What is the best available data recovery program for a reformatted HDDLocked
Back in February I bought an HP Pavillion Notebook PC DV9718CA preloaded with Vista for my daughter, who lives in Spain. Apparently the computer ran well, without problems but after a month in her possesion she noticed something rather odd. There was a small piece of wire protruding from under the bezel, between function keys F6 and F7. Since this was a new notebook, still under warranty, she brought it with her when she returned to Canada on a visit. This computer was a gift from me to see her through her convalesence from cancer and consequently was loaded not only with a lot of personal data but also her complete medical history which an oncologist friend was to look over and give advice on the treatment she is receiving.
I saw the problem and the piece of wire looked to be either a small bit of shielded cable or a small ribbon cable. It wasn’t anything major and certainly didn’t seriously interfere with operation, except if your fingers were in the area you might have snagged it by accident. I could have fixed it myself except, my opening the unit would have voided the warranty.
I contacted HP technical service and they surprised me by instantly agreeing to a warranty repair and shipped a proper prepaid no-charge UPS waybill complete with all the necessary packing materials, overnight. They suggest I return the unit without any accesories, including the HDD. Descriptions and digrams of the HDD installation did not at all resemble the unit in my hands so I was advised to return the unit c/w HDD but make note that the HDD was not to be reimaged and/or reformatted. HP received the unit on July 11, 2008 c/w four notices, three notices in 36 pt type taped to the unit, explaining the problem and to definitely not reformat the hard drive. You can see where this is going, can’t you???
On July 15, 2008 the unit was returned to me and the first piece of paper out of the box claims,[i][b] “The HP service center has performed thorough diagnostic testing and detected the following: Failure could be duplicated (was checked off). [/i][/b]How or why this could be duplicated truly boggles the mind.
Under [i][b]Repair Information: Keyboard and Hard Drive (Re-imaged} were checked off[/i][/b]
Just what depths of stupidity and incompetence must be plumbed for a supposedly skilled, trained technician to ignore written instuctions from a client. Aside from the loose copy include in the box, I had taped copies to the top cover, the bottom cover and across the keyboard, kind of hard to miss, wouldn’t you say.
You can bet I was instantly on the phone complaining to HP but according to them HP, in their warranty declines any responsibility for lost data, regardless of the fact that data loss was totally Their fault and totally unnecessary. To quote HP, “We suggest you back up your data before returning the unit.” Very nice and I agreed except for one tiny little detail, the damn back-ups are in Spain and we are here in Canada. Do you think HP will foot the bill for a quick trip to Spain to retrieve the back-ups??? Right!!!!
The loss of the personal data was annoying and depressing, especially for someone having recently received a mastectomy and is now in the throes of chemotherapy. She was supposed to meet my oncologist friend this coming Monday to get advice on her treatment. This is a girl with Grade2b, Stage IV recurrence of breast cancer. Her very life is at stake and all HP will say to me is, “Sorry about that”
Well I intend to make HP extremely sorry for their cavalier treatment of my daughter. Effective today, I have removed HP from our list of approved and/or recommended suppliers. For openers I have told our buyers to never again purchase any HP or Compaq products, effective immediately. We were interested in purchasing 130 office 4 colour laser printers. HP and it’s subsidiary Compaq are will no longer be in consideration for any of our business.
However, I still need to see if I can retrieve the files from the hard drive, hopefully they haven’t been overwritten to any large extent. Of course, the medical data is most important but I would like to get back as much as possible. It’s been ten years since I last had to do anything like this, so I’m more than a little out of touch with the current availability of this type of software. Any and all advice will be gratefully received.