View Full Version : Hard Disk Recovery

20th May 2002, 20:04
After a spectacularly @#%$ day... the laptop ups and dies.
Harddisk totally shagged lots of clicking and can't be read.
40 mins on the phone to dell / 3 hours of diagnostics have concluded that I need a new harddisk.

Most of the files are backed up but could do with recovering a a few items..... any suggestions on where I can get this done without it costing an arm and a leg.

20th May 2002, 21:19
you <COULD> do it yourself with some free disk editor software. do a google for 'free disk editor' .....not for the faint-hearted but do-able. you would need first of all to get a new hard drive and set it up with the usual os, etc. make the old one the 'slave' and go. this also assumes that you can physically read the surface. if it's complete mechanical failure, (actually, clicks etc suggest it might be) then this will not work :(
it that's not do-able, then a data recovery outfit....arm and a leg country i'm afraid....<<<why no back-ups?>>>

20th May 2002, 21:48
's funny. My Dell laptop HD gave up a couple of weeks ago as well. Is it an inspiron 8000?

If you have another machine, and a special cable for 2.5" drives, you could probably get access to your disk to get the stuff off. The adapters though can cost, but how much do you value your data.

If you live near Swindon, I could lend you mine, though at the moment, it is attached to my hard disk, trying to recover it. (I have already copied my files off my disk, just trying to mark the bad sectors, see how it fairs up under stress again. My adapter will not be available until Thursday at the earliest, even then I can't guarantee it being ready).

Now, if anyone has an inspiron 8000 keyboard... This broke within my guarantee period, but they were mucking about, telling me to test it using the supplied hardware software. I contacted them 3 times. Now, they eventually had the machine back, but between my first call and my third call, my son spilt coka cola on it, and they tell me that because of this, it is not covered under the warranty. (I suppose I could claim on my house insurance for it though). It is funny though, I bought two machines at the same time, exact same spec, both have had similar failures during their lifetime at similar times (casing around screen cracking, battery failing, power leads cracking (replacement for those are £50) 1 had a keyboard failure early in its life, the other towards the end of the guarantee.

I thought I had it bad with Tiny Laptops. (I had 2 of those originally, I ended up going through six machines, first 4 developed the same fault with screen casing cracking (second set of screens failed within 2 weeks), then last 2, one wouldn't boot and the other had a faulty battery. I had on site warranty, and they wanted me to return to base. They wouldn't honor the on-site. I managed to get my money back with those (eventually), but their tech line sucks. They must have made more money off me in phone calls than the machines were worth, and then, I had to restrain myself from making expensive frisbees.

Mark Snowdon
21st May 2002, 10:50
What happened to all those people who said that dell were wonderful high quality items ?

the adapters for putting a laptop drive in a desktop are a couple of quid I think ?

I have one floating about somewhere if you want it Karl - post it back to me when finished - drop me an email if you want it.

21st May 2002, 13:16
<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote>Quote:<hr>
What happened to all those people who said that dell were wonderful high quality items ?
<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END-->

They're out using their machines, having little or no need to look for technical support - on hardware matters anyway!


24th May 2002, 10:32
Have now joined the DELL are pants user group.
Haven't been able to progress anything on this as the desktop has been down.
Mark, I might call you later on the offer although if the HD is shagged is putting in into the desktop going to give any benefits ? Any thoughts on using norton utilities to get some of the data off ?

Also does anyone have any thoughts on the cheapest place to get a replacement 10Gb disk... Dell want £275 + VAT +delivery for a 'Origon' including the drive holder. The original disk was fujitsu (now I no why I always hated ICL).

Mark Snowdon
24th May 2002, 11:01
!!! £275 ?????

dabs have ibm 30gb at £90
toshiba 30gb at £105

Is that in a caddy or do you need to open the case of the laptop to access it ?

I have a couple of hd caddies but I am not sure what they are off.

as to any benefit of putting the old drive in a desktop - it depends what is wrong with it, you may be able to recover some data, problem is that in a laptop you cannot set it up as a secondard drive and just try and read it.

You may be able to reformat it and reuse it.

24th May 2002, 12:08
The dell price includes the caddy, but I have already had the disk out and 4 screws gets it out of the caddy. The only problem would be if the screws don't line up.

I take our point about the second drive, looks like it might be worth a go. I'll drop you a line later.
Cheers Karl

26th May 2002, 00:31
I think you'll find 2.5in drives are all made to the same spec physically. So screws shouldn't be a problem.

