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Data recovery for a busted laptop hard drive - suggestions?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My Dell laptop hard drive (Fujitsu 40GB) just went busted. Making clicking sound is all it does. I checked out Data Saver referred by Dell and they gave me an estimate of whopping $1000 to $2500 for the data recovery. I checked another local shop in Manhattan with similar estimate. Does anyone have any suggestions for a more reasonable priced shop?
post #2 of 11
It used to be that Norton utilities had a reasonably good data recovery program, but it's not in the current suite anymore - I believe it was a dos program. There is a windows program Badcopy pro, that I've used to retrieve data from badly scratched cds and I think it'd probably work for HDs. You'd need to extract the HDD and hook it up via usb or firewire to another computer. It really depends on the format of the data you want. Professional data recovery is pricey.

That reminds me, I must backup...
post #3 of 11
mussel, do you know if the drive spins up or not?

If it doesn't.. you're somewhat ass-out, and will be paying $1000-2500 bucks, period.

If it does, you may try some random recovery software out there on the net..
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
The hard drive doesn't work anymore, all it does is making clicking noise which Dell said was most likely mechanical failure. I've send the drive for an estimate which is anywhere between $500-2000. Ouch. I hd no idea it's that expensive.
post #5 of 11
I would suggest software however, it seems it would not help with your hardware problem. Let this be a lesson BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP and next time it will only be a $50 or so loss. With this problem I think you are stuck with getting a specialist.
post #6 of 11
This really isn't apples to apples, but I wanted to post this. I had a weird situation with an ION external drive, not used in months, where I attached a plain USB cable and got only a clicking noise. Took it to the store - no help there. I bought another drive and on a whim connected the included cable to the old drive and it came up like a charm. It turned out that that cables I was using weren't supplying enough power to the drive.

That said, there might be merit in putting your drive in another box to see if you can get it to come up that way. If it's an old drive you might not have much luck, but it's still worth a shot, when compared to the alternative. Good luck.
post #7 of 11
Dell laptops suck Dude.

I've trashed 2 hard drives in the last 2 years and both times local guys were able to recover data for less than $100.

Dell and their cronies are in cahoots blowing smoke up your ass...
post #8 of 11
Find a local starving computer science student at your local university. They'll do it for a few cases of beers. Put an ad on craigslist and you'll be swamped with responses.
post #9 of 11
Yes, it's tricky to do, but one can pull out the platters, remount them in another drive, and extract the data.

If you don't have any data that merits the ~$1000, you might find someone who is willing to try the above for you (or you could try it yourself).
post #10 of 11
Freeze the drive and try again.
post #11 of 11
Depending on how important the data is you can try the freeze method, external box method, or increased power supply method. However, all these have a possibility of making the problem worse, but on the other hand they could solve it.

Look for a local data recovery place or three, and price software based recovery and hardware based recovery. Likely you can get the data recovered mechanically for under $1000, as it's highly unlikely the platters are trashed.
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