Re: Hard drive Recovery on a latop

Re: Hard drive Recovery on a latop

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Posted by Henry on November 04, 2001 at 22:00:20:

In Reply to: Hard drive Recovery on a latop posted by Nemisis on November 04, 2001 at 18:59:10:

: Does anyone know how to restore, repair, or recover data from a laptop hard drive that has failed? Is there anyway to slave a latop hard drive? are there any good DOS,Win9x, or NTFS based programs that can be used? I would appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks

Find slave jumper settings on the drive or on the drive maker's web site. You will use some DOS utilities (named below) if you can get the dead HDD going. Your laptop HDD is probably in a "caddy" and you will probably need to remove it from the caddy to get it going and recover your files and you will need to put your new laptop drive in the caddy to adapt it to your laptop. Your laptop HDDs will probably need to be out of the caddy to adapt them to your desktop PC.

You MAY need (expensive) professional help. If you can get the drive going at all, you very likely will have exactly ONE (1) chance to get your files, so BE PREPARED to grab 'em and RUN if you get the chance. You can find a couple of hundred ways to get a dead HDD going at:

Read and understand them before you do anything else (there is some repetition in the article, but persevere).

Notebook HDDs are IDE drives that work just like the familiar IDE desktop drives. Apart from physical size, the big difference is that notebook HDDs have a 44 pin connector whereas the 3.5" IDE HDDs have 40 pins. The notebook connector carries the four power wires as well as the 40 data wires. Best way to go is to get a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter kit and connect your drive onto a desktop PC. I'd have a formatted HDD (format blankdrive:/s/u) ready to receive files from the (hopefully) temporarily revived HDD and be prepared to use xcopy to clone the (revived) HDD to the blank drive (you can put this line in a clone.bat file to save time when you have the revived drive working - if you do that TEST clone.bat BEFORE you try to recover files):

xcopy deadHDD: blankHDD: /s/r/k/c/h

Get a description of xcopy switches:
xcopy /?

I suggest cloning the dead HDD because that will be a lot quicker than trying to figure out which files you want to keep while the revived drive is dying again.

If you follow the suggestions and your dead HDD works for just a few minutes the above will give you a bootable HDD with all of your files (if you are lucky). The blank HDD to receive your files could be your replacement laptop HDD - IF SO, make certain that your laptop BIOS will recognize the full capacity of your new laptop HDD BEFORE you try to recover files. If the laptop BIOS will not recognize your new HDD, get a HDD the BIOS will support - DO NOT try to use a drive overlay program to make a "too large" HDD work anyway - you will most likely have problems due to incompatibility among your old HDD, the desktop HDD or the desktop PC BIOS - you need to make the data recovery as plain as you can in hopes that plain will work.

Make a bootable floppy using the SAME operating system you use on the laptop (format a:/s/u) and copy fdisk.*, format.*, scandisk.* and xcopy*.* to your bootable floppy from c:\windows\command

Install the new laptop HDD on your laptop and boot up using the boot floppy above. Detect the HDD in BIOS then partition and format the new laptop HDD. I suggest that you run scandisk and perform a thorough surface scan - make sure the new drive is OK and mark out any bad spots it finds (bad spots could affect data recovery).

As I see it you will have a desktop PC running the same operating system as you have on the laptop (again, for simplicity); for now the desktop PC will have ONLY its regular C: drive - disconnect all other IDE devices - you will need space for two IDE devices for data recovery. You have two 2.5" to 3.5" adapter kits. Setup the new laptop drive as slave on the second IDE cable and make sure the desktop PC recognizes it correctly and addresses the drive the same way as the laptop does.

When you are ready to start trying to recover files connect the dead HDD as Master on the second IDE cable and make certain that you know which drive letter corresponds to which drive. The desktop boot device should be C:, the dead HDD should be D: and the new laptop HDD should be E:

With the dead drive detected and readable (dir d: shows filenames) execute the xcopy command (or clone.bat if you made an automatic file): xcopy d: e: /s/r/k/c/h

If the old HDD runs long enough all of your files will be transferred to the new drive and it will not only be bootable on your laptop but will have all of your setups exactly as they were before the problem - including deleted items in the recycle bin.

Please e-mail me ( if you are in the Houston, Texas area - I may be able to get you some local help/advice if you need it.

Please let us know how this turns out.

Good Luck,

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