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Laptop smashed, HDD recovery?

This is a discussion on Laptop smashed, HDD recovery? within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, recently my Lenovo Flex got smashed, I will save you the details. Obviously I want to recover the data,


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Old 09-25-2014, 08:13 AM   #1
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Hi, recently my Lenovo Flex got smashed, I will save you the details. Obviously I want to recover the data, so I have removed the HDD and put in a good quality caddy. When connected to the computer it shows in Disk Management (but wants me to initialize) but not Windows Explorer. Tried few Data Recovery programmes, but the scans are all too long, as in months. Get Data Simple found the Lenovo recovery software on there but wouldn't let me use them. On Test Disk now but don't know what to do now, screen prints below.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Test Disk.PNG
Views:	263
Size:	53.6 KB
ID:	197194

Click image for larger version

Name:	CM.PNG
Views:	148
Size:	148.3 KB
ID:	197202

Any help appreciated.
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:49 AM   #2
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Welcome to TechSupportForums.

You might want to consider using a professional recovery service before you accidently destroy your chances of any recovery. Ontrack, DriveSavers and Datarecovery are three well-known and *respected companies that can attempt to retrieve files off of a 'dead' hard drive. Pricing typically runs between a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars (US).

* Western Digital "Platinum Data Recovery Partners
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:56 AM   #3
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If money was no issue I would do, but unfortunately it is. So I am in a situation of it is DIY or nothing :(
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:59 AM   #4
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Hi Basher1976,

Try this program: https://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:00 AM   #5
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With the screen shot from Test Disk, you want to select a partition, then press "P" to list files, then it will bring up another screen from here select Deeper Search, or Write depending on what Test Disk finds.

Here is the Wiki on data recovery using Test Disk, remember data recovery is a game of patience.
TestDisk Step By Step - CGSecurity
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:41 AM   #6
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You might like to try Partition Find and Mount (freeware):
Partition Find and Mount — free partition recovery software
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:25 AM   #7
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What make/model is the laptop hard drive? Have you tested it with Seatools, DLG, or HGST? With what result??

This would give you some more information on the health of the drive itself.
As Doc said, the more you mess with it, the less data you are likely to recover from it. And if you've never attempted data recovery in Linux before, it can be a data killer if you don't have experience with it.

Since money is an option, have you tried calling your local Computer Pro for assitance? As Doc said most Pro services who specialize in it start at $200 or so; but lots of very experienced independent Techs like me have been doing data recovery for several decades and can often help. I usually only charge $30-$35 to do this sort of thing; a lot less than the Chain stores like Best Buy and much less than professional data recovery. It's worth a shot, and if you can find someone like me to do it reasonably, that's less than a tank of gas in your car to get most or even some of your data off that failing drive.

Don't know if you looked into that alternative, but as long as your drive spins up as it appears to do since you can see it in Test Disk, I'd try your local Pro first. Then if he can't get anything off of it, stick it in a closet for 5 yrs. and if you hit the lottery you can send it off to Professional recovery--otherwise you'll still have it onhand if you get lucky in the future.

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Old 09-28-2014, 08:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
On Test Disk now but don't know what to do now
I can see that you are running Test Disk straight from inside a rar archive. While it seems to work OK, my experience is that most archive managers will only extract the one file that you opened from inside the archive (to a temporary location) and leave out the rest of the archive's contents which are most likely critical for proper functioning of the utility. I suggest you extract the whole archive to a convenient location, say Desktop, then run Test Disk from the extracted directory testdisk-7.0-WIP.

Perform a quick search like you've already done, let it find those five deleted partitions (as shown in the screenshot). Select the second partition (the largest in terms of sectors), most likely drive C:, then list it's contents by pressing P. Browse it's contents, especially your Windows user profile directory (C:\Users\<username>) and conform that the listed contents are what were initially on the disk (look at your documents, music, videos, pictures etc). You can even copy off some documents to a separate disk (another local disk of the PC you are running testdisk from) and open them to ascertain their health/file integrity. If they seem OK (documents open just fine, music/video files play etc), you can exit the file listing screens by pressing the appropriate key(s) until you are back to the list of the 5 deleted partitions. You should change the characteristics of the partition(s) from deleted (marked by letter "D") to "P" for Primary because it's highly unlikely that there was any logical partitions. Do this using left/right arrow keys. Note that the color of the highlight will change to green from white once the characteristic is changed. Take note of the "Structure OK" message at the bottom, it indicates whether there are any overlapping partitions. After you are done with changing the characteristics from "D" to "P", press Enter to continue.

Do NOT run a deeper search when presented with that option in the next screen, instead choose to "Write" to disk (writes a new partition table to the disk, containing the five partitions that you just undeleted). Conform the write action when prompted. After it's all done you will be taken back to TestDisk's main menu. You can now exit testdisk and try accessing the disk. The undeleted partitions should be accessible from Windows Explorer. You can then copy off your data from their appropriate locations to a spare HDD.

You might wanna try fzabkar's suggestion first. That is an easier approach and may save you TestDisk's taunting interface.

Quote:
You might like to try Partition Find and Mount (freeware):
Partition Find and Mount — free partition recovery software
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Get Data Simple found the Lenovo recovery software on there but wouldn't let me use them
GetDataBack simple (runtime sofrtware) allows you to scan for free, but you need to pay for it to restore your files. You also need another drive of the same size or larger to restore your files to.
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Old 10-02-2014, 05:39 AM   #10
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Recuva is free. It's from the same company, Piriform, that also makes the popular utilities CCleaner, Speecy and Defraggler.
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:51 PM   #11
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If Recuva, TestDisk, Partition Find and Mount, or GetDataBack cannot recover your files, the only other alternative is to send it off to the very, very expensive Data Recovery Specialists. Most people cannot afford this option.
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:34 PM   #12
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Ontrack, DriveSavers and Datarecovery are three well-known and respected* companies that can attempt to retrieve files off of a 'dead' hard drive. Pricing typically runs between a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars (US).

* Western Digital "Platinum Data Recovery Partners"
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