No Backup, Dead Hard Drive, What Next? . . . View Online . . Hard Drive Problems Your computer will not start up. . . .Your computer could be dea


No Backup, Dead Hard Drive, What Next? . . . View Online


Hard Drive Problems

Your computer will not start up.
. . .Your computer could be dead.
. . .Your hard drive could be dead.
. . .Your hard drive could be damaged.

You have to recover your files.

Are there any easy ways to do this?

Be Aware
* The more you poke at a damaged or dying hard drive, the greater the chance of final failure..
* Your Files Backup is the basic protection..
* Hard drive image backups are your best protection against this problem.
* Hard drives last 3 to 5 years on average..

Windows - File Recovery


Trashed files by mistake? Need to unerase them?

Recuva will unerase files and is easy to use..
Recuva is FREE.
Requires that Windows is working.
Download from or FileHippo
Recuva Help
PC Inspector File Recovery 4.0 will unerase files and recover files from a damaged hard drive.
PC Inspector File Recovery is FREE.
Download from
Puppy Linux is a bootable CD that can let you copy files from a sick hard drive to a USB flash drive or external hard drive.
Puppy Linus is FREE. but is 100Mb and needs to be burned to a CD or flash drive.
Download from
More PuppyLinux Info

Mac OSX - File Recovery

Deleted Files by Mistake This is one situation where Macs are not nearly as easy as Windows. Trashing files, emptying the Trash without a backup is a BAD idea. DiskWarrior, FileSalvage and Data Rescue are the recommended options. NOTE: a separate destination drive is needed with ALL three.

DiskWarrior $100
FileSalvage $80
Data Rescue $100

Hard Drive Problems - not mounting, can't copy, etc
* If the Mac Starts up AND the problem is the Boot Drive AppleJack is the first thing to try (IF you have installed it)
Disk Utility is the second thing to try (Utilities folder in the Applications folder)
DiskWarrior by Alsoft is better than both of these and has saved many hard drives for me and my clients. It comes on a bootable CD and will repair the boot drive and other drives.

For OSX and MOST Macintosh Models
* FireWire Target Mode is a boot mode unique to Macintosh computers and can repair problems, even if you cannot login to OSX.
FirewireTarget Mode Firewire Target Mode WIKI

Techniques for File Recovery

Internal Drives
* Try recovery on the computer from the affected hard drive.

(In most cases you will need a second drive to recover to - destination drive)
* Try recovery from a second hard drive on the same computer.
* Try recovery from a bootable recovery CD on the same computer.
* Move the affected hard drive to a second computer for recovery.
The second computer may be running the same operating system, or a different OS.
* For Macs, use another Mac and Firewire Target Mode to recover files.

External Drives
* Try recovery on the same computer.
* Try recovery from another computer. (same or different operating system)
* Remove the drive from the case and connect directly or with a different connection..

File Recovery - Wrapup

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Start your Backups and Monthly Maintenance Today!! Please.
File Recovery 101 from ProSoft

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