I get what Rod Speed is saying.
When I start my blender, the lights dim for a second in my California
kitchen. Then everything is fine.

I think what Rod Speed is saying is, if the hard disk drive motor is
drawing too much current for the original power supply to handle, then
adding a larger capacity (more current) power supply, will allow it to draw
more current than the original power supply could handle.

That, in an emergency situation such as mine, might be the way to free a
"stuck" drive.

As noted, my drive isn't stuck - it's just clicking and spinning until the
clicking gives up ... so I think I'll give up on the larger power supply.
Plus, I'm using the Vantec IDE-to-USB adapter which comes with its own
power supply.

Funny thing, the hard drives I tested STILL WORK on the Vantec IDE-to-USB
adapter even without plugging in the external power supply. I guess they
get power from the USB - but I'll use the external power supply also to
power the naked laptop hard disk drive.

The good thing is we're learning - the bad thing is that we probably can't
use any freeware on earth to resurrect this drive ... or can we?

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
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Nope, its got a hardware problem, thats why it isnt seen by the OS.



Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)

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That's BS, even the smallest PC power supply can produce enough current to
vaporize the traces right off the circuit board in the hard drive. Sometimes
when semiconductors get marginal, increasing the voltage slightly will allow
them to work, but a higher wattage power supply won't necessarily (and
shouldn't actually) produce any higher voltage, but variation from one to
another may be enough to make a difference in some extremely rare cases.

If the drive is not spinning, the motor control IC is probably bad.



Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
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kitchen. Then everything is fine.

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draw more current than the original power
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What's bullshit ?

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traces right off the circuit board in the
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Pity about the short circuit current limit that all power supplys have.

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will allow them to work,

The problem aint with the semiconductors.

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produce any higher voltage,

Thats wrong too when the power supply is marginal and
cant supply the full rated voltage to all the rails and the hard
drive rotation motor when the heads are stuck to the platters.

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extremely rare cases.

Nothing extremely rare about modern systems which
have enough of a load on the 12V rail that sees that
sag when its also trying to spin up the hard drive.

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Or the heads are stuck to the platters, stiction.



Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
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No. While the idea is sound, the numbers and other facts are not.
One problem is that PSUs (unless dying ones) supply far, far more
power than a HDD needs to start.

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Thet is the next problem. Historically HDDs used to have heads stick
to surfaces. With better coating this has not been an issue for a
decade or two.

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Standard, although it overloads the USB port on drive startup.
Typically not a problem.

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I don't think you can. From a certain point one, hardware defects
cannot be corrected or worked around with software anymore.

Arno

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)

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Interesting article.
It's an IBM laptop so it has a Hitachi 2.5" hard disk drive in it, not an
IBM desktop hard drive.
But, in the end, if I don't resurrect the disk by less drastic means, it
will be time to go in for the kill and rip the innards out and put them in
another drive. But that's for later.

For now, I found the IBM Thinkpad recovery disks and have re-instaleld the
operating system - having given up on the buggy Windows Activation (it
should at least have given me the chance to type SOMETHING in - and not
just hang like that).

The good news is the computer is back up - the bad news is I have to
install all the programs all over again, like WinXP SP2 and all the
updates. For example, I have to dig up how to load Wireless Zero
Configuration stuff so that WPA2-Personal works again (it's not even an
option in SP2 - I remember digging that one up on google so I'll dig it
up).

If you know of better freeware that can diagnose this hard drive, let me
know.

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
It seems to me I heard somewhere that Erica Eshoo wrote in article

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Wattage, as everybody here seems to agree, is the actual power consumed
by a device; the wattage rating on a power supply is the highest power
it's capable of or designed to supply.  Amperage is only drawn to the
level required by a device; if a device is not defective it will only
draw up to its rated amperage and the supply has to be able to meet that
demand.  Voltage higher than the designed operating voltage of a device
may damage or ruin the device.  ISTM PC World must be outsourcing its
technical writers these days.

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
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Yes. To people that do not have a clue.

Arno

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
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This sounds pretty bad, because it is complete nonsense. "Pushing"
the current would imply a current source. PC PSUs are voltage sources,
i.e. the connected device decides how much current it draws.

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Nonsense. Modern drives do not start up as soon as power is applied.
There is at least s slight delay until the voltages have stabilized.
It is also possible not so auto-spin, i.e. the drive starts up when it
gets a reset signal or a start unit command.

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It is voodoo. Might have worked with historic drives > 20 years ago and
a marginal PSU. Does not work with todays HDD motor controllers.

Arno

Re: How to recover a crashed laptop hard disk (windows NTFS)
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I think the key words in the video just prior to the unusual tricks
were "Last ditch" and "Slim chance".
Rush


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