I have a Toshiba MK1016GAP 10gig for £40 + p&p & vat

Or the 3gig in my Acer for £10 + p&p & vat

(will check with my accountant as to whether VAT actually chargeable - both are used, but perfect working order)

27th May 2002, 11:09
Thanks for the offer but I managed to source a direct fujitsu replacement 20gb for £90.
Have also found an external usb 2.5 hdd caddy for about £40, getting some more information and will let you know how I get on.

3rd August 2002, 00:55

Could you share the details of your findings for HDD and cable please?

My Inspiron 8000 is 4 days out of 1 yr warranty when the HDD clicks and then blue screens or powers down. So I need a replacement HDD, and I'd like to get stuff off too.


3rd August 2002, 15:52
Colin, the clicking is general a sypmtom of complete hard disk failure. if you still have access to the disk get your data of asap. Full lab recovery of HDD is about 100 gbp per gig.
The cheapest for 10gb was around £570. If the disk hasn't completely failed you can get some tools off at ontrack.com which will run more advance tests than the regular diagnostics. If it is a fujistu drive they have their own diagnostic tools which can be download from the web.

For USB external case & cables try...
www.span.com, sales@span.com
the usb 2 model works under usb 1 as well I am told.

For cheap hard drives (bearing in mind Dell want 276 + VAT and delivery for 10gb + transport) try
www.ahead-computers.com (http://www.ahead-computers.com)
I got a 20 gb direct replacement for 90 quid.
It is only 4 screws to get the disk out of the transport.

Best of luck Karl

3rd August 2002, 19:46

Thanks for sharing the info. The HDD failing is very odd - it sometimes lasts a couple of hours, and once lasted 5 or so hours - enough to uninstall a lot of software and defrag it (in case the end tracks were duff as it was down to 900MB free). Gave me hope but didn't help.

I've been to the IBM web site (mine's a Travelstar) and downloaded the drive quick test - creates a bootable floppy. I ran the quick test and it reported that everything was fine!

Back in to Win2000 and an hour later it all goes pear shaped again.

My initial guess was that it was all temperature related, but I think now its just failing more and more often.

The IBM 3 year warranty looks to be a complete wash out (IMHO) as it starts by saying they don't guarantee that it will work for the warranty period (or some weasel words like that).

The good news is that I called my local computer shop this morning (www.woc.co.uk) (http://www.woc.co.uk)) and they had the 20GB Travelstar in stock for £92 (+VAT) and also a little adapter to allow a 2.5 HDD to be connected to a regular desktop PC IDE cable (£8+VAT).

I have precious little on my laptop that isn't duplicated elsewhere, backed up or whatever - lucky me :) Still, there's bound to be something I need and now I can maybe get it off straight in to my PC.

Thanks again for sharing your info.


4th August 2002, 09:26
no probs,
the warrrenty is probably pointless. with fijitsu the warranty is for 3 years but that is with their end user ie dell. as dell gave only given a 1 year warrenty fujitsu can't help unless dell goes into liquidation.

1st November 2002, 22:39
The review on many boards about how good Fujitsu drives are do not seem to mention how some Fujitsu mpg and mpf series ie mpg3102at and mpg3204at drives are failing prematureley.

After some frustrating weeks from Fujitsu we had valuable data recovered from a batch of our office machines that all suddenly failed. This company www.Computer-Recovery.com recovered all the data. but companies reffered to us by Fujitsu support could not recover any data !!!.. very useless.

2nd November 2002, 11:16
Taking of Dell...

I'm generally very happy with the 3 laptops I've bought through them...

However this one is playing up. A call to Dell support yesterday got me through to 'Mary'. I think 'Mary' was sitting in Bombay!

No success with 'Mary' - grasp of English a problem.. So I went to www.dell.co.uk/fast - you can raise a support call and they aim to reply in an hour. I was sent a link to a diagnostic tool, sent the error message back, and now a new hard drive is on the way.

So if you're looking to raise a call, I suggest this Email method...

No longer get the chance to speak to young Irish girlies... Suddenly Dell aren't as appealing!!

3rd November 2002, 14:08
Just an aside on this.

RAMMShack (http://www.ramms.co.uk/cases.htm#mounting) do a lovelly piece of kit that will allow you to install your laptop IDE hard drive in a standard PC for £16 inc VAT & Delivery. You'll need a jumper to turn it into a slave, but 2.5" to 3.5" drive rails are included, as well as the IDE adapter.

