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  • #2150491

    What is the best available data recovery program for a reformatted HDD


    by sleepin’dawg ·

    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, “The HP service center has performed thorough diagnostic testing and detected the following: Failure could be duplicated (was checked off). How or why this could be duplicated truly boggles the mind.

    Under Repair Information: Keyboard and Hard Drive (Re-imaged} were checked off

    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.


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    • #2925641

      BAD BAD BAD Dawg you really should know better

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to What is the best available data recovery program for a reformatted HDD

      OK you have a problem and the best solution here is to try a Recovery Program that actually recovers the Data rather then Rebuild the Partition Tables so that rules out On Tracks Offering anyway it’s way too expensive to start off with anyway for something as simple as this.

      Gibson Research’s Spin Rite

      Or Stellar’s offering

      May work for you here. I’ve never used either of these Dawg so I’m not sure how well they work but others here have raved about each of these products. If you want to get into some Heavy Duty Recovery over Overwritten Files you can use X Ways Forensics

      Which can recover files that have been overwritten several times up to about 7 if I remember correctly though this is defiantly a Hard Core Application that works in Hex. Again I’ve never used this product as I don’t do Forensic Recoveries but I have heard some excellent comments about it I think that there is a Eval Version of Win Hex which is part of the X Ways Forensics which is what you want here available for testing to see what can be seen. It will show you what is there but will only recover the first few hundred K’s if their other product Davory is anything to go by and even that may be worth a look see there should be a Trial Version available on that Web Site as well. It will only take a bit of time to have a look at what can be seen.

      Davory I have used previously and that recovers files by File Type or Extension so you can set it to recover all the .DOC files and then set it to another scan to pickup JPEG and so on through all the groups. It will pickup and recover bits of Files particularly with Pictures so you can get a lot files that do not open or are incomplete. Davory recovery Files not by name but by extension and saves them to a folder in Numerical Order that they are found. It’s painful but cheap when I bought a copy it was only something like 35 Euros.

      Restorer may work by stripping out the current Partition Tables and attempting to rebuild the older ones I’m not sure how effective it would be here though but it’s worth a look if nothing else

      On Tracks may also be worth a look as well as it will do the same thing supposedly but as I’ve never personally used it like that I’m not sure how well it will work here

      Basically there are 2 types of Recovery Software one will attempt to rebuild the Partition Tables and would not be my first choice here if I had other tools available but it may work. I just don’t know as I’ve never allowed things to get this far previously.

      Then the second type will pick up the Files from the HDD and save them ideally to another HDD and ideally you will not be booting off the affected drive as it will limit your ability to recover anything under the Existing OS. So the drive you need to Recover Data off should be a Slave that is only used to read never to write to till you have recovered as much as possible.

      As I’m not currently receiving Alerts at the moment drop me a PM if I can be of any assistance.

      I hope that is of some use to you Dawg and best wishes for your Daughter.


      [i]edited to try to improve clarity.[/i] I hope.

    • #2925617

      PC Inspector File Recovery

      by magic8ball ·

      In reply to What is the best available data recovery program for a reformatted HDD

      I have used PC Inspector File Recovery in the past to recovery corrupt hard drives and floppy discs. Just recently someone deleted some pictures off a floppy for an older Sony camera and needed them back. It was able to retrieve them. Just like Hal said set up the laptop hard drive as a slave on another system to get the best results.

      Best wishes to your family and a speedy resolution to the hard drive.

    • #2925614

      You have this as both a discussion and a question

      by gadgetgirl ·

      In reply to What is the best available data recovery program for a reformatted HDD

    • #2986190

      Data Recovery Software for formatted hard drive.

      by links.recover ·

      In reply to What is the best available data recovery program for a reformatted HDD

      You can use Recover Data for Windows Data Recovery Software to get back all your formatted data from your HP Laptop. This software is perfectly run on Windows VISTA OS and perform the recovery process..
      This software is not Freeware. But the Demo version is available for analysis. Now you can download the DEMO Version of Recover Data for Windows Data Recovery Software from:
      Install this software on your VISTA OS and scan your hard drive. After completing the scanning software show’s you the recoverable data, so you analyze how many data recovered from your hard drive. If you satisfy with demo vesion software then go for full version software and save your data.

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