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PC Dead Need to salvage data on HDD

By kdyates ·
Mother board fried. Tried to move HDD to 2 defferent XP machines as both secondary drive and as primary on second IDE channel. Can see Hdd in BIOS and System Properties but does not show up in Explorer so I can copy data off. Tried a Win98 machine also, same problem. Please help me recover this data as I am a dummy and didn't have a recent backup

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by kdyates In reply to

After I get to the drive, that may be true. Right now I just want to be able to see the drive in Explorer.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to PC Dead Need to salvage d ...

Well there are a couple of options here particularly if you can not see any partition Info. This really depends on how important the data actually is.

The first thing you could try is buy another drive of the exact same Make & Model and change the circuit Board on the bottom that may bring it back to life with valid partitions or it may not it all depends on what happened to the M'Board. If the % V DC supply went way out then most likely the Partition Information has been lost.

If that is the case you have a couple of options the first would be to buy/beg/steal a copy of Ontrack professional and restore the deleted partitions but as this isn't a cheap piece of software it's going to cost you somewhere around 1K in US$. There is always XWays Davary or Win Hex if you are into Hex it is the better of the two and much faster but not for the armature but Davory is simple to use and work with but you'll first need to format the drive to exactly the way it was when working in the now dead computer. A trial version of both programs are available at

If you want to try Davory out the trial version will only recover the first 200 K of any file and it is much slower than anything else but also much cheaper so it all balances out in the long run.

Lets know if you want any more help.


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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

Just a word of warning here with any Data recovery Program it is vital never to write to the drive that you are recovering the data from so you'll need a lot of room on a different drive to save any recovered data.

Now that you have first hand experience of the vital need of a DR Plan don't rely on a USB Drive as these are just as susceptible to damage as a fixed drive in a computer the best option is to use Tape of DVDR while I personally prefer Tape the DVD option is faster and a bit easier for people to work with but has the problem of violating security as if these disc's are lost or stolen your DATA is freely available to who ever gets their hands on them.

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by kdyates In reply to

Thanks everyone who submitted very helpful advise. I have been using PCInspector File Recovery with some limited success. It seems that most of my data is badly corrupted. I have been able to retrieve some of it, but ,alas, it seems that what was recoverable was also backed up. Of the several utilities I have tried, PCInspector has been the most useful. REMEMBER BackUp Fully and OFTEN. From now own it will be once a week for me or more often if I am working on important stuff.
Thanks all, take care.

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by kdyates In reply to PC Dead Need to salvage d ...

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