Instructables

how do i save data off broken hard drive?

My laptop died so I removed the hard drive.How can I get the info off it?and also the same for my portable hard drive that I had everything backed up on?Talk about bad luck!!!!!!Thank you.

TonyO416 days ago

Recovering
data from a broken hard drive is way tough job, but there are some
Hard
Drive Recovery

services offered in market for his crucial task.

Surprised no one mentioned this old bit of geek wisdom: Hard drives used over long periods of time frequently suffer a wearing down of metal about the reader head, causing mechanical obstruction and damages as it skips over the platters.

However, the head itself is made of different materials than it's armature... materials with different rates of thermal constriction.

If your loss of function is due to said mechanical damage, you can buy a little extra drive time by running your hard drive inside a freezer. To do this, I would pop it in an external drive adapter, put in tied cloth napkin full of humidity control silica gel or rice, zip tie a plastic bag over it, and leave it in your freezer for a few hours to cool. Then connect it to a laptop on top of your freezer and use any of the aforementioned software solutions to rip a drive image or the important files to your computer.

Remember, this only buys you a slight shred of time for urgent recoveries, do not waste a moment once the drive is powered up.
jpoopdog3 years ago
go to your local it guru or it store, best , go to a place that repares and builds computers, and get them to recover the data from the disc for you. my friends external hard drive got smashed by a rock somehow, and wouldnt work, so what he did was, he took it to this place called the it shack, they build computers and give upgrades.
what they did was, they dismantled the harddrive, then removed the disc inside, then placed the disc into a harddrive disc adaptor then ran like a normal hardrive and recoverd the data that way. it used a special program that could even recover data from cracked discs, and could scan for all uncorrupted files and would recover those.
NachoMahma4 years ago
.  You should be able to do as RavingMadStudios recommends and just plug the drives into a working system. You may have to get a cable adapter if using a laptop drive in a desktop computer.

.  If the drive itself has failed:
.  I don't know if it will work nowadays, but back in the days when IBM-PCs were still pretty new, I swapped the controller board in a bad drive with the controller board from a good drive (same make/model/size/&c) and it worked.
Sadly that trick doesn't work anymore apparently.
Why not? I salvaged a sata-to-usb adapter from a broken external drive the other day. It works perfectly fine.
Nacho means the actual drive on board electronics, not the interface card.
AndyGadget4 years ago
It all depends on how the drive is 'broken' and how much you need to get the data off it. 
A good start is one of these if it's an IDE drive - look at the pins - which will allow you to boot up your 2.5" laptop drive as an additional drive in a desktop PC.  If it's a SATA drive, you can connect it without an adaptor.
Power up and listen to the drive.  If it's running you've got a chance.  If not, try giving it a shake to free it.  If it won't spin up then it would need professional help - expensive.
If it spins up, put the drive in a plastic bag and put a pack of frozen peas on top - yes really!.  You've more chance of the drive is running cool.
Get hold of a copy of GetDataBack (paid for software) and run this on the PC.  This will recover anything which is accessible on the undamaged parts of the drive.  Once it's done its analysis you can copy the data you need onto the hard drive of the host PC.
If there is still inaccessible data, get hold of SpinRite (paid for software).  This needs to boot from floppy (I haven't tried to get it to boot from USB drive, but it may be possible) which does an incredibly deep analysis of the drive surface and rebuilds areas which are corrupt.  It can can take a couple of days to run and the frozen pea approach won't help here, but have a fan blowing on the drive.
Once it has finished, go back to GetDataBack and see if you can recover the rest of the data.
I have had extremely good success using the methods above, especially SpinRite which has recovered data from drives I would have given up for dead.



orksecurity4 years ago
Assuming you mean the drive has failed (and you're ABSOLUTELY SURE  that is the case)... If you are extremely lucky, and the problem is just stiction, you may be able to shake the drive enough in appropriate directions to free it and get it running temporarily. Obviously, you should then immediately copy everything off it before letting it power down again.

If you aren't lucky... There are companies which specialize in recovering data from damaged drives, essentially by taking them into a cleanroom and rebuilding them almost from scratch. Not cheap, but if you have business-critical data on the drive, it may be worth paying the price.

Other than those possibliities... Well, let's put it this way. You aren't likely to be able to get the data back, but since the drive is already toast I suppose you can't make matters much worse by trying. Assuming you have a vague clue about what might be worth trying.
lemonie4 years ago
If the HDD isn't bust - connecting to a machine that works (Raving)

L
Hook the drives up to a computer that works.