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Pls Help! Crashed Ext. HDD

By jhm1js ·
I'd much appreciate any help with my problem:

I live in the UK.
I've tried to be clear but I am no expert.

I have a 250Gb Lacie Ext. USB HDD, whilst it was on - connected to my win-xp laptop - it fell half a metre on to my carpetted floor. I don't think the drive was in the middle of copying or anything.

I have stopped trying to boot the drive in case this will damage the drive any further.

I have tried listening carefully as I tilt the unit in all directions - I hear no movement of internal parts - good sign I believe!

When I did try the drive, I heard some slight clicking. My PC couldn't read the drive, it asked if I want it to format the drive (it said it wasn't formatted). I said NO.

The drive showed up on my computer (another good sign) but wasn't recognized; it didn't have the name "Lacie" I'd given it, instead labelled "local disc".

The data I want to recover is mainly music (~40Gb!) and some other stuff.
The data was not backed up on any other drive.
I have no idea how to proceed to try and recover it. Do I have a good chance?

Do I have to try formatting the drive or will this corrupt the data that is already stored on there?? I think it's formatted with NFTS (if not it's FAT32).

Is it worth freezing the unit (in a sealed bag)?
(I don't think this will help my situation)

I think this drive is an IDE drive in the case with USB adaptor - if that makes any difference.

I'd like to try recovering the data myself or finding someone who knows about this stuff to help me out, but the amount of money some companies are asking for data recovery services is ridiculous.

If there are any individuals or companies that offer reasonably affordable data recovery (say around $300USD-$400USD) please let me know.

Are there any companies out there that should be avoided?

Many thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to offer advice.
Alternatively email me with any ideas at jhm1js@leeds.

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by caleb In reply to Pls Help! Crashed Ext. HD ...

Assuming the hard drive is functional enough physically to handle it, Ontrack EasyRecovery Professional has been a program that has saved my customer's data everytime.

I had an external hard drive inclosure that was destroying all partition information of any hard drive I installed in it. I was able to use Ontrack EasyRecovery Professional to examine the hard drive once I gave it the proper hints (choosing the proper file system).

However, if the hard drive has a physical problem from the drop, the freezing trick might work, but that's hit and miss, at best.

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by wlbowers In reply to Pls Help! Crashed Ext. HD ...

Your drive has impact damage to the platters.

The drive platters spin constantly, like a record player turned on.

The heads fly a few microns above the platters. When it landed the heads vibrated into the platters. It sounds like they were over the headers.

For you to do it.
Take it out of the case and connect it to a desktop computer. If it is a large case it is a standard ide drive. If it is a small unit it is a laptop drive. You can buy adapters that let you connect them to a standard drive cable.

This address has excellent recovery software avaible. Remember you have to recover to a second device.

These guys are your other option.

Good Luck


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by wlbowers In reply to

Don't freeze it. This will only work if the spindle bearings are starting to seize up.

Bringing the temperature down gives the bearings some more room and could allow the motor freedom to spool up.

Your problem is crash related.


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