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How do you recover data from a hard drive.

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davidk65 | 12:29 Mon 25th Oct 2010 | Computers
9 Answers
Not sure if anyone saw "Watchdog" and their item on PCWorld and the Techguys. This the same kind of story.
New PC fails. PCWorld repairs said computer, fitting new hard drive. My daughter asks them; can you recover the data from the hard drive for me I want the photos of my children? Answer: Come back later. On returning later, "theirs your drive madam". PCW's further response to daughter; "what photos we don't know anything about recovering data".

So to return to the question; how do I go about recovering data from this drive, currently sitting on our breakfast bar?
Daughters are wonderful!!


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Take the HD to a reputable PC shop and ask their help, they usually have software for recovering lost data, if not they will point you in the right direction. I'm sure you will also get further advice on here.
If it's a fully faulty drive then the simple answer is you can't (unless you are prepared to pay about £10k and send it to a forensics lab)

If it's only a problematic hard drive and is still working but with faults then you get a suitable USB external caddy for around £15 for the drive that would enable you to plug it into a USB port on your computer and get the pictures off it.

incidentally, I don't like PCworld, but this was not their fault, any computer warranty covers the hardware, not the files you have stored on it, sorry to say but the only person to blame is you (or your daughter) for not having backups of your pictures.
It 'may' be worth plugging the HDD into another spare/old machine to see if anything is accessible and it runs at all. Then you would know for sure whether anything 'might' be recoverable.
I would try yourself first. If the new PC is at home and working you can either buy a caddy as suggested or fit the old drive internally as a 'slave' drive and see if anything is there. It worked for me once.
If that does not work then you will need to take it to a computer shop and get them to look at it(£).
Question Author
Thanks for the various comments.
I took the drive to a computer shop. They now confirm that they cannot recover anything from the drive. I guess I will leave it at that.
Perhaps I should add to the comment about PCW.
My daughter has always failed to carry out a backup so it is her problem not PCW. But when she first took the computer in to be repaired, she later received a call from them saying come and collect. When she arrived at the store they could not find the computer and had to return home without it. She then received a call from PCW apologizing because they had given the computer to another customer and were in the process of trying to get it back, which they eventually did.

Thanks again.
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If you need to get data back from drive, try some file recovery app. I found one online when I faced the same situation. good luck.
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I know this is a little late but I'll try anyway. I was in the same position in that the entire contents of my 2tb drive became inaccessible and there are some programs you could try. I used File Scavenger and was lucky enough to get everything back. It takes a little time but if successful who cares? I only wish there was a way I could send you a copy as it's only a small program.

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