Recovering data from a broken HDD

Roland Smith rsmith at
Mon Sep 18 18:31:34 UTC 2017

On Sun, Sep 17, 2017 at 11:39:20PM +0100, Shamim Shahriar wrote:
> Good evening all, hope everyone is well.
> Last week, another HDD slipped through the hands (literally). This one too
> is showing the same/similar symptoms as the previous one. I believe that the
> data is still there, but somehow the alignment has shifted and hence the HDD
> controller is unable to provide the data. I am wondering, can anyone please
> suggest a data recovery programme that I can try on the drive? The HDD being
> not in the western/relatively-more-techy region cannot be sent to a data
> recovery company (and I have been told they cost you a fortune), but have
> access to m$ or Mac or Linux or BSD systems. So if anyone could please
> suggest something to try on (Yes, I had been on google, and found a huge
> amount of tools -- but I would much rather try out something that someone
> has already tried and can give some insight on).

It depends. If the heads are bent and/or stuck on the parking ramp, you will
need a recovery service to get anything back off that drive.
Trying to use the drive in that case will cause irreversible damage because of
the bent heads dragging across the surface of the platters.

Since you don't want to use a recovery service, try to make an image of the
disk as Polytropon suggested. If that works, you can probably retrieve a lot
of the data from that image using the mentioned tools.

How easy you can retrieve data depends on the extent of the damage and the
filesystem used.

Whatever you do, *do not try to write to the disk*. That will almost certainly
make things worse.

[plain text email much appreciated]

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