Dead Hard drive best recovery tool

Created by Leke on March 15, 2012, 7:12 p.m.
  • I have an IDE hard drive that is dead, hardly spins. Are there any recommended software that could recovery data off the drive? I read about using Linux, I'm on a mac and wouldnt mind using vm to recover the data. Or if there are mac alternatives. Do you think there is a point in using software is the drive wont spin? Should I open up the drive and perform surgery?

  • @Leke: If the drive is physically broken, there's not much software can do for you. Repairing a drive isn't something that's really possible for the average joe.

    You can try the old stick it in the freezer/wack it on a hard surface trick, but odds of success aren't good. If the data is really important, there are professional recovery services available. For a hefty fee.

  • @Leke: does the drive show up in the bios?

  • As you have suggested that the hard drive hardly spins it might be the case that you hard drive need a some sort of professional help and that can be a data recovery service, if the hard drive is physically damaged in that case on a data recovery service company can recover the data from the hard drive. If you just want to test if the Mac data recovery software really work on your hard drive or not in that case you can take the hard drive to another system and try to install a mac data recovery software to the system and try to scan the hard drive if the hard drive works fine on that system but I would not recommend you to experiment a lot with the hard drive as the data can get lost to an extent that the data recovery is not at all possible from the drive. So please opt for a professional help rather than experimenting on the drive.

  • IDE? Good lord that thing must be ancient, no wonder it kicked the bucket.

    Recovery wise you personally won't be able to do much, you will need to look into data recovery services.

  • There are still hopes for hard drive data recovery.

    Put the hard drive in a plastic bag to be compatible for the freezer. Freezing sometimes works to revive a dying hard drive, at least for a short time(Probable just about 20 minutes), but be sure that the bag is sealed tightly so that condensation and ice crystals don't form. Put it in your freezer for 24 hours that will do the trick. While it's still cold, plug it into your computer.And you may be able to view it in 'my computer'. And you may act quickly,because you may only have 20 minutes to recover your data off it and after that the hard drive is completely dead.

    If it fails, you will have to go to a recovery office where supply data recovery service but let's hope not because it will cost you a lot of money and whether they can recover data is not guaranteed.

    Here is a tutorial to guide you how to recover data from hard drive.

  • You can use dead hard drive recovery software if your hard drive components are functioning. If not, i mean if it is mechanical failure or physically damaged then better you contact data recovery services. it is hardly spinning means i think its due to mechanical failure only.

  • SpinRite

  • @Forte said:

    SpinRite

  • You can take a look at the Mac version of the Kvisoft file recovery software. I have used it for several times for recovering my deleted photographs from hard drive. It works.

  • There are so many free tools available to recover lost mac data Recuva and TestDisk are few of them.

  • @Forte said:

    SpinRite

    It sounds like it's a mechanical problem though, like the physical aspects of the drive are failing to do wear/tear as it's an old drive. You could try some of the tricks to get the drive working one more time, grab all the data you can, and then it's dead but it's not guaranteed. Whatever you do, do not write anything new to the drive and if you are able to access it, get everything you can b/c it will likely be the last time you are able to access it.

    Some further reading: http://lifehacker.com/5982339/diy-data-recovery-tricks-for-when-your-hard-drive-goes-belly-up

    @Leke said:

    I have an IDE hard drive that is dead, hardly spins. Are there any recommended software that could recovery data off the drive? I read about using Linux, I'm on a mac and wouldnt mind using vm to recover the data. Or if there are mac alternatives. Do you think there is a point in using software is the drive wont spin? Should I open up the drive and perform surgery?

    You say the drive barely spins, but can you see in in the list of available disks (not sure what disk management and my computer are called on OSX)? If you /can/ access the drive, software is worth trying, but otherwise no. You shouldn't open up the drive until you have exhausted all options as you risk permanently damaging the drive and your chances of getting any data.

  • I successfully saved a drive that was otherwise dead with this method. This is definitely a last ditch effort, as there is no guarantee, but it worked for me.

    Buy an identical, in every way copy of the drive. Brand, model, size serial # as close as possible etc. Figure out how to remove the motherboard from both drives. You're going to attempt a swap, sort of a luke warm swap if you will.

    Boot up the good drive and get it running in our OS. Go into the drive's settings and put it to sleep, to get it to stop spinning. If I remember right you might be able to set it to sleep a certain amount of time instead of waking from mouse movement. As soon as it's stopped, leave the drive connected. Remove the good motherboard from the physical good drive and then attach your dead drive to the STILL CONNECTED good motherboard and attach it with the screws etc. Once it's all together, wake the drive up and in my case it'll wake up and think nothing happened. I immediately copied everything I needed over to another drive, but it's been like 5 years and that drive I Frankenstein'ed is still running today.

    Like I said before, this is kind of a no hope why not scenario. There's options to try first.

  • The freezer trick often works, same with the Frankenstein drive. When I have a drive that's damaged, dying, or otherwise unreadable, I use a boot CD with a Knoppix Linux image on it. It's pretty simple to use, and I've had a great success rate recovering data from drives that were un-readable in Windows. In my experience the data transfer speed is pretty low, but I'm usually too happy that I'm able to recover data from the drive to really care how long it takes.

  • Online you can find lots of free data recover software. Try it

  • Stellar didn't work any more. It wasted me two hours to try it out.

  • @whitesnow said:

    You can take a look at the Mac version of file recovery software. I have used it for several times for recovering my deleted photographs from hard drive. It works.

    After re-reading this post, found it is the only program to recover my last data. thanks for the tip, though it was a long time ago.

  • If your hard drive is not physically damaged then you can easily recover the data present in it. Card Data Recovery Software recovers accidentally deleted, lost, erased, photo files images from Hard Drive, SD card (mini sd, micro sd, SDHC, microSDHC), Multimedia Card MMC, Compact flash card, Memory Stick (MS, MS Pro, MS Pro DUO) on Windows and Mac OS X operating system. It uses advance disk scanning technology to scan your drive and provides reliable solution to rescue data.

  • Windows Data Recovery tool is the 'comprehensive' solution for repairing/recovering all your windows OS corrupt or damaged files.

    This tool lets you recover all file system data (all of FAT and NTFS file type versions). This tool also supports master boot record and GUID partition tables and lets you recover maximum possible data from both internal as well as external drives with utmost accuracy.

    For more info, visit: https://goo.gl/9pjwJm

  • I have used the freezer trick before with success. You will need a computer spun up ready to go to transfer the data as fast as you can off the effected drive if it does start to work.

    As mentioned by others, if the drive has physical damage you can swap the platters of the drive out into an identical drive. This requires a clean space to work. People I know who have done this have used a brand new sandblaster (a cheap one will work) as a clean environment to do the hardware swap. You don't need "special skills", just steady hands, good mechanical sense and luck.


  • Find a recovery specialist if the data isn't worth that much then you can try recovery yourself but I'd get a bit level copy or image of the drive to maximize success.