How to best get data off a dying drive?

Discussion in 'DIY Computers' started by Mike, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    I have a 250GB drive which hasn't been working properly ever since I
    returned from holiday a few days ago! The BIOS will recognise it, but
    Windows XP won't.
    I ran the manufacturer's (Maxtor) diagnostic software and was told "this
    drive is failing" and to RMA it. Ouch.
    I'm assuming it's not completely dead yet though, and want to try and read
    as much off it as I still can. Assuming this won't work from Windows any
    more, what method would you guys suggest? Are there are DOS-based utilities
    that can handle disks of this size?

    Many thanks.... fingers crossed,
    Mike, Aug 22, 2007
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  2. Mike

    Conor Guest

    DOS won't and it won't read NT
    Conor, Aug 22, 2007
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  3. Mike

    Mike Guest

    It's not my boot drive, so I can still use my PC to try and salvage it.
    I've previously used Ontrack EasyRecovery on bad drives, but I doubt
    that'll work this time due to Windows not recognising it!

    I do have a Ubuntu installation on an external USB drive. What would I use
    to get data off the disk though - just dd, or are there more elaborate
    programs for this sort of thing?

    Thanks again,
    Mike, Aug 22, 2007
  4. Mike

    comment Guest

    comment, Aug 22, 2007
  5. Good advice. Acronis is useful tool. Another is -
    saved my bacon several times, and as recently as yesterday.

    Phil, London
    Philip Herlihy, Aug 22, 2007
  6. Mike

    PeterC Guest

    Is there any equivalent of this for Spinpoint? I've looked at the site but
    can't find anything.
    PeterC, Aug 23, 2007
  7. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Thanks to you (and others) for the advice. Unfortunately, the drive already
    seems to be too busted (no valid filesystem) for Acronis to image it, it
    just hung. So I started googling like a madman, and here's what I ended up
    doing: under Linux, ran GNU ddrescue which is like dd, except it is
    cleverer when encountering bad sectors. The result is a complete image of
    my disk, with any bad sectors filled with 0s. Any subsequent work I will be
    performing on this image, not on the original disk.
    I discovered a program called GetDataBack which seems to have done an
    excellent job at finding all the files and directories on my drive - I have
    at least 90% of my files back. Interestingly enough Ontrack EasyRecovery
    wasn't any help.
    I'll try and see if I have lost any important stuff in the process, and
    then might run SpinRite on the defective drive to see if there's any truth
    to its claims of being able to "fix bad sectors" with the aid of lots of
    technical jargon.

    Cheers, Mike
    Mike, Aug 25, 2007
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