how to recover lost data after computer crash?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by NickBoy2, Jul 5, 2010.

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  1. NickBoy2

    NickBoy2 Lurker

    Jun 28, 2010
    Can someone help me to find a step by step procedure on how to recover lost data if your computer crashes?
    I would like to know if anyone knows how to recover lost data from a computer that crashed or a recovery tool or a web site that offers that information.
  2. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    This all depends. If the crash was an OS corruption, and not hardware, then you need to boot into a PE environment. There are many such environments. A linux LiveCD is one example, bartPE or LiveXP are others. Ultimate bood cd is another.

    If the OS just will not work, then booting from a cd allows you to browse the contents of the hard drives, and save to a network share or a USB drive. Other options exist obviosly, but where you put the data you want to save is not as important as how you can get at it.

    If your problem lies with a hardware failure, such as the cpu or memory has gone south, you can simply pull the hard drive out and put it into anohter machine as a slave drive. Then from the other machine you copy/burn it off to where you please.

    If the problem lies with the hard drive itself, this can be tricky. Sometimes a head will start to "knock" or "chatter" and do strange things. Putting the drive in a ziplock bag in the freezer overnight has often let the data be recovered. Full blown "frying" of the drive, well, you are pretty much screwed. There are places that specialize in retrieving data, but it requires a clean room, no dust particles etc. This can be rather expensive, so that data really has to be worth it.

    So, what has happened? You will get a better answer if you describe in more detail what went wrong.

    BTW, if you suspect it is cpu or ram hardware, do not turn that machine on with that drive in place. Some serious data corruption can occur across much of the drive in these instances. I have had this happen a few times. Unplug it and place it into another machine if you suspect this. Actually, unplug the drive if you need to determine if hardware other than the harddrive is/has failed. Better safe than sorry if you can't replace the data.

  3. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Following on from Sully's post,UBCD4Win gives you access to numerous data/partition recovery tools.A detailed overview of your specific problem would be helpful in order to point you to the best solution.
  4. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    May 1, 2007
    A simple crash where the computer will no longer boot due to an abnormal shutdown (this corrupts system files) a chkdsk c: /f will fix this 90 percent of the time. For this you need a bartpe boodtcd to boot the computer to get to the command line. This is what I do first always.

    Another utility that has always work for me is "testdisk" it's a free utility. This can be found in the "gparted" bootcd.

    I've used it to recover from a worst case scenario, when I tried to partition a 500gb harddrive (with 300gb data) and the partitioning failed making drive unreadable. Testdisk was able to make drive readable again without losing any data. Testdisk also has an addon "Photorec" that is a recovery tool, but never had to use it. If you can make the drive readable again, that is always preferable.

    As long as your drive is spinning (no hardware problems) you can recover most of the data. A crash will at worst only corrupt a very small amount of the data, everything else is safe.
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