Recover data from disk

Who I am
Manuel Moreno Molina
@manuelmorenomolina
Author and references

If you have inadvertently erased your data, if your hard drive has crashed, if your computer no longer works (motherboard HS...), this article may be useful to you!
Obviously, it is strongly recommended in the future to think about backing up your data regularly...

  • If your operating system is running
  • If your operating system does not work
    • Use a Live CD or Live USB
    • Plug your hard drive into a docking station
    • Plug your hard drive into an external box
    • Plug the drive into a tower
  • If it doesn't work
  • Know the connections and formats
    • SATA
    • IDE
    • USB port
    • Port eSATA
    • Port Firewire
    • Port Thunderbolt
  • Other useful links

If your operating system is running

If your operating system is still working, be aware that there are many free data recovery software, running on Windows, Linux or MacOS:



  • Data recovery software

If your operating system does not work

Use a Live CD or Live USB

If your computer does not start anymore, you can use a blank CD/DVD or a USB key to start (boot) on a Linux Live CD (or live USB) without installing linux, access inaccessible partitions and copy your files to another medium (another partition, USB disk, CD/DVD, etc.).

  • Advantages: inexpensive (just need a CD/USB key), efficient, no need to open the computer (guarantee backed up).
  • Disadvantages: you need a blank CD/DVD/USB key, you have to download Linux and create a Live CD/USB, you have to modify the boot order of the PC with a specific key to boot from the CD or the medium USB. See here: Change boot device order.

Data Recovery Tutorials :



  • All Linux
  • linuxmint
  • Ubuntu
  • Knoppix
  • Kaella
  • Create a Live USB

Plug your hard drive into a docking station

The principle is simply to insert your drive into a docking station which you then connect via a USB cable, or Sata or firewire to your computer. Please note that these stations only accept SATA format disks.


As a precaution, check that:

  • Your drive is in SATA format
  • The box accepts the format of your disk: 2,5 and/or 3,5 inches
  • The connections supported by the station and the computer on which you want to connect this box: USB 2 or 3, eSata, Firewire...

Plug your hard drive into an external box

The principle is simply to insert your disk in a box that you then connect via a USB cable, or Sata or firewire on your computer


As a precaution, check that:

  • the box accepts the connection of your disk: IDE or SATA
  • the box accepts the format of your disc: 2,5 and/or 3,5 inches
  • The connections supported by the box and the computer on which you want to connect this box: USB 2 or 3, eSata, Firewire...

Plug the drive into a tower

  • It is also possible to recover the hard drive and therefore plug it into another computer tower

to get data there.


  • Otherwise, add a hard drive in your tower and install an operating system to boot on it and recover your data from the other hard drive.

For assembly, see these links:


  • Disk in IDE format: http://www.revioo.com/articles/a1724_0.html
  • SATA format disk: http://www.revioo.com/articles/a4882_0.html
  • Warning: if you put a hard drive in a tower under warranty, you risk losing the warranty which is canceled by opening the computer.

Note: sometimes connecting the defective disk prevents the computer from starting, in this case try to start windows without the disk containing the data to be recovered then plug it in just after starting by replacing the Sata cable but Attention because the current passes!!!!, so this is not really recommended!!!! Try using a docking station or external box instead!

If it doesn't work

  • If your disk has changed to RAW format, several software can help you: PTEDIT32, or Testdisk: see this link for more information: https://www.ifastrecovery.net/faq/19556-probleme-de-partition-devenue -raw
  • Sometimes, it is necessary to format the disk in order to start again on a good basis, then use the software given in chapter 1 to recover part of the data from the disk by plugging it into another tower, ... or by reinstalling it your operating system! but this will only recover a few files...
  • If it still doesn't work, ask for help in the site's forum. Otherwise, look at this link: Windows does not start anymore, what to do?
  • If unfortunately there is nothing to do, you will surely have to call on a specialist for a fee... because it is very likely that your hard drive is Out of Service.
  • If your external disk is not recognized: https://www.ifastrecovery.net/informatique/windows/467-acceder-a-une-cle-usb-non-recognized-ou-un-disque-externe-non- detected-by-windows/
  • As a last resort, it is possible to change the electronics of the hard disk and in this case some recommend buying an identical disk to test the electronics of the same functional disk. Please note, it is strictly inadvisable to change the controller card alone because it is a very risky operation and without any guarantee of data recovery on your hard disk. The controller card is in contact with certain very sensitive parts of the hard disk such as the read heads. If these are damaged, file recovery will be even more complicated, if not impossible.

Know the connections and formats

SATA



IDE

To tell the difference between SATA and IDE drives:

USB port

Port eSATA

Port Firewire

Port Thunderbolt

Other useful links

  • Back up your data for free
  • http://www.recuperationdedonneesperdues.com/
  • Selling your record: Precautions to take
  • Manual for changing the hard drive of a laptop: http://www.clubic.com/forum/informatiques-portables-pda-mobile/changer-le-disque-dur-de-son-portable-id406700-page1.html

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