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Initially my dual core PC started shutdown and re-start by itself after adding 1 GB ram and upgrading the graphic card. Then refused to boot. I restored Window using Ghost but failed to boot.

I tried to install new Windows install, but installation failed after coping the Windows files. Tried to install old Vista Longhorn. It inspected found errors, fixed them but ultimately failed to be installed. Once again restored the ghost through acronis but failed to boot. At the end attached as slave with another pc but it was not visible. Even acronis could not see it or its partitions.

Only BIOS can see it. It seems that no file system is available on the drive. My data on drive is very important. Please help me how to revover my data. Drive brand is Samsung, cap is 160 GB and file system was NTFS.

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migrated from serverfault.com Dec 31 '10 at 12:34

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

2 Answers

Technically either some of the new components you installed are defective, or the drive failed.

Really important data? How much is it worth to you? Because if that is a lot ship the disc to a data recovery company. They have special means to get to the data (including opening the hard disc in a clean room and using special equipment to read it). Sadly, that is EXPENSIVE. BUt then, as you said, the data is important, so money should not be a primary issue. Especially given that you did not make a backup to start with ;)

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Possibly a bit aggressive, but technically correct. Use a data recovery firm. You can try a bunch of things to get the harddrive working, but if the data is important, it'll be best not to mess with it and get someone that knows what they're doing on it. Was initially unsure, but +1 as "important" data not backed up bugs me :) –  Sirex Dec 31 '10 at 9:16
    
Pretty exactly. I am a little tired of people loosing important data because they are too cheap to even make backups. Guess what - i am personally paying 750 USD a month for data streaming to my computers. Redelive4y historical would cost me 1000 USD per month of data. This is about 40gb monthly of highly compressed data. I ge them on a server in a data center, make backups to 2 servers in my office and burn it on 3 dvd's for each month. Why? Because the data IS IMPOIRTANT. –  TomTom Dec 31 '10 at 10:40
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With drive capacities as they are today, and with them being as cheap as they are today, backing up is easier than ever - not doing it is insanity. –  Phoshi Dec 31 '10 at 12:50
    
And I thought I was crotchety... –  GregD Dec 31 '10 at 13:20
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I downvoted because of the personal and aggressive tone of the answer. This is a question and answer site, not a forum for this kind of sniping. No matter how idiotic we may feel someone is for not backing up, there are few of us that haven't been there. –  ChrisA Dec 31 '10 at 13:40
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There are several options to try:

  • Do it yourself with one of these packages, free or cheaper than a specialist recovery service http://www.ptdd.com/ BUT if you are at all unsure about this, go to a data recovery service as DIY might make it worse as @Sirex points out.

  • A specialist recovery service. I have used these myself with success. These folks were great: http://www.rapid-data.net/ (if you are UK-based). They recovered 2 external drives for me, one ordinary and the other a truecrypted volume (I supplied them with the correct password obviously). I don't work for them by the way. Very reasonable prices but made more expensive by their forensic partner having to recover the truecrypt (with the correct password I gave them).

If you don't live in UK just search for data recovery in your favourite search engine. That's exactly how I found these guys.

OK it was an expense for me to recover but I sure feel good getting my data back! I'm philosophical about it and liken it to an expense on repairing my house or car. If you can afford it, do it. Accidents happen.

I hope it works out for you.

It's no good anyone saying should have backed up in first place, hindsight wonderful thing that didn't help me before I got my data recovered and one kicks themselves when they think of that. However, having been bitten, I'm quicker to back things up more regularly, on different media: DVD, Blu-ray, and a Lacie RAID NAS. For the DVD/Blu-ray backups, I also keep a simple catalogue database , a big HTML table actually edited in OpenOffice Write. This is backed up too and so I know where to find my data.

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