Data recovery from faulty hard drive

  karen229 12:35 PM 22 Jan 13
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Hi, Can anyone recommend some who offers data recovery? I have a faulty hard drive which Dell had to replace, and stupidly I hadn't backed up photos and some important documents. I've retained the faulty hard drive in the hope that a data recovery service can retrieve some of all of my files. I would rather use a firm who is recommended. Thanks.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:43 PM 22 Jan 13

DIY if drive will run by connecting in a caddy to your PC.

A recovery company will cost you an arm and a leg.

  karen229 12:48 PM 22 Jan 13

Sorry, I'm a real novice and don't know what a caddy is. I was all set to send it off to a data recovery company but then went online to read reviews, and was put off, which is why I'd like a recommendation. I don't mind paying if we can get our stuff back.

  Batch 13:37 PM 22 Jan 13

Paying could mean many hundreds of pounds. But if you want to go down that route google for data recovery services

A caddy is a box that you put a hard disk in and connect it to a USB port. Google external caddy. You would need one that is compatible with your hard disk type (basically IDE or SATA) and size (2.5" or 3.5")

  karen229 13:58 PM 22 Jan 13

Thanks for your comments, but I'm also very wary of trying DIY because I've heard that it needs to be someone experienced because otherwise they can make it impossible for anyone to recover the data. Is this right?

  Batch 18:03 PM 22 Jan 13

When you say the drive is faulty, what are the symptoms?

This is important as the big question is whether running (powering) the drive up is likely to do any further harm? If it is possible that running the drive up could cause further harm you might be better off with a data recovery service, but even then there is no guarantee that they can retrieve the data.

  karen229 18:23 PM 22 Jan 13

The computer wouldn't turn on at all. Windows wouldn't run, it told us to press F1 or F2, but even when we did that nothing would happen. Dell managed to talk me through a way of doing a diagnostics test, from which they decided that the hard drive was faulty. I realise there's no guarantee with a data recovery service, but would obviously like to try and get the data back if we can.

  john bunyan 18:24 PM 22 Jan 13

My local PC repair shop would would it for about £40. Have you any local shops of this kind? The big stores like PC World overcharge, IMHO.

  Batch 08:46 AM 23 Jan 13

I think the "local PC repair shop" approach would be no more than what you could do yourself (i.e. put the hard drive in a caddy) and give it a try, with the attendant risks. But if you are not comfortable with putting it in a caddy yourself, that is certainly one path you could consider.

Professional data recovery services are in a different league entirely (and hence their cost).

Turning to the hard drive itself, it seems likely that any damage has already been done. But such damage may or may not be serious. There are so many possibilities I won't even start to go into them here.

Bottom line is if you absolutely want to minimise any chance of further damage and are prepared to pay the high fees, then maybe that is the option for you. Apart from their being no guarantees, you might also end up paying a high fee for what could (with hindsight) have been done at much lower cost.

With the limited information available, my personal judgement call is that the risk of further damage is small, but if that risk were to be realised it could be catastrophic.

Only you can decide based on how much you really want to retrieve the data and how much you are prepared to pay.

One final word - if you choose to go down the data recovery route, please research the companies first and make sure you select one with a good track record.

Good luck!

  PcGuy01 09:43 AM 23 Jan 13

Problem with DIY is that you are using a laptop. When using online recovery software you need to make your main drive ( drive which has the files on it ) an external- cause if you recover data using the same drive it can cause total loss of data forever.

You will need another drive with windows,etc on it to retrieve the data from the faulty drive ( with the faulty drive as a slave/external ). So I would recommend taking it in to a local PC shop, to prevent any damage to the drive or laptop.

Note: Depending on the fault of the drive- data recovery may not even be possible.

  Jollyjohn 11:00 AM 23 Jan 13

Good morning

Do a search for 3000rpm - Dundee

Contact them for a quote for data recovery, they are very helpful and succesfully recovered data from an Acer laptop hard drive that would not boot. I tried the DIY options at home and could not see anything on the drive, but they could. Appreciate you will need to post drive to them but discuss this with them as well.

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