View Full Version : How to do a Data recovery from unbootable HDD?

07-07-2009, 05:19 AM
Hello, i had a WD raptor 150GB HDD and it seems it failed !
So i have a warranty and all but before i can activate it i need to make backup.
I have around 100GB that i need to restore from it, i already bought a new HDD WD 1TB caviar black and i set up new Windows Xp, ive download data recovery software "Recover my files" and all i need to do is to boot my windows from my new HDD while the mailfuctioning one is conected to the PC.:help:
Here is the catch, the windows cant start cos the old HDD doesnt alow it to, everytime i try the windows load screen appears and then the old HDD starts to make the same doom sounds over and over and the PC freezes it self with black screen, so i ask u: is there any chance to make a safe data recovery and if so how?

Also i make the right Bios settings(or do i?) with the HDD's, i make the 1TB HDD 1st in order in the boot priority BIOS and the old 150GB HDD 2nd and it always do the same(Windows cant start)!?
Is there anything i do wrong?
Pls help ASAP !
Thanks in advance, Cloud

07-07-2009, 07:42 AM
I would try booting from linux CD as it doesn't use windows and often will work with a corrupted drive, also I would disconnect the old drive and put it into an enclosure if you have one to get around the booting issue. Oh and welcome to PF1 are you in NZ?

07-07-2009, 08:45 AM
Ty for the fast response, ill try with Linux...
Today by any given chances or some kind of miricle after around 15min waithing the Windows Xp finally started but as my adrenalin was pumping when i opened "my computer" the mailfunctioning HDD wasn't there at all :(
does this mean im doomed or what?
Im not from NZ im from Macedonia.

07-07-2009, 10:23 AM
Depends on how the drive has failed. Connect it as an external, you will be either to access it or you can't. If you can get off as much as possible.
If you can't you're stuffed.

Next time BACK UP your data before disaster strikes. You should have 2 HDDs, one can be external, and you should duplicate the importnat stuff onto the 2nd drive for exactly these situations.

07-07-2009, 03:24 PM
TRy from a linux live CD. Hopefully it'll see the drive and you will be able to recover the data.

Try Knoppix:


09-07-2009, 01:48 AM
I downloaded Knoppix and tried it, it only detects one of my 3 partitions on the bad HDD and it cant mount it some kind of error, i tried using dd_rhelp in knoppix but i got it only to installing the thing i couldnt make it to work(to complicated), anyway ill tray ontrack thisday wia Hirens boot, im open to any new ideas...

09-07-2009, 07:47 AM
If linux won't do it then I'm not too hopeful for you

09-07-2009, 09:31 AM
Depends on how the drive has failed.
This is the key. If the PCB on the HDD has failed, you can sometimes replace it with one from the exact same model drive - it will need the same PCB revision too.
If the heads have crashed, forget it. Game over.

09-07-2009, 02:39 PM
What is the exact error when mounting the drive? You may be able force mount it..

09-07-2009, 11:18 PM
The only alternative for you is to take the drive to a forensic data recovery specialist like these guys ( you must have similar in Macedonia, perhaps these fellows have a branch near you )
it is quite expensive though, hundreds of dollars here, but if you must have your data....
By the way, your efforts in trying to recover the data yourself would make their job harder (and more expensive), best to stop what you're doing if you want them to fix your problem. ;)

10-07-2009, 02:35 AM
Wowee, cheers to all of u,
here is the deal, from all the things i tried and belive me i tried alot only hirens boot 9.7 worked perfectly ! But stupid me from the all thrill and happiness i made a stupid mistake again...
First to inform u that in any data recovery best way is to try with hirens boot CD,
almost all hirens programs in backup tools worked fine and all of them found my 3 partitions from my bad HDD, after checking some things i decided to use Norton Ghost and yesterday i did a partition to partition coppy, i coppied the third partition where most of may data was located 63GB and message appeared that said if u do this the partition destination will be all owerwriten and since that partition on the new HDD was 300+GB all free i happily continued, the resullt was perfect only thing is that now my new partition from 300+GB is 60GB but with the data all recovered well, so ill need to repartition my new HDD but hey it worked, :)
THANKS alot for ur great support and efforts to help me,
hopeing to see more action in future, Great community !