12th March 2006
So First off I will admit I do not know a impressive amount about computers. So if this is a stupid question I apologize. So a few days ago I found out that my laptop had stopped working because the hard drive was completley fried. The people at Best Buy told me I could get a new one for 90 dollars. What I have received mixed answers on though is whether or not any of the data on the old drive is savable. There is about 2 years of work in there that I would like to retrieve if possible. Is there anyway to do this?
16th June 2008
There is some way i know certainly works, but it is like CSI stuff and isn't available for normal persons.. :p
But it depends on what you mean by fried. If it is literally fried, and some circuits are damaged, for get it, unless you can find the exact same drive, open it up, and switch the discs (if the disc wasn't damaged by the heat).
29th January 2007
how fried? Fat or NTFS ( I assume it's either of these filesystems) Does the drive still show up if you plug it in into a computer (might, is just asking to be formated)
Anyways try running testdisc on it.
weirdal = new ptaq()
2nd September 2003
Sgt.Dewey;5362543So First off I will admit I do not know a impressive amount about computers. So if this is a stupid question I apologize. So a few days ago I found out that my laptop had stopped working because the hard drive was completley fried. The people at Best Buy told me I could get a new one for 90 dollars. What I have received mixed answers on though is whether or not any of the data on the old drive is savable. There is about 2 years of work in there that I would like to retrieve if possible. Is there anyway to do this?
Knowing Best Buy, upon being told that my laptop needed a new hard disk, I would replace the battery and RAM.
That said, The cheapest way is to see if it'll boot the OS in someone else's laptop. If you see a Windows or Apple logo when you put it in (Don't expect it to get all the way to the login screen), the disk isn't (yet) dead. That's not to say that it won't die, so you should back up all the data you can. Ideally, run it as a second disk so that less disk accesses are made, this will prolong the life of the drive during the copy process.
You're probably getting mixed answers because it's very hard to know exactly how a piece of technology has gone wrong without taking a look at it. If I say "Word doesn't work", I could mean anything from "I didn't install Word", to "Word doesn't start up", to "Entering a large nested table into an MS Word document when copying and pasting can cause a buffer overflow if the table is nested more than 64 levels deep". This is essentially the issue Best Buy has - They know there's a fault, but they likely haven't looked too deep into what exactly has gone wrong with the component (And possibly whether it's hardware or software, although that can usually be tested with more accuracy)
Of course, finding someone able to fit two laptop drives into their machine could be a challenge to begin with, so stick with what you can do... If the disk is fried, you can probably save yourself $40 by not buying it from Best Buy. You'll need to install the operating system yourself, which means having a disc and key. The key can usually be brought back off of your old system if you can salvage the data.
There's always the chance that Best Buy are actually correct, in which case you'll want to send it to a data recovery expert, and that costs more than your data is worth.
Trust me, I'm a Doctor
25th November 2003
You could always try booting your laptop with a linux Live CD and copying the files you need to save to a USB drive.
6th February 2005
You will be able to recover your data from the hard drive. Even if the drive is completely "dead", all this means is that a component on a circuit board has blown.
A qualified technician (NOT YOU!!) will be able to recover the data by replacing the circuit board. Even if the internal components are totally destroyed, the drive can be opened and the data can be read directly from the platters. Again, not by you. Doing this requires specialist equipment.
As an IT Professional, my opinion is that most "Mr fix it" services available to the public (including many services run by well known retailers) are complete cowboys without an appropriate level of training or knowledge to be doing their job. Taking your drive to the local Mr. fix it and asking him to recover the data will near certainly guarantee that you won't get anything off of it again, even if you do later go to someone qualified. A real data recovery firm (as opposed to a tech with data recovery software) will have a clean room and specilised tools for the job and is required for anything more serious than accidentally deleting or formatting the hard drive.
Before you consider sending it to a data recovery expert, you need to check if the drive is actually the problem or not. The easiest way of doing this (as has previously been said) is simply to connect it to another computer. If the drive doesn't appear, then you might want to consider getting a quote from a data recovery company. They'll take a look at it, and figure out how much effort it needs for them to get the data off and thus how much they'll charge you.
This can vary from very cheap (I know cases when people have been charged <£50) to a fair bit (possibly >£200, but unless your not mentioning that someone has been playing football with it, that's unlikely) Basically, it depends how much your data is worth to you but it's certainly worth getting a quote.
SFC III Troubleshooter.
5th September 2006
If you have a MicroCenter anywhere near you, they can recover your information.