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I have a Dell Inspiron 1720 with a damaged hard drive. I was wondering about a few things really.

Is it possible to recover/transfer data from it at all? I assume it's only partially bad, particularly in a start up area.

If so, can I perform the transfer using the 1720's two internal hard drive slots? Or must I use an external hard drive?

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related: superuser.com/questions/212545/copy-a-bad-drive-to-a-new-drive –  user78429 Jun 24 '11 at 7:28

2 Answers 2

If the hard drive is virtually damaged (corrupt, etc.), some specialist file recovery software can recover it. For this type of recovery, it is best that [the software] writes to external media to prevent writing to the hard drive and overwriting the data.

If the hard drive is physically damaged, your data can still be saved (with lots of $$$). Send your hard drive to a hard drive recovery company and hopefully some of your data can be restored.

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Yes and no.

When recovering from a physically damaged hard drive, pretty much anything you do will make it worse , and most forensic tools focus on getting as much data out as possible. However, this isn't magic, it will depend on the level of damage - ddrescue is what most people suggest in that kind of situation.

This won't transfer the 'data' it will image the whole drive, and you can get the data out through the image.

Two drive slots is a better idea, you want to do the recovery ASAP - the longer the drive runs, the worse the damage can be.

You will also want to check the smart information to decide if its physical damage or not - not all errors show up, but if it shows up in smart, the drive's days are numbered.

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