Hi there, the hard disk of a friend of mines (with years of pictures on it) suddenly crashed and there is no way to access it. When starting the laptop it says "missing operating system". I put it into an external USB box, connected to another pc, windows shows the device among the USB devices, but it does not show it under my computer or disk management. I tried already at least 30 different recovery utilities, none of them could find any partition or any file on it, altough they are able to show the disk configuration (number of sectors, size, etc.). Some of them gave the I/O error (1117). I tried also to mount the disk under Linux, no success. Latest temptative was to start the laptop with a DOS cd to run the DOS version of unerase, but it failed too. It simply says that the space under the disk is "unallocated" and that it can read any partition or file. What else can I try before taking it to those very expensive recovery companies? The file system should be NTFS, there was WIN XP Home installed. Regards, D.