Hard Drive Recovery…

Well things are actually looking good with the recovery of data from my failed hard drive!

I went ahead and downloaded a demo version of a program called “R-Studio”, which is distributed by HDDRecovery in Australia. I had talked to the manager of HDDR and he suggested that I give it a go.

So here’s roughly the process that ensued:

  1. Plugged my 2.5″ -> 3.5″ adaptor into the drive
  2. Put on a small jumper so that the drive was marked as the secondary device (to avoid conflicts with main drive on PC)
  3. Went and located an odler-style IDE cable that would match up with the adaptor (panic here for a minute when I couldn’t find one!)
  4. Unplug my DVD drive at work and plug in the new drive, on it’s special cable
  5. Boot up my PC and it couldn’t locate the drive at all, although BIOS appeared to have found it there
  6. Load up R-Studio and get it to detect the drive, which it did successfully
  7. Create an image file which contained the contents of the drive (12GB) and save to happy hard drive on my desktop

At this point I was pretty happy – in the process of creating the image, my files had been recompiled into a meaningful structure, and it appeared that most of my data was there. But wait, there’s more;

  1. Purchase the full copy of R-Studio!
  2. Install and configure it on my desktop at work, then load up the image file
  3. Go through and easily (although slowly) recover all the files that I wanted into a secured location on my happy hard drive
  4. Copy those files, via our network to another machine that had a CD burner
  5. On that machine, burn 5 CDs worth of recovered data (bunch of music, data, images, video etc!) and take home
  6. Transfer required data back onto the new hard drive installed on my laptop!

So there you go – there’s the basics of my drama, and how things have turned out. Personally, I think the $AUD 176.00 was a small price to pay – compared to the prospect of having the drive dismantled in a clean room environment, which would have cost thousands :). The fact that the drive was accessible through software saved my skin, and now I have all my photos, data files and music back and happy ๐Ÿ™‚ As it turns out, the only files that appear to have been irreparibly damaged are from within the C:\WINNT directory – and who’s going to miss them? (except the boot sequence!)