How to recover data from dead hard drive.

Ernie Luzar luzar722 at
Sat Oct 14 13:33:12 UTC 2017

Carmel NY wrote:
> On Fri, 13 Oct 2017 12:03:11 +0100, Frank Leonhardt (m) stated:
>> Good list that. ddrescue is, IME, the place to start. Or have I confused it
>> with dd_rescue again :-)
>> But what do you mean by dead? If its not spinning or not recognized by the
>> system as existing, you'll get nowhere with software. I transplant the
>> platters to a new IDENTICAL drive mechanism and work from that. You can by an
>> identical drive from companies who stock samples them "just in case".
>> Unsurprisingly, they're not cheap. And transferring platters is not easy.
>> I also have some expensive licensed software for recovering incomplete file
>> systems, and charge Windows users like a wounded rhinoceros when they need
>> their data back.
> Years ago, I used "Spinrite" to recover a damaged drive. It worked better than
> anything else on the market, at least for me, at the time. I don't think it
> has been maintained in over a decade though.
> Personally, I fail to understand why anyone with any "mission critical"
> system would not be using some form of RAID. It doesn't make any sense to me.
> Even my Laptop is configured to automatically back up data to a cloud service.
> Even if the drive went south, I could restore all of my data.

I never said the hard drive in question was even on a Freebsd system or 
"mission critical". So your barking up the wrong tree.

I friend of mine went through a devoice a few years back. He did not get 
  his personal xp pc in the settlement, only the hard drive which makes 
a squealing noise when running. He tried to install it into his dell 
desktop. But not being a computer geek he know nothing about 
master/slave on the ribbon or the jumpers on the H.D. Have no idea what 
damage he may have caused doing this.

He told me it was dead and he wanted his data recovered.

I used a ata to usb adapter and connected it my win10 lap top and was 
surprised when it spin right up and indeed it was noisy. Win 10 
automatically ran disk scan on it and fixed the damaged index. I had to 
muck around a bit to copy off 12gb which was everything but 2 router 
manuals in pdf format. In my book that is a successfully data recovery. 
Never needed to use freebsd to recover data.

The lesson here is try the simple recover stuff first, especially if 
it's a Microsoft drive.

Thanks to Polytropon from Magdeburg, Germany for his post listing the 
freebsd tools for data recovery.

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