View Full Version : Worth it to call in the 'pros'? (geeks on wheels etc)

10-01-2009, 02:48 PM
My friend has a notebook which I normally fix. I consider myself reasonably capable in terms of sorting out computers which aren't working properly.

The problem with my friend's notebook is that the hard drive has failed (determined using seagate's seatools program). The notebook fails to boot into windows XP safe mode and when using the recovery console, I'm unable to list the contents of the hard drive; it says unable to list directory enumeration. chkdsk /r reports there is an unrecoverable error. Seatools goes to say further that when I do the long test, it says the drive failed to respond to commands and to try reseat the drive.

At this point, is it even worth considering the typical computer repair shops to see if they can recover the data on the hard drive? Am I correct in determining that the hard drive has failed? :) It is mainly photos that would be recovered.

I don't want to shell out $100 (which is typically the minimum fee), only to have them do exactly what I have done and say "yes, you're right, the hard drive is dead"

Speedy Gonzales
10-01-2009, 02:53 PM
Connect it to a desktop see if you can get into it

10-01-2009, 03:02 PM
thanks, what steps would I need to take? It is a notebook sata 2.5" drive, but my computer only has desktop 3.5" IDE connectors.

Would you agree that the hard drive is basically dead, or on its last legs? My next course of action was to install a new hard drive into the notebook, then put the old drive into an external enclosure, and try it out (or is this what you meant?). If that didn't work, I'd try freezing the enclosure for several hours and try again. But after that, what would the 'pros' do?

Speedy Gonzales
10-01-2009, 03:06 PM
You cant then, the desktop needs a sata connection

If it had one, all you do is connect it to a spare connector, and boot into windows

And see if you can get whatever off it

10-01-2009, 03:35 PM
Would you agree that the hard drive is basically dead, or on its last legs?


Others may be able to advise but you should be able to buy an adaptor to connect the laptop HDD to your PC to see if you can get the data off it.

10-01-2009, 04:24 PM
You would need one of these cables here (http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=362127) just remember to plug it into a rear usb and not a front one I made that mistake and sent back the first one I bought saying it didn't work, they sent me a new one and told me to not plug into the front and so I plugged it in the back and it works

10-01-2009, 04:26 PM
I use Linux live cd in cases like this put it in the drive boot up see what it finds. As to distro go for ubuntu

10-01-2009, 04:30 PM
True I do that too and then copy to a usb stick although I just switched from Ubuntu to Puppy linux as it needs less overheads to run

10-01-2009, 04:35 PM
I got a customers OLD XP home HP laptop in the workshop right now from yesterday , says the HDD is knackered ( which it is) its connected to one of my workshop PC's as a slave and you can see the data fine to transfer off.

Booting from any of the rescue CD's wouldn't see the drive - I may be lucky that the workshop PC is reading it as a slave - Took about 20 minutes to boot with the drive attached, I dare not turn it off in case I lose the Connection - BTW the main OS is Vista - XP wouldn't read it.

Each Case can be different - yours may be able to be rescued - then again it may not.

10-01-2009, 05:23 PM
And tell you friend (and every one else you see) that they should have backed up their photos to a memory stick or CD rom.

I have been telling people this for the last 20 years. You can buy another PC, but you cant get take the photos again !

10-01-2009, 05:44 PM
Well, I would not like to have to depend on a very volatile memory stick.
To answer the original request, sometime it can be cheaper just to give up. The photos are probably recoverable but you may not enjoy either the process of finding someone competent to do the job or the cost that forensic computing brings.

10-01-2009, 06:19 PM
I back up my photo's to a memory stick until I have enough to gill a CD although swapped to DVD disks now then I burn them to said disk

10-01-2009, 07:52 PM
I back up my photo's to a memory stick until I have enough to gill a CD although swapped to DVD disks now then I burn them to said disk

Not very wise. I have had two different sticks wipe all my data for no reason at all. I wouldn't trust them with anything important that did not have a backup elsewhere.

10-01-2009, 07:59 PM
Im with Foxy, dont trust flashdrives / thumbdrives with important backups!

I'd much rather burn it to a disc, or use a Secondary / External HDD than a Thumbdrive!