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:
- Plugged my 2.5″ -> 3.5″ adaptor into the drive
- Put on a small jumper so that the drive was marked as the secondary device (to avoid conflicts with main drive on PC)
- 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!)
- Unplug my DVD drive at work and plug in the new drive, on it’s special cable
- Boot up my PC and it couldn’t locate the drive at all, although BIOS appeared to have found it there
- Load up R-Studio and get it to detect the drive, which it did successfully
- 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;
- Purchase the full copy of R-Studio!
- Install and configure it on my desktop at work, then load up the image file
- Go through and easily (although slowly) recover all the files that I wanted into a secured location on my happy hard drive
- Copy those files, via our network to another machine that had a CD burner
- On that machine, burn 5 CDs worth of recovered data (bunch of music, data, images, video etc!) and take home
- 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 🙂 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!)