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Recover data from "dead" hard drive?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mgc7399, Dec 26, 2008.

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  1. mgc7399

    mgc7399 Thread Starter

    Jan 24, 2006
    Ok, so first off, let me say I regret ever going to the stupid Geek Squad to fix my computer at all. I understand it instantly makes me an object of ridicule. However, I am a jerk and usually can't fix my computer myself.


    A few months ago my computer was acting all sorts of wonky: taking forever to boot up, refusing to run simple programs, taking forever to connect to the internet, wouldn't run even a simple YouTube video, etc. etc. As I desperately needed the computer for school (I had an online class about to start), I caved and took it to Geek Squad. They told me the hard drive was dead and needed to be replaced. They also told me it would cost about $200 for data recovery. I didn't have any $ (this was all done under warranty) so I told them to just go ahead and fix it.

    Fast forward a week or two...

    I'm at Best Buy picking it up:

    Geek Squad: Sign here. Oh, and here's your discs.
    Me: Discs? What discs?
    Geek Squad: The discs you dropped off when you dropped off the computer.
    Me: I didn't drop off any discs!
    Geek Squad: Well, they were with your computer when we got it.

    Come to find out, my two darling sons (ages two and four) shoved a couple discs into the DVD drive, at the same time and without my knowledge. Hence, my computer did NOT need a new hard drive (I'm assuming) because my kids just clogged it up by trying to force two discs to run at the same time. Rather than check this before they ran their diagnostic tests, Geek Squad simply chose to say "failed hard drive" and replace it.

    Now, I'm stuck without all my old data. I insisted they give me the old hard drive back, and they did.

    My question to you all is:

    Is it possible for me to pull the data, somehow, off this "dead" hard drive? Or, is it possible for me to just put it back in the computer but still keep all the data/programs/etc.? I've been doing a little research, and it seems easy enough (ha!), but once I get to that whole "set it to slave or master" part, I get confused. I don't want to screw up the hard drive that the Geek Squad put on here when they replaced it, but it would be nice to have all the old data...also, the old hard drive had a recovery drive (D drive) for such problems as this, so I don't know why they felt it necessary to swap out the entire drive. (I did make a set of system recovery discs for the old hard drive, and I still have them, but that didn't include any of my data.)

    I'm running XP on an HP a1310n desktop, apparently with an ATI (?) hard drive newly installed.

    Any takers?
  2. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    May 25, 2005
    If the old HD is still functional .. but corrupted .. Yes you can fetch the data from it.
    You have SATA HDDs .. there is no Master Slave configuration .. it's just drive 1 .. drive 2 ...etc..

    Looks like you mother board will support one more HDD - for a total of two.
    You will need another SATA cable to hook up the second HDD

    I'm curious how BBuys restored it back to factory condition without your recovery DVDs
    Did it come back with all the original HP supplied applications .. and the recovery partition ??
  3. mgc7399

    mgc7399 Thread Starter

    Jan 24, 2006
    Computer ≠ factory condition
    They never asked me for the recovery disks. I have no recovery partition now, just a main drive (the H drive). Most of the original applications, I believer, are gone...though I did just find I still have Media Center today. Maybe there are some more hidden somewhere.

    Thanks for the info; will follow the link and get back to you.

    P.S. Should I put the old hard drive in the freezer? Saw something on the Net about that today.
  4. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    May 25, 2005
    Press ALT + CTRL + S (all at the same time) ...
    Does a HP screen popup telling you the Model of your computer ..etc ... ???
    Something like attached

    Open "My Computer"
    You should have a HP Pavilion C system drive and a D recovery partition .. and a few more

    In all programs .. You should find ...
    Sonic DigitalMedia Plus
    Sonic MyDVD Plus
    Sonic DigitalMedia Archive 2

    You should be able to answer Yes to all .. If you have the HP software.
    There's only one way I can think of that BBuys could have done this ...
    They would have to Clone your HD to a new one ... then tell it to restore itself.

    Attached Files:

  5. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    May 25, 2005
    Freezing the HD only works in rare occasions … It does not fix a kid problem :D
    But it can’t hurt to try it.

    From what you’ve already said .. it’s a good guess that BBuys didn’t put the HP software back in.
    I’m not sure what to tell you now .. That will be an inexpensive answer.
    You may not be able to use your HP recovery DVD on the new BBuys HDD .. because it has a foreign System in it.
    I‘m also assuming you could complain and maybe get your money back.
    You could use the BBuys software .. but you will probably need the Sonic record software ... etc ..
    We may be able to find some descent replacements for what you lost.

    One option .. Take it back with your recovery DVDs and tell BBuys to do it right.
    I would make a copy of the DVDs before I handed them to BBuys

    Another option … Get a new HDD and recover it yourself with the HP recovery DVDs.
    I might wait to see if this works before I had “Words” with BBuys
    Then Hook up your old HDD and see if you can read it.

    You will need another SATA cable like one of these .. to connect the second HDD in your computer.

    If you can wait a few days … I might recommend a new HDD like this one ..
    It does not come with the extra cables.

    Also .. You might want to get one of these enclosures …
    then you could put your old HDD in it and read it.
    You could then .. get a new HDD to put in it .. (like above) …
    And have an external HD to backup in so you would never loose your data again.

    You could also backup your system in it .. and never have to use the recovery DVDs again…
    Using this software … http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832200008

    Attached Files:

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