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Hard Drive Data Recovery On a Desktop or Laptop Computer

January 28th, 2010

Laptop Data Recovery When a laptop hard drive becomes “unbootable“, and you are unable to repair it, you can often save the data on the hard drive by using a “slave drive” recovery method on a desktop computer. As long as the laptop hard drive has not been mechanically broken and the disk is still “readable“, you should be successful in accessing and preserving the valuable data on the drive.

I know the frustration when you delete something you shouldn’t have, or your hard drive is corrupted. I will show you how to do a data recovery and hard drive recovery from a desktop computer or on a laptop computer. There is some software you can use to undelete software, or even recover corrupted sectors, this is not always going to work, but worth a try when you need your data back. The ultimate recovery, unfortunately, would be to send your disk to a professional data recovery or hard drive recovery place.

  1. If you have deleted something by accident, you can try to recover that file from the recycle bin in Windows. If you have emptied the recycle bin, you may be thinking it is lost forever, but you can try to do data recovery using software that is free. Data recovery is not always going to work, if the hard drive has written over that sector with data from another program, it might be unattainable using home based software.
  2. You can try however to do data recovery using this simple program “Undelete-All“, I have posted it in resources.
  3. If your hard drive crashed and the sectors were corrupted, again a professional hard drive recovery place would be the best, but if you don’t have thousands to spend, you can try a few things that are free.
  4. First you will want to restart and make sure the hard drive is being detected by BIOS, when it restarts press f2, or esc, or del to enter BIOS, every computer is different on how to get in, usually it will say at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Once in BIOS you will see a summary screen, if your hard drive is detected, great! Proceed on to the next steps, if, however, your hard is not showing, I am afraid to say but more then likely it has died, and it would definitely take a professional place to recover, what they do is take the hard drive platter out, and mount it onto a professional machine to recover the data, again this can costs thousands (I’ve checked into it before). There could though be other reasons a hard drive is not showing, such as, loose cables, BIOS not updated, etc. But if it was working, and nothing has changed, and you haven’t rattled the computer around like laptop computers, this you would want to check for loose wires, otherwise it is probably dead.
  6. What you can do to try to get data recovery if it is still detected, and this works for desktop computers or laptop computers, would be to set up the old corrupted drive as a slave disk to the new disk.
  7. What you would need to do is buy a new disk, install the new OS, be it Windows Vista, XP, etc, and then attach the old drive to the 2nd cable in the computer. There will be jumpers if your drives are IDE, every drive is different, and you will have to look that up, it might be on the drive itself. You will want the new drive as master, the old drive as slave. If your drives are SATA, no matter, it will do this automatically.
  8. If you have a laptop computer, this will be a different procedure, you would need either an external enclosure for your old drive to attach it to your laptop via USB, or a desktop computer that you can hook it to.
  9. Since laptop computers can have either IDE or SATA, this might pose a difficulty if your desktop only takes SATA and your laptop is IDE, you would need an enclosure for this to hook it up via USB. If your laptop computer is SATA, you can hook this up to any desktop that has SATA, same with IDE.
  10.   Once the drive is hooked up, and shows in Windows, you can begin the process of getting your files back. The main files on your desktop will be located in a USER file in Windows Vista c:\(user name)\desktop, in XP c:\documents and settings\(user)\desktop.
  11. . I hope this article sheds some light on data recovery, hard drive recovery, and deleted files in laptop computers, and desktop computers. I hope if this has happened to you, that you will be able to get your data back! I always, always suggest that you backup your data using an external hard drive connected via USB, better to be safe then sorry! :-)
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