Hard Drive Recovery

If you've experienced a hard drive failure, you might still need to recover your data. Data recovery can be expensive, especially if its due to failed hard drive hardware. If the hardware is still functioning, but the partition is lost/corrupted, that might be a less costly recovery.

We have compiled the following options for drive recovery from WSE's IT Director, as he was compiling info based upon recommendations he received.

If you have questions about any of these, please contact the specific companies/groups mentioned below.

NOTE: CS IT does not recover hard drive data for systems not managed by CS IT.

First, A Reminder

Backup, backup, backup. We can't express this enough as a suggestion/reminder. Backup your data regularly.

Drive Failure Recovery (Especially If Drive Hardware Has Failed)

1) One person we had spoken to was very impressed with Drive Savers (http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com) who did a great job on a VIP hard drive.
2) S fix we had read about for a specific problem with the Segate 7200.11 drive (https://sites.google.com/site/seagatefix)
3) A recommendation we were provided for Catzen Computer Consulting Corp (PO Box 16228, Baltimore MD, 21210). They're already in SAP!
4) A strong recommendation for Kroll Ontrack (in one example, manufacturer couldn't recover, but Kroll was able to), who provide free analysis, but the recovery is expensive. Noted also that they will negotiate on the final price. A contact is Chris Swenson - cswenson@krollontrack.com
5) Recent successful experiences with werecoverdata.com (http://werecoverdata.com and more recently datarecoverycenter.com http://datarecoverycenter.com
6) DIY recommendations, for example, swapping the circuit boards from a like-working drive to the like-non-working drive.


If your failed drive is an external USB hard drive, consider that it might not be the drive itself, but rather, the casing/power supply. Remove the drive from the casing and connect to a dock or directly to a SATA connection.

When Drive Hardware Works, But Partition Has Disappeared Or Become Corrupt

1) Use a powered docking stations during diagnostics/troubleshooting with downloadable recovery utilities.
A suggested dock was https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-External-Docking-Station-DS-UB31/dp/B019C5NE8I/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1474308663&sr=8-7&keywords=sabrent+usb+3.0+dock
This is a good option when your external hard drive's casing/power has failed. Remove the drive from the casing (youtube may have tutorials) and place the drive in the dock. The dock connects to the PC by USB. You should be able to access the drive that way. If the drive data is corrupt, you'll need a drive recovery utility.
2) An example drive recovery utility: TestDisk. An IT admin in CS has had experience and success with a drive recovery utility called TestDisk. http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk
It is multiplatform and... free!
And, if your drive is encrypted, and you want to use TestDisk for the data recovery, visit this page for suggestions: https://forum.cgsecurity.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=1431