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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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brewster wrote:

Why install apps on the data RAID rather than the OS disk? It's not like (at least in windows) you can reinstall the OS and have the apps work. Only from an image restore, in which case the apps might as well be with the OS, no? Is the point to keep the OS image small?


Because I'm a Linux guy and that's how we roll. Windows apps are so entwined with the OS it doesn't really matter for most things.

Posted on: 2009/9/15 22:32
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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pooper wrote:
I'd say you're latter option is the best. I would typically run the OS and swap off one disk or a RAID 0 (keeps reads and writes fast if you do swap) and all apps/data on separate RAID 1 virtual device.


Why install apps on the data RAID rather than the OS disk? It's not like (at least in windows) you can reinstall the OS and have the apps work. Only from an image restore, in which case the apps might as well be with the OS, no? Is the point to keep the OS image small?

Posted on: 2009/9/15 22:12
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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I'd say you're latter option is the best. I would typically run the OS and swap off one disk or a RAID 0 (keeps reads and writes fast if you do swap) and all apps/data on separate RAID 1 virtual device.

Posted on: 2009/9/15 21:42
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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jclxz wrote:
you should never be using a non-RAIDed drive for any purpose. (A proper RAID system will read the data from the redundant drive, re-write the bad block, which the drive will transparently remap). Non-RAIDed drives are fine for backups, or for OS disks that store no important data and have minimal cost to reinstall (e.g. corporate desktops).


I've been intending to RAID my data disks for a while, reading this scares the crap out of me enough to revive my interest. For a SOHO desktop, would you RAID-1 two drives and set up separate system and data partitions, or put the system on an entirely separate drive(s?) from the data raid?

I was planning on doing the latter, to avoid OS reinstall. With regular imaging of the OS partition, it could be worse.

Posted on: 2009/9/15 18:33
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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njxbean wrote:
what kind of drive is it? I would first try putting the external drive in the freezer overnight. Then, pull it out and immediately connect it and see if you can access that data.


His problem as described is most likely individual bad blocks. Windows tries to read the block, gets an error, and gives up. (The solution to the problem being to read it on a Linux or perhaps OS X machine.) Bad blocks are part of the normal behavior of hard drives, and are why you should never be using a non-RAIDed drive for any purpose. (A proper RAID system will read the data from the redundant drive, re-write the bad block, which the drive will transparently remap). Non-RAIDed drives are fine for backups, or for OS disks that store no important data and have minimal cost to reinstall (e.g. corporate desktops).

His problem could be more severe as he did not provide any details however the fact that the OS recognizes the drive is a strong indication that it spins up and is somewhat readable. It's very easy to tell whether the drive has spun up if you have it in an external enclosure, due to the strong gyroscopic forces (if you pick up a running drive, set it down as gently as you possibly could, more gently than you would set down an egg).

This freezer trick is if the drive will not spin up at all. You are hoping for different rates of contraction of the metals to unstick it, as the grease is sticking instead of lubricating. Or perhaps you're hoping for the temperature change to affect the grease. Freezing the drive is a more desperate move than hitting it with a hammer (such that you spin the drive around the axis of the platters). It can save a drive that is not spinning up, but it's a possibly destructive move for entertainment only. After all it only costs about $1000 to have a professional recovery attempt made, which may include opening the drive in a cleanroom. If data's worth saving, the data is usually worth more than $1000.

If you put a drive in the freezer without sealing it in a ziploc bag, expect catastrophic condensation inside the drive when you remove it. That seal shouldn't be broken until the drive is at room temperature.

Posted on: 2009/9/15 17:51
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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what kind of drive is it? I would first try putting the external drive in the freezer overnight. Then, pull it out and immediately connect it and see if you can access that data.

Posted on: 2009/9/14 11:16
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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Just had a great experience with a computer repair shop in Bayonne on 1019 Broadway. Owner's name is AL, from THE COMPUTER GUY. Telephone is 201-455-3460.

They do in-shop and at-home repairs. The best prices I have found so far - eg; house call to install a wireless network plus a wireless printer - only $80.00. Geek Squad wanted $160.00 just to come out to my house, and the actual work would be additional.

Posted on: 2009/9/13 18:51
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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i know this thread is old so i am hoping there may be some new people anyone can recommend for data recovery for an external hard drive. i have some pictures i would like to save but i am getting an i/o error. it's a seagate and i ran their data recovery software but i get read errors when doing so. windows recognizes the drive, i just can't access it. i don't want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on this if i can avoid any ideas anyone. thanks.

Posted on: 2009/9/13 13:24
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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jclxz is correct. There is a world of difference between software and hardare failures when it comes to recovering data from hard drives.

Software issues include mistaken deletion, formats, operating system issues and other causes that make the data inaccessible, but probably leave it intact on the drive for recovery. But, precautions muct be taken to make sure that the drive clusters that the data were on are not overwritten. Trying to boot, install recovery software or other operations can make it worse. The best method is the one jclxz stated, to mount the drive in another system using a drive cable, and run recovery software.

Hardware issues are another matter entirely. Trying to spin up a drive that has failed can cause the data to be entirely irrecoverable, except by very expensive methods involving clean rooms and specialized equipment, software and methodologies. This can be worth it, but only if the data is valuable enough to pay thousands to do so.

If you have the data recovered, great. Now do yourself a favor and either go buy a stack of DVDs and make periodic backups, or, get a USB hard drive to attach to the laptop, and make periodic backups. If you decide on the latter, try to keep all your data in one directory, with subdirectories by type. For example, keep everything in the My Documents folder, but create subfolders for tax files, business documents, etc. This sill simplify backing up. Microsoft makes a free program available called Synctoy that lets you do one-click backups once you set up a relationship between the folder with your data, and the backup folder in the external drive. or, you can just drag and drop it over in My Computer, and additionally append the date to the name of the backed up folder on the portable drive after it copies so you can keep several generations of files in case you need to roll back.

