View Full Version : Tech Help Help with a hard drive

2014-04-04, 12:28 PM
Hi, so my laptop died recently, hardware failure. I've now been trying to salvage the hard drive, and purchased one of them Hard Drive cases to use it as an external hard drive.

I just tried plugging it in, and here's where I hit a problem. I was able to find the hard drive under Disk Management, and it was listed as "Unknown". The original laptop had Windows XP as the OS, and my current tabletop is running Windows 7. I've read how the hard drive could be made usable by intializing it, but this would wipe the drive clean.

Can anyone help me with this? That drive is choke-full of stuff, including all of my various books, and all my ongoing campaign notes. If you at all can, then please, please help me save the contents of the drive.

2014-04-04, 03:30 PM
Unknown Partition means that the File Allocation System is either destroyed or one that the operating system cannot recognize. Since there are no file allocation systems that Windows XP could read but not Windows 7, the only probable answer is "destroyed".

2014-04-04, 09:12 PM
I do believe it's possible the hard drive case itself could be broken. Do you have another another drive that you can use to see if this is the case? But yea... with that said the problem is probably with the hard drive.

2014-04-05, 08:57 PM
my laptop died ... trying to salvage the hard drive
please help me save the contents of the drive.
Did you google "hdd rescue" ?
This should give you some links (http://lifehacker.com/5237503/five-best-free-data-recovery-tools/all) with advice and tools, e.g. testdisk (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk) etc.

Important: dont panic, read instructions first, dont rush.
If possible, test-drive such tools on some "unimportant disk" first, to get familar with it.

Also, do you have a spare disk / enough free space to make a backup/copy of that laptop-hd ?

Someone made the Ultimate Bootstick (http://bootsticks.npage.de/welcome-english.html) with lots of tools for backup, rescue, recovery etc.

2014-04-09, 04:59 AM
Yeah, if you can plug it in, the right recovery software can do wonders.

I had a USB hard drive that went so bad it froze up ANY computer with any version of windows whether I plugged it in before or after startup. Locked it completely solid until unplugged again. So I tried a variety of Mac computers and they all crashed HARD.... FINALLY, I got one startup that recognized the drive long enough for me to run a fresh format on it, but even then it would only allow me to format it for 1/3 of the total memory. Still, that meant I could then run recovery software which was able to look directly at the entire physical drive to recover most of what I needed off of it.