how to recover data from a dead HD ?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by macmithos, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. macmithos macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2006
    I've got a dead HD in my Mac Mini. I've already replaced it by a brand new one and bigger, but I need to recover some data in the old one. does anyone knows how could I do it ? A free software ? A not free software ? I have another iMac G4 800 .... so will I need to insert the dead one in a case and plug it to my iMac running a "free" software ?
    thanks in advance ......
  2. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    There are many company's that do data recovery but they charge a
    small fortune.I dont know anything about it but hopefully someone
    else will
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    It'll depend on whether it's just "not working right" or flat-out dead.

    If it was badly misbehaving, your best shot is to get an external Firewire or USB case for it (2.5" type, I assume, if it's a Mac Mini drive), plug it into a desktop, and hope it mounts. If not, get Data Rescue II--it's by far the most likely to get any data off it. It will show you what it can see before you pay, so if it won't work, you don't need to buy it.

    If that doesn't work, your only option is one of the expensive data recovery services neil321 was talking about. DEFINITELY not worth it unless you REALLY need the data.
  4. GregE macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2007
    My sister's Compaq died so she switched to an iMac. She was telling me how she lost all her files and I told her not necessarily. I put it in an external enclosure and was able to save them over to my PC and then moved them to a flash drive for her.

    I would definitely try the external enclosure. Maybe you will be as lucky. Worst case, you will have a way to get another hard drive, put it in the enclosure and then have a way to back up your data for next time.
  5. coopermac macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2007
    My son's external USB HDD he uses to back up his windows laptop and save other files had stopped being able to be read. Though I have not tried to read it on my MBP, for fear of problems, I tried several windows PC's running XP and W2000 I have access to without any luck. I had recently been researching Linux OS and in particular Ubuntu and recalled that it had managed to read discs in similar situations. I downloaded the Ubuntu iso and loaded it onto a CD. I ran Ubuntu from the CD in a windows system and managed to recover all the files over USB, it was very very slow but the at least the files were saved. It has to be worth a try assuming the disc does power up

    Though I don't intend Ubuntu to ever replace my MBP and Leopard I will definitely be trying it out on my old laptop and experimenting.
  6. jaz419 macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2007
    definitely try the external case first.

    if that doesnt work, and your drive is completely dead, you can send it to a company that will try and repair your drive and get your data off. its expensive, so i guess it depends on how important the data on your drive drive died with my ENTIRE masters thesis on it...i sent it away, and my grant paid the bill ($1200)

    or if youre really ambitious you could try to take the platters out of the failed drive and put them into a working drive.....good luck;)
  7. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    i have 2 WD drives that fail to spin up. what i'm gonna do is just find some working drives of the same model # and firmware versions and swap the pcb boards on them. last case scenario is platter swapping because you need to do the swap in a "clean room" and once you do, it's recommended that you swap the data to a good drive and toss out the ones that were swapped.
  8. macmithos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2006
    thanks to everybody ..... I will definetly try to get a case and run a software that can initialy read files ... if it works I will go through it.
    It was my first question in this site. thank you all very much ....
  9. JSchwage macrumors 6502a


    May 5, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    If you have a PC, I'd highly recommend sticking that hard drive in it and try running SpinRite on it. It's saved my butt countless times. Another great piece of software I use to recover files is ZAR. Unfortunately, this is only available on Windows.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2008

    Is the hard drive completely dead, i.e. no spin or activity from it at all?

    If you have tried the media in an external caddy, and the device is dead, then there will be no software solution.
    The next stage will be to determine the failure type and cause, so i would suggest that you check the PCB for any burnt or damaged components.
    If the PCB appears to be OK then you may have internal issues with the drive, which would be more complex.
    Can you tell me the full model number of the drive.

    If the drive does function, and is seen by the O/S then Disk Warrior may help with recovery of data.

    Be careful that the media has not got any growing defects,(this can be diagnosed by software from manufacturer) if so make a clone of the data, then scan that.

    I hope this helps.

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