Laptop Hard Drive Recovery

By kgelin01 ·
I have a HP Pavillion laptop that just shut down on me a couple of days ago and wont reboot. Upon performing several startup repairs, I finally got a hard drive failure message. I then purchased an external hard drive enclosure, connected it to the laptop hard drive and now I cannot read the data. It's actually requesting a reformat prior to it being used. Is there anything that I could do to get this to work without doing a reformat and losing the important data that's on there? Please help.

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RE: "Upon performing several startup repairs" ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Laptop Hard Drive Recover ...

Eh, like what exactly?

"I finally got a hard drive failure message."

Where did this message appear?
What did the message actually say?

"I then purchased an external hard drive enclosure, connected it to the laptop hard drive and now I cannot read the data."

What is the HDD caddy connected to? It can't be the laptop because it doesn't have a HDD any more does it? So what kind of computer is it that cannot read the data?

Also, what operating system was/is on this laptop's hard drive?
What operating system is running on the computer that the caddy is attached to?

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Eh, like what exactly?

by kgelin01 In reply to RE: "Upon performing seve ...

The error message came from start up recovery pressing f11 on the hp laptop. That laptop was running Windows 7 Beta. I then connected the HDD to a compaq laptop to extract the files which is running Windows Vista Home Premium.

The Pavillion laptop does not have a HDD any longer. The Compaq recognizes the HDD with the recovery partition but doesn't allow me to access the drive without reformatting first.

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RE: "recognizes the HDD with the recovery partition" ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Eh, like what exactly?

I'm not sure what you mean by this.

The Compaq recognises the HDD by 'seeing' the W7 recovery partition?
The Compaq recognises the HDD by USING the recovery partition?

Can you see the HDD inside Drive Management on the Compaq?

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I'm not sure what you mean by this

by kgelin01 In reply to RE: "recognizes the HDD w ...

The original HDD was partitioned with a recovery drive for HP. It recognizes the partition of that drive as well as the main drive where the OS is. When I click on the main drive, it asks me to reformat. Usually you could just view the drive from windows explorer but I cannot.

I can see the hardrive and its properties when I click on device manager but I cannot do anything else.

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You need to use Disk Management ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to I'm not sure what you mea ...

Right click on My Computer inside the Compaq, select Manage from the context menu, then (in the left hand column) select Disk Management and wait for the window to populate.

You should now be able to see the graphic representation of the external caddy and right click on it.

Does the Windows 7 OS partition have a drive letter? If not, give it one.

Post back with the result.

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You need to use Disk Management ...

by kgelin01 In reply to You need to use Disk Mana ...

Prior to using disk management, on the windows explorer screen, that HDD is giving me two drive letters. The first (Drive H) is where the operating system and my critical data lies and the second (Drive I) is where the HP recovery disk is which has the data necessary to bring the laptop back to its original manufacturer specs.

Upon following your instructions, disk management has my disk H as Healthy (Active, Primary Partition) and disk I as Healthy (Primary Partition. The file system on both is disk H is a raw file system while my disk I is NTFS.

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Recognised as RAW is not good news ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to You need to use Disk Mana ...

That basically means that the Compaq (and Vista) cannot determine what filesystem is inhabiting that partition.

Which brings me back to my original and as yet unanswered question: - What WAS the original drive failure message?

Did this drive just 'up and fail' or was it a lengthy process whereby it failed gradually until it refused to boot?

Depending on what MAKE the HDD is, you could download the manufacturer's HDD diagnostics and run them on the HDD in the caddy from the Compaq.

I was hoping that Disk Management would have given you better results.

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Of course an easier option might have been ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Laptop Hard Drive Recover ...

To also buy another HDD for the HP laptop, reinstall Windows 7 (preferably the RC rather than the Beta) and then transfer the data back between identical W7 file systems.

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I was thinking of that

by kgelin01 In reply to Of course an easier optio ...

That was an option presented to me by HP...I could see that as a viable option but my biggest issue is still being able to access the data on the drive and have it transferred to another external HDD I've prepared for data retention. I have a warranty on the laptop but they are not willing to do any type of data recovery...their intention is to simply place a new HDD, and reinstall vista and ship it to me with factory specs.

The most important part is my data...I cant tell you how much I need it.

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RE: Please help.

by OH Smeg In reply to Laptop Hard Drive Recover ...

Stop doing everything Immediately.

Remove the drive from the enclosure and place it into a Anti Static Bag and place it in a safe position. Ring around your Local Data Recovery Houses in your Area and when you find one acceptable to you either take the drive to them or get it delivered to them and pay them to do the recovery.

If you mess with the drive you run the risk of permanently deleting some or all of the Important Data and even if you do not manage to destroy the data you will increase the cost for a Professional Recovery several times.

With Important Data it's not worth attempting to do anything at all yourself.

However if it would just be Nice to recover the Data you can try one of these Software Data Recovery Options but it is by no means a complete list of what is available.

While the last 2 are from the same company they are very different products. Win Hex should only be considered foe use by someone who knows Hex Inside Out while Davory is a great cheap General Purpose Application.

Personally I prefer the On Track Option but it's anything but cheap. However because I use this type of software a lot it's paid for itself many times over by now, for a cheaper option Spin Rite from Gibson Research or Stella have both very good reputations by other TR members.


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