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Topic # 164255 3-Feb-2015 11:18
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So my Dad's oldish Win7 laptop stopped booting up. It would get as far as the Starting Windows bit and then everything would go black.
As is the way with the older folks, he has hardly ever used the backup drive I bought him.
I've replaced his HDD with a new SSD and reinstalled Windows7 for him, but he's a bit upset about all the lost photos of the grandkids.
The parental units of said grandkids can replace some of the photos, just not the ones he took himself. 

I put the faulty HDD in an external caddy and it shows up in Explorer with a drive letter but thats about it, no capacity info shows. When you click on the drive Windows asks if you want to format it.
It also makes a clicking sound, about 4 or so clicks then a pause, repeating.

I understand my options are a variety of data recovery services at the cost of mega-bucks, or maybe some software based tools. I've heard rumours involving a freezer and a snap-lock bag.

But if it was your 75 year old father, sitting beside you practically in tears, what would you do?
(PS, we've had the backup talk again already)





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  Reply # 1230356 3-Feb-2015 11:24
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If it is that important, and there are many photos, send it to a data recovery place (with a spare drive).

If it is clicking, I don't like your chances of getting it going. I have tried the freezer trick, and it didn't work.

There is a crowd in Hamilton (DataLab I think). I have used them a few times, and the price is reasonable (easily under $1k every time, but this was 4 years ago) and they are really good.

Do it on the sly and give them back to him as a present.

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  Reply # 1230380 3-Feb-2015 11:38
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Cloud backup in future, so it's automatic and he can't stop it working. Send it to a data recovery specialist.




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  Reply # 1230387 3-Feb-2015 11:47
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Having tried numerous times theres nothing your average joe can do with a clicking drive, send it off to data recovery place. They physically remove the platters from the drive and put it into a working drive (or replace the controller, whatever is easier).



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  Reply # 1230390 3-Feb-2015 11:49
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Cloud backup would be great except he has a small datacap (and over 15GB of photos and videos IIRC), and I have hideously slow upload speeds. Still, it could be done over time.




Life is too short to remove USB safely.




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  Reply # 1230393 3-Feb-2015 11:50
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If you send a spare drive in with the faulty one, does it have to be identical?




Life is too short to remove USB safely.


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  Reply # 1230394 3-Feb-2015 11:51
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Also understand that every time you power it up to have a go yourself, you're potentially doing more damage to the data.

As above, make enquiries with the recovery companies. Their pricing may not be as bad as you think (fingers crossed!).




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  Reply # 1230395 3-Feb-2015 11:51
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As others have said, power it off, don't attempt to do anything, send it to datalab, pay somewhere between $500-1000, get photos back, learn expensive lesson on backups.






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  Reply # 1230403 3-Feb-2015 12:03
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kiwifidget: If you send a spare drive in with the faulty one, does it have to be identical?


Yes.

My boss got caught on this, got the same drive but a different manufacturing country. Not compatible. 

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  Reply # 1230409 3-Feb-2015 12:12
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kiwifidget: If you send a spare drive in with the faulty one, does it have to be identical?


No. Not for this purpose. They will send your data back on the drive you send

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  Reply # 1230412 3-Feb-2015 12:14
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But if it was your 75 year old father, sitting beside you practically in tears, what would you do?
(PS, we've had the backup talk again already)



I'd get the credit card out and pay someone to fix it. Photos are priceless to the elderly.

Next would get drop box setup to automatically backup the pictures.

A.


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  Reply # 1230415 3-Feb-2015 12:20
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A regular visit to Harvey Norman when they have cheap printing is also a good idea.

Digitalised photos are great but there is nothing better than flicking through prints!

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  Reply # 1230425 3-Feb-2015 12:34
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Computer Forensics would be my pick. It will not be cheap (somewhere around $800 - $1000 normally), but if the data is still on the disk, they will get it back.




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  Reply # 1230459 3-Feb-2015 13:04
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*** AT YOUR OWN RISK***

My solution rather than to spend money, was to bash the drive against something solid..... sometimes it was enough to get physical things back in place long enough to do a copy of the data. Did this about 2-3 times on one drive, each time it stopped working Id bash it again. Didnt copy everything, but something was better than nothing. However this was on a drive that didnt contain anything Id miss really.... just more frustrating to replace.





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  Reply # 1230500 3-Feb-2015 13:25
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Wwid? Dont mess with it. Take it immediately to a data recovery specialist. Ignore the price estimates above and get professional advice.

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  Reply # 1230528 3-Feb-2015 13:37
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xpd: *** AT YOUR OWN RISK***

My solution rather than to spend money, was to bash the drive against something solid..... sometimes it was enough to get physical things back in place long enough to do a copy of the data. Did this about 2-3 times on one drive, each time it stopped working Id bash it again. Didnt copy everything, but something was better than nothing. However this was on a drive that didnt contain anything Id miss really.... just more frustrating to replace.



Just remembering of course that it may make data recovery harder if it doesn't work and you have to send it away. As others have said, pack it up, send it away if the data is priceless. Also set up the external drive as an automatic backup. You could also buy a small NAS and set up an automatic backup to that.
In my experience, SSD may also be fine one day, then not be there at all. Of course, this depends on what SSD drives you are buying. Don't rely on your grand father to run a backup is all I am saying, make it something he doesn't even think about. 




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http://www.vultr.com/?ref=7033587-3B


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