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#2867275 - 07/16/17 01:18 PM OT: Drive Recovery
J. Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/25/08
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Loc: St. Louis, MO
I have a really old desktop machine (AMD Athlon running XP) that crashed several months back. I had a second 1TB drive with all my files backed up, so that's all fine. But I never backed up the boot drive, which had all my applications and OS on it. It had been getting flaky and a few times went into checkdisk before booting and then working fine. I started occasionally getting the BSOD, and a reboot fixed things. Now it goes to checkdisk and every single sector fails.

My biggest issue is that I had thousands of dollars worth of software on that thing and I was never sure, nor am I even sure now if I could recover license codes and what-not, how to transfer to a new machine. Most of it was downloaded, so no disks. I thought if I could at least recover my outlook PST file, that would help a lot, but also I have saved installs and license codes for much of the software - not sure if that would be useful.

So the larger question, assuming that the real issue is that I have bad sectors in the FAT rendering the drive useless...is there some other way to recover files? I mean, the FBI can recover deleted files, surely there has to be a way.
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Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2867278 - 07/16/17 01:41 PM Re: OT: Drive Recovery [Re: J. Dan]
ElmerJFudd Online   content
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Registered: 11/30/14
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Loc: USA, greater NY area
It's been a while since I've dealt with XP. I recall going into bios and setting the PC to boot from CD first, then boot from my XP installer CD and repair a hard drive, even a boot sector I think.

If the HD is actually damaged, yeah there is recovery software that will let you pull data off the hard drive. But you are looking for software. For software you need the installers... do you have the installers on this local hard drive?
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#2867280 - 07/16/17 01:44 PM Re: OT: Drive Recovery [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Joe Muscara Offline
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Registered: 02/21/05
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There are companies like this one, but they are for when you have critical data and no backup. It's expensive and probably more than you'd want to spend for recovering software.

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#2867284 - 07/16/17 02:17 PM Re: OT: Drive Recovery [Re: Joe Muscara]
miden Offline
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Registered: 01/30/06
Posts: 2167
Loc: Australia
EASEus Data Recovery is a pretty good app https://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizard/free-data-recovery-software.htm

Free version only allows up to 1 gig IIRC. I have the full version and it is 1. Pretty good at recovering a large range of file types and 2. Is dead easy to use grin

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#2867289 - 07/16/17 02:51 PM Re: OT: Drive Recovery [Re: miden]
WesG Offline
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Registered: 02/16/13
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Loc: Inverary, ON, Canada
You might also see if SpinRite can bring that disk (temporarily) back from the dead. It's a pretty impressive piece of kit. At least it was 25 years ago, when I was a professional PC tech. smile
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#2867293 - 07/16/17 03:31 PM Re: OT: Drive Recovery [Re: WesG]
J. Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/25/08
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Loc: St. Louis, MO
Already the responses are 100x more valuable than I got on FB and many of my friends are engineers and IT.
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Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2867300 - 07/16/17 04:19 PM Re: OT: Drive Recovery [Re: J. Dan]
Steve Nathan Offline
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Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 2955
Loc: Nashville, TN
My daughter's cat knocked a Vinte latte into her MB and it sizzled.
These guys got every bit (byte) of data from it and it cost something like $150.
http://nashvillecomputerpros.com/
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#2867356 - 07/17/17 05:10 AM Re: OT: Drive Recovery [Re: Steve Nathan]
Sospiri Offline
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Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 91
Loc: Crete, Greece
If it's an IDE or SATA drive there's a cheap little gadget which you can buy that enables you to plug the drive into the USB port of another machine. It makes recovery a lot easier on a machine that works. Here it is £3.75 on Amazon.co.uk

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#2867362 - 07/17/17 06:01 AM Re: OT: Drive Recovery [Re: Sospiri]
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
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Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 3253
Loc: eastern North Carolina
In my computer business, I have used this company before for a couple of clients: Gillware Data Recovery
First off: remove the drive from the old computer, and use a USB bridge (which provides a power supply and a special cable that will access the data from the PATA or SATA original drive) to see if the drive can be read on a working Windows computer. You MAY be in luck. If by any chance Windows says that you need to mark the drive before formatting, DON'T. Stop at that point before any more changes are made to the drive.

Now, it becomes a matter for a specialized professional like Gillware. These people are specialists in drive recovery. The process is not cheap, however, they may be successful for a few hundred dollars. All of their policies will be explained before you commit and send the drive to them.
Many times, they are able to recover data from drives that won't connect up at all to a USB Bridge, WITHOUT having to put the drive in the clean room for NSA style recovery (which gets way expensive).

Last client that I had for their services was a local dentist, with an XP machine which had the ONLY copies of his pictures and videos of the family's Europe trip, South American trip, Carribean trip, and so forth. The company doesn't send your drive back, they send one or more DVDs with whatever they were able to recover. It is quite helpful if you specify what you are trying to recover, especially if it is stuff like executables rather than the usual data.
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#2867370 - 07/17/17 06:42 AM Re: OT: Drive Recovery [Re: Sospiri]
Synthoid Offline
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Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 9539
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Originally Posted By: Sospiri
If it's an IDE or SATA drive there's a cheap little gadget which you can buy that enables you to plug the drive into the USB port of another machine.


Yup, I bought one for a drive I pulled out of an old Windows 2000 machine. Works great.
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#2867387 - 07/17/17 07:45 AM Re: OT: Drive Recovery [Re: J. Dan]
Al Coda Offline
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Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 3869
Loc: out in the sticks
For NTFS formatted drives (OS drives included) and Win XP (Pro) 32Bit I used GetDataBack successfully several times.
It wasn“t freeware in the past, so I dunno the free version.
The version I have recovers/reconstructs, amongst others, MFT.

Damaged MFT is a major cause for drives not working anymore.
OTOH, when your drive“s electronics or mechanics are damaged, software won“t help.

A.C.

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#2867410 - 07/17/17 09:23 AM Re: OT: Drive Recovery [Re: Al Coda]
Mighty Ferguson Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/02/14
Posts: 224
Loc: Massachusetts
Seconding SpinRite. Definitely worth trying before a pricier service.
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#2867413 - 07/17/17 09:33 AM Re: OT: Drive Recovery [Re: ElmerJFudd]
J. Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 11061
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
For software you need the installers... do you have the installers on this local hard drive?


I believe I do for some of them - in particular, the files I had downloaded for Adobe CS3 I believe are still in a folder, and my authorization code would be in my email.
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Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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