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How To Recover Data From Dropped External Hd

#1 User is offline   bkplummer 

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:08 PM

I have an external HD from a previous laptop in a cheap plastic case. Earlier this evening, as the HD was attached to the laptop, the HD fell about 2 feet from the arm of a couch onto a wood laminate floor. After this happened, the HD is not working. When I plug it into the laptop, it will start to spin (I can feel/hear it) and the light on the front of the case will go from red to green -- but after a few seconds the vibration feeling stops -- although the light remains green and the HD never shows up in the lost of drives in My Computer even though it is still plugged in. There are several files (though not many/big in size as compared to the HD) that I really must try and recover as I am a graphic designer -- and they are current projects in my working que. Can this be done? Cheaply? Fast? What do you call suggest? Your help is great appreciated!
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#2 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:31 AM

Hi, bkplummer, and welcome to the forum.

Since the drive has obviously suffered physical damage, I don't think you have another option besides taking it to a data recovery service. I can't recommend one based on personal experience or professional testing (I've never needed one, and I've never figured out a practical way to test them). But the two best known are Ontrack and DriveSavers.

I don't know how fast they are. I do know that they're expensive--hundreds to thousands of dollars. I believe the price at least partially is based on how much data you need recovered. Since you only need to recover a few not-too-big files, it may not be too bad.

To avoid running into this problem again, you need a system of backing up all of your data files, either to an external hard drive or to the cloud--or both. See How Do IBackup? for some advice.

My first rule of computing: Never have only one copy of anything.

Lincoln
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#3 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:01 PM

View PostLincolnSpector, on 13 November 2012 - 09:31 AM, said:

Hi, bkplummer, and welcome to the forum.

Since the drive has obviously suffered physical damage, I don't think you have another option besides taking it to a data recovery service. I can't recommend one based on personal experience or professional testing (I've never needed one, and I've never figured out a practical way to test them). But the two best known are Ontrack and DriveSavers.

I don't know how fast they are. I do know that they're expensive--hundreds to thousands of dollars. I believe the price at least partially is based on how much data you need recovered. Since you only need to recover a few not-too-big files, it may not be too bad.

To avoid running into this problem again, you need a system of backing up all of your data files, either to an external hard drive or to the cloud--or both. See How Do IBackup? for some advice.

My first rule of computing: Never have only one copy of anything.

Lincoln


The other possible option might be to take the external enclosure a part to get at the internal drive that is in the enclosure. It is possible that the drop caused problems with the connection from the internal drive to the enclosure's controller/components. If so, pulling the drive and using either another enclosure or a "universal" adapter might allow access to the files.

I admit that this other option is not likely. If the drive was in use (i.e. spinning) when it fell, then likely it is damage to the internal drive, which means that a professional data/drive recovery service is likely a better choice. But, as you mentioned, they are expensive...so it might be worth the try of pulling the drive out...unless it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL data, in which case, it would be best to go the data/drive recovery service immediately. It all becomes of function of how essential the data is and how much one is willing to spend (which is usually a function of how essential the data is).
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#4 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:30 PM

If the vibration stops a few seconds after it starts spinning, I doubt that's the case. Hard drives will keep spinning in my experience, even if there's no SATA/IDE connection.
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#5 User is offline   Elinor7643 

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 07:08 PM

All right! I know the dropped hard drive could be tricky to fix.

Actually, the dropped hard drive is often damaged logically or physically.
The logically damaged drive often can be repaired after re-formatting and the contained data also could be restored with the help of data recovery program.
However, oppositely, the physically damaged drive often cannot be fixed and the stored data is also gone with the physical drive.

So, disconnect this drive to your computer and use a data recovery program to take a chance.

In order to avoid data recovery failure, you’d better not save anything else on the same drive. Anything new on the same drive could rewrite your inaccessible data and make it gone permanently.

And then, select a proper data recovery program to retrieve your inaccessible data back. Here are some free data recovery programs that could help you a lot: Recuva, EaseUs Data Recovery and iCare Data Recovery Free, etc.

If this really makes no difference, you’d better take it to an expert for help as soon as possible.
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#6 User is offline   mjd420nova 

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 07:03 AM

Hardware on a hard drive is very sensitive to shock. The primary fault being a "crashed head" where the read/write head has actually come into contact with the platter surface. This damages the platter surface and the data on it, and cracks or damages the head so it can't read anymore. Many draves have up to 8 heads but the primary head that reads the clock track when the platter gets up to speed. If the clcok track can't be read, the drive will spin down. Recovery would require a clean room to remove the platter and place in a good working drive and recover any data that's readable. Expensive, usually twice the cost of a new drive and not gauranteed to produce results. Good luck
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