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Tips to recover info from Notebook HD

By misoportecnico
Jan 21, 2009
  1. Hi all,

    Recently my notebook's battery died (Lenovo Z61m) while typing a simple text file and since it wasn't plugged to the AC adaptor, the notebook powered off.

    I tried restart my notebook connecting it to the AC, but I got a couple of BSOD and when I tried to start in any of the flavors of Safe Mode, I either get a BSOD or got stucked and never finishes loading the necessary files.

    I tried to run the recovery apps (via Thinkvantage) and using the Rescue and Recovery discs and nothing happens, the application doesn't see a HD, but I can see it from the Bios.

    I run diagnostics to the hard drive through the Bios utilities and it didn't work, I got an error.

    I tried booting up using an XP pro CD to repair any damaged files, but it didn't work neither.

    So I'm suspecting my hard drive is fried.

    My question is: If I buy a new HD for my notebook and load Windows in it, is there any way to connect my suspected fried HD as secondary HD via usb to my notebook?, so I can try to recover my info? Is there any sort of adapter to make work a SATA notebook HD as an external HD (usb let's say)? I don't have a desktop PC, so IDE adapters are out of question.

    I want to try this, in case the HD is not fried but only has corrupt files on it.

    Guys, you don't know how many times I have told my family they have to back-up their information periodically and now I'm in the situation where I probably have lost mine.

    Any advice will be truly appreciated.

    Joe
     
  2. brucethetech

    brucethetech TS Enthusiast Posts: 301

    yes there is a device you can buy to connect it usb, however, if that drive is defective it will probably just be a defective drive connected through usb. there are utilities that can scan for physical drives to recover data if the drive is damaged. A program called "getdataback" may do the trick for you
     
  3. misoportecnico

    misoportecnico TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Not sure if it's fried or not, at this point I think the only way to see if my HD is dead or not is trying to see if it's readable from a working notebook. That's why I need extra info in that adapter. USB to SATA (notebook)

    I've seen a couple of them online but they're to connect your notebook HD to a desktop, or to copy a full image of the old HD to a new one, but they assume you're able to install utilities in windows and my notebook it's not booting up, not even to the Safe Mode.

    Thanks Bruce
     
  4. misoportecnico

    misoportecnico TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Update: One of the BSOD messages I received is :

    Unmountable Boot Volume...
     
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,515   +336

    likely partition corruption :(
     
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,398   +169

    So just what did you do in the Recovery Console?

    First do a chkdsk /r and see if fixed?
    If not yet, fixboot and see if fixed?

    /* EDIT */
    Ooops. You say you boot from XP CD into recovery console? what does windows report? if the recovery commands fail because no drive is almost certain to be fried. I believe Windows should see an internal "non-fried" drive regardless of corruption
     
  7. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Posts: 167

    I have worked on several laptops running Vista Home that have had corrupted hard drives. Generaly attaching to an external usb SATA adapter (assuming your notebook hd is SATA) I can recover most files from these corrupted drives, then format the drive, reinstall windows and restore whatever files i could save. Unfortunately many people save their most important files under their profile in places like "my documents", which can be difficult to recover on a passworded profile.

    Not saying that this is your situation for sure, just that I have seen it quite a bit lately.
     
  8. misoportecnico

    misoportecnico TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I went to BestBuy and bought an external adapter for SATA HD and connected it to a working notebook, I ran chkdsk /r form there and certainly fixed a lot of stuff, once it finished, I took advantage of the external adapter I borrowed from BestBuy (because I returned it later) and recovered a lot of my files. After this, I could use the restore CD to format it and load XP again...it's working fine now....

    Thanks guys
     
  9. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,754   +96

    Check geeks.com for making your 2.5HD into a USB External HDD just need to buy the case + hardware you can get it dirt cheap. Laptop HDDs can take a lot of bounding though so something might have gone wrong with it. None of though MS XP Recovery stuff has ever worked out well.
     
  10. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Posts: 167

    Glad your situation worked out. Using a usb to SATA adapter is the same principle as putting your 2.5" in an external enclosure, works fine both ways as long as the enclosure is SATA. Since the HD is bootable now though I dont think that putting it in an external enclosure is pertanent, unless he were considering that the drive corruption were a sign of an immanent mechanical failure, which does not seem likely.
     
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