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Electrocuted Hard Drive

By Aaron A Baker ·
Looking for Forensic Program.
I have a client who's hard drive can't be read anymore however much information there is (was) on it and no matter how I try I get nothing. This is a WD 20Gb and it's a few (3) years old.
This drive has been formatted EISA and they were running windows XP Home on it until it suffered and electric shock. This was more than a small jolt, this drive really got it.
An electrician, touched the wrong wiring in the building that sent a shock throughout the place and fried this drive. By the way, it cost him a leg, such was the severity of this.
I can't get any kind of reading from the drive and it's only when I used the FDisk {Just to look} to see what was going on that I discovered that this was an EISA hard Drive. It showed EISA and that's it.
They had also installed windows XP. When I asked about this, the owner told that this is how he got it and made no changes.
Is there a program out there, that does a Forensic Determination and possibly a restoration for such a drive?
Or is this one of those cases where I would have to take it in to the experts?

As the drive is used for accounting, he would very much like to have the information back if possible and so I was wondering if there was a program out there that might do the job or at the very least, help me in restoring this drive, if it's at all possible.
As to why it was an EISA instead of a Fat32 or NTSF I have no idea. They wee running XP so Naturally I thought it was either a Fat 32, or NTFS.
I would be grateful for any advice at all, on this.
I Thank you in advance.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Electrocuted Hard Drive

There are a few but depending on just how important this data is you might like to consider taking it to a Data Recovery House and have the drive dismantled and the data read directly off the platters. This is done in a Class 1 Clean Room so there is no chance of the platters becoming damaged.

If the shock was so bad the electronics on the HDD will at best be degraded and unlikely to yield unaffected data if they even work at all.

For Forensic Software if your into HEX XWays is one of the best available at


They also have a program to recover off a blank partition called Davory again at the same URL.

There is On Track Pro but it's well over 1K US$ for a copy and unless this is really important data and you know that the drive is actually working it will most likely be a waste of money.

You could try buying the exact same model on a place like E-Bay and change the circuit board over to see if you can get anything off the drive but that is honestly a last resort.

The last quote that I got for a drive that had dies was between 3K to 9K AU$ and it ended up costing 5.5K AU for all the data to be recovered.

This is where you'll have to work out if the data is worth the cost of recovery. But if you look on the up side you can always show this owner how to instigate a good DR Plan so they never face this again.

Lets know if you need any help on this one mate.

Col ]:)

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

Here is a new company that I've just heard of apparently they where all EX AU Federal Police in the Computer Crimes Division and they have set up their own company to recover data as well as some other things I don't know how well the software works but they may be worth a try


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by Aaron A Baker In reply to

Col; Your answer, is excellent and very helpful."as usual".
But I'm a little frustrated as I can' t get this darned thing to print my responses. I've tried three times and then tried to award points then Submitted so that some answers were accepted yet the forum remained open.
Every time I try, I get blanks and there is no record of what I've written as a response. By now the people who took the time and trouble to try to help me out must think I'm quite rude.
This has got me a frustrated as I want the question to remain open and I would like to respond to everybody, but this darned thing won't let me or award point.
Let's hope this one stays.
Thanks for the Help

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by Siliconwombat In reply to Electrocuted Hard Drive

Not an answer but the words "surge protection" spring to mind.
How much was that extension cable again....

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by Aaron A Baker In reply to

One of the first things we talked about, then we talked "Back Ups", Big time. :)

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by electricdragon In reply to Electrocuted Hard Drive

An chance you could recheck your info?
Load fdisk again, obviously don't change anything, but tell us where (what columb) you're seeing the letter's EISA.
Reason being, there is no such thing as an EISA drive or an EISA format, EISA was a precursor to the PCI bus, it stands for Extended Industry Standard Architecture.
Is EISA maybe the volume label?
Is the drive plugged into an EISA adapter?
In the old days there was an EDSI drive, but you won't find them in the 20 gig range, and they ain't made them for many years anyways.
Also, win XP needs a fat32 or NTFS volume, or it won't run at all, so the format has to be one of those two.

As far as recovering data, if you slave the drive in another computer, you might try the program I use to recover lost files.
Easyrecovery pro is under $100, thats alot cheaper than taking it in, of course with an electric shock there is no guarentee you or a shop will get anything at all, but it might be worth a try if you really need the data.

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by electricdragon In reply to

Per Hal's comment above re: getdata,
I have also used the program he is linking to, Recover My Files is a very good program. I prefer the one I mentioned, but they do pretty much the same thing, and they both do it well, so you have 2 good choices now. :)

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by Aaron A Baker In reply to

Thanks for the response.
Actually the drive was in a relatively new (3yrs) Dell Computer and had been set up without format, if you can believe that.
Then when I used my FDisk, it I discovered that it wasn't in the main are "Where you would see partition 1,extended partition etc".
On the first line it showed up saying nothing more than EISA and the at the end, 7Mg
Then on the second line, I got the usual C with the balance of the numbers.
It should also be noted that this drive had a fully functional Windows XP Home Edition 3yrs old.
When I turned on the computer, it went through it's checks and would try to start, "amazing in itself". then it would just stop dead and go to Black Screen.
I tried to reinstall XP, to no avail. I was going to try to format, but figured if I installed it using the "Leave as is" section, it Might take everything unto itself and I would get it all back that way. No luck there either.
Then we took it in to a Shop here in Ottawa and they put it on a program. It took a solid week to peel away the layers and still they came up with nothing.
There was information, very little of it but they could access as the damage was too great.
This is where I decided that it was done. I had the client buy a Brand new one, installed an configured his XP.
I told him Not to throw the old one out as I might be able to save something yet, but he said that is was ok, he had "Scientist" Friends who were going to look at it for him. I wished him well and dropped the matter.
I apologize for coming to you all so slowly but this page has had me quite frustrated as I badly wanted to answer all of you but it would let me post.
So I thank you for the advice, as a matter of fact, I've copy/pasted it in my notes.
And to all of you including the above all thanks for your patience.
I truly appreciate it.

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by Aaron A Baker In reply to Electrocuted Hard Drive

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