24th November 2002, 00:24
If you have a dell laptop then you are probably using IBM hard drive. Go to ibm's website and download a software called "Drive Fitness Test" (DFT). It will not only test your damaged hard drive but can also fix it. I fixed my Dell hard drive with it in August and now its working fine. DFT will erase your original data but save your hard drive.

18th January 2003, 23:41
So I'm trying to put my dell laptop (inspiron 8000/latitude c800) hard drive into my desktop. I got the adapter and all that, but I can't figure out how to turn the laptop hard drive into a slave drive. There are no obvious jumpers to set for this. Please help me and my poor comatose hoard of files :(

19th January 2003, 02:59
There are pins on the hard drive that you need to short (just like a normal drive 3.5").

They should be indicated on the drive itself, but you might need to go to the IBM website if the instructions aren't there.

Which drive is it, and I'll try and find out for you.

PS/ I don't recall you ordering it from us? tch tch.

Bog Standard IBM/Hitachi TravelStar Jumper Documentation here! (http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/tva/tvajum.htm)

Incidentally, we charge £16 all in for the 2.5" to 3.5" converter - which includes drive rails (but no jumper :lol )

19th January 2003, 18:58
Byut I still can't figure out what I'm supposed to. At least you sent me to something that at least looks like my damn harddrive.

What a way to win a girl over. Your site is officially bookmarked for future use although I am American. International shipping does not seem too logical. :)

So now I can identify what the jumper positions is, but I don't understand how to change it. All I see are four pins. Am I supposed to do something to the pins?

19th January 2003, 19:23
I just need to scour the remains of my laptop for a jumper or make a trip to radio shack :)

but thank you so much. you've been divinely helpful.

and 16 quid is a lot more then the $7 I paid for my adapter especially when you tack international shipping onto it -_~ But such great advice and help is deserving of paying more.

19th January 2003, 19:35
Ahhh - well they're not so easily found here! Plus most of that is shipping anyway. In fact its only £5.20 odd before tax & delivery charges.

You don't know how lucky you are living where you do - we get ripped off left/right & centre here (not by me, of course by the tax man etc) :lol

19th January 2003, 19:39
But what do you mean by

Your site is officially bookmarked for future use


Doesn't the link in my sig work properly for you?

26th January 2003, 23:19
It works just fine. And is bookmarked for quick references in my 'afraid is being a bitch again' folder. Afraid being my computer.

So my lappy harddrive still doesn't work in my desktop. I have used the adapter to try and get the thing working in every combination. The DHD (desktop hard drive) as master and the LHD as slave, both on cable select...I even tried putting the LHD on a second cable taking off my CDRW and DVD. I even tried putting just my LHD on the harddrive cable with the DHD not cnnected at all. No matter how I plug the damn thing into the system, always get 'reboot or inesert boot device into boot drive'. WTF?

Could this be a compatibility problem with my motherboard? Could it be the adapter? Do I need a boot disk in one of my drives in addition to connecting the LHD?

27th January 2003, 22:35
Ahhh have you remembered to go into your BIOS settings to ensure that the drive is visible?

Try just plugging in that drive only, then start your PC and look at the bios settings for hard drives. You might need to make it search for it.

6th February 2003, 05:29
Okay. Lappy still doesn't work in the desktop.

I have looked at setup, and no matter what I do, I cannot get the IDE config to recognize that the laptop harddrive even exists. As soon as I plug it in, it ceases to recognize any IDE device on that cable. It must know its there to not detect the desktop drive it was just detecting a moment ago, but it says "not detected" for both primary IDE Master and primary IDE slave.

What do I do? Could it be my converter?

Is there a psossibility that my lappy drive is juts not compatible with the motherboard of my desktop?

6th February 2003, 15:01
Unlikely. Of course the laptop drive could be faulty!

Why not nip it down to a local PC repair store and ask them to see if they can get it going.

Take off the jumper.

Connect the adapter to the laptop drive

Connect the adapter to the primary ide controller via the standard ide cable. Remove any other drive on the primary IDE cable.

Remove the secondary ide cable (and therefore any other drives)

Start the PC and enter the BIOS

Ask the bios to search for new hard drives

If the drive is functioning it will then show up in the drives list.

That doesn't necessarily mean that the drive will boot - it will merely show that the circuitry is working correctly - but if the drive is bootable,

However, you can then save the bios settings and reboot. The PC should start up. But it might mess up the settings on that hard drive for laptop use, as Windows will try to detect all the hardware on that PC.