When you aren't actively backing up the data, keep the external enclosure disconnected and put away in a safe place. As an addiotnal precaution, important files like taxes should be burned to DVD and kept offsite, like a safety deposit box, or a relative's.

Posted on: 2008/2/10 16:00
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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Very true!

I can already feel a headache coming on -- I must say I am a OS X person -- if you are using Windows XP or some such I would skip right to PM'ing jclxz or going to someplace.

Posted on: 2008/2/9 22:24
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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Advice to use a USB enclosure is somewhat reasonable. Failing drives are likely to stop responding altogether when you attempt access to an unreadable portion of the drive. Being able to power cycle the problem drive conveniently will help the process. Although you shouldn't be attempting this at all if you're not comfortable opening your computer's case, it still may be worth $30 to avoid the extra work.

However, if you are buying an enclosure for the purposes of data recovery, and the drive is SATA, consider a combination USB/eSATA enclosure. You'll probably have to buy an eSATA card as well, however. (warning - if you're buying one for long term use, make sure it has a fan).

Failing drives misbehave in all kinds of ways. USB and firewire enclosures really aren't all designed to handle errors in a reasonable way. It is useful to have the error that the drive reports be properly reported to you.

You also can't always get SMART data via a USB or firewire enclosure. If you don't know what that is, you shouldn't be attempting data recovery of any kind on your own.

If you're plugging the drive into a Windows machine, it may not matter anyway. Windows is prone to causing additional problems upon reading a bad disk, just as USB enclosures are prone to causing additional problems. For any serious problem with the drive, you'll probably find yourself reading the data in Linux. Windows is also less likely to report errors correctly to you.

Please remind your friends that every hard drive will fail - their design guarantees it. A lot of people don't seem to know that.

Posted on: 2008/2/9 20:40
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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I agree:

I would first try to put the hard drive into an external USB hard drive case (or even firewire case if you already have one) - obviously if it is a notebook drive get the 2.5" case and if it is a larger 3.5" hard drive then use that size case. These cases are cheap like $10.

Look on ebay for HD cases

BEWARE: Listen to everyone on here and don't format the drive or do anything else to the drive - just see if you can read it when it is in this USB external case and hooked up to another computer. If you can just copy all the files you want to another hard drive or USB drive.

Otherwise get someone who knows what they are doing - it won't likely be cheap.

Posted on: 2008/2/9 19:12
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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I believe there is a cable you can attach to the drive once extracted from the computer. Then you can attach the other end of the cable to a USB port of a computer with a working hard drive in it. There is no need for an enclosure or worrying about a virus in the drive preventing it from reading information from the drive. It now becomes just an ordinary external storage device.

Posted on: 2008/2/9 18:17
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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thanks all.

i took it to 'microtech' on JFK boulevard in the heights section and they were able to retrieve all the data on a DVD for very very reasonable rates ($20 diagnostic + $50 per DVD of recovered data)

would definitely recommend them to anyone having computer issues.

went to circuitcity, they not only botched up but also charged me $60 for nothing.

would agree with the last poster - geek squad and firedog services - they are good for standard stuff like installing software, hardware, troubleshooting slow PCs, updgrading RAM etc, but beyond that they are clueless.

Posted on: 2008/2/9 17:07
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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I do IT support for small businesses, with most of my clients located in Downtown JC. I've also done a number of personal jobs for neighbors who found me here on JCList.

You really don't want to take it to Geek Squad. Those kids have minimal training. I've been doing this for decades!

If you have an operating system failure I can easily boot the drive to recover your data. If the laptop has failed I can remove the hard drive and read the data with an adapter cable to another computer. And if the hard drive has truly physically failed I MIGHT be able to read it. If I can't do it your only remaining option is a data recovery center where they bust open the drive and spin the platter very slowly on a very expensive machine (and they will charge you at least $1,000 for this service). I do this a few dozen times per year and I've never lost a client's data.

Please contact me for a free inspection and diagnosis. After that, my rates are reasonable.

pchelp@david.aldenmail.com

Cheers,

Posted on: 2008/1/14 12:00
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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Try

Sal Cameli
Sal@Cameli.us
cell: (646) 417-3978

He does not have a shop because his clients are almost entirely corporate.

Posted on: 2008/1/13 19:34
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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Quote:

newtoHP wrote:
need some local tech support service to recover data on my laptop's hard drive

any suggestions of jersey city local shops?

thanks


Beware that this is a problem that incompetence can make worse. Even regular (attempted) use of the computer may make it worse.

It sounds like you really want the data back. I don't think you can blindly trust the Geek Squad or any computer shop without accepting that they may destroy the data by accident. I don't know who to recommend however. I wish I knew of a consistently good shop in the area to recommend people to.

How much you are willing to pay makes a big difference. There are companies you can ship the drive to and for something like $1000 they will do everything possible to get the data back.

Has the hard drive failed, or have you deleted something by accident?

There is a huge range of difficulty involved (and skill required) depending on what happened. If it's a hardware failure of the drive, how bad it is depends on luck.

Posted on: 2008/1/13 15:56
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Re: any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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Not sure about JC, but I have heard good things about Best Buy's Geek Squad. They have a store in Secaucus. Not sure if you can bring it there or if they come out to your home.

Posted on: 2008/1/12 16:24
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any IT/tech shops to recover laptop hard disk?
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need some local tech support service to recover data on my laptop's hard drive

any suggestions of jersey city local shops?

thanks

Posted on: 2008/1/12 15:43
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