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My laptop fell down and now I cannot start it. BIOS Hard drive tests shows "Error Code: 0000 Read Verification Failed" on the 0% of the test.

I need to copy data from the disk and thus I took it off and connected through USB to another laptop. The disk is visible by Device Manager and by Disk Management tool. Also, both partitions of the disk are seen by Disk Management tool as healhy. 1st partition cannot be accessed from My Computer. Instead, Windows shows a popup "You need to format the disk in drive E before you can use it"

Fortunately, for the 2nd partition (which contains 99% of my data!) I was able to see root folders in My Computer and copy one of them. However, the process seems to be very tedious for the other folders:

  • Copying the mentioned folder took 5 minutes, even if it contained less than 1MB of data (the broken disk sounded like it was trying to access the same area multiple times until it "caught" the file")
  • The rest of the folders contain much more data (some GB)
  • My Computer stalls when trying to scan them (Windows Explorer stops responding)

I guess that I need to access the folders or even single files in the other way.

How can I access those "difficult" folders?

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which OS was on it and how were disk formated? NTFS, FAT32? – Dave Nov 20 '11 at 22:10
Since it was dropped the drive has physical damage I would be patient and copy the files/folders off one at a time no matter how long it takes, doing anything else to the drive could render it totally inaccessible and lose your data, then you have to send it off for professional recovery for big bucks. – Moab Nov 20 '11 at 22:30
@Dave: Windows XP SP2, NTFS. Any suggestion for tool here? – dzieciou Nov 25 '11 at 7:45
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I will answer it not knowing the full scenario.

I used to use NDD2.exe (Norton Disk Doctor 2) for recovering data from damage disk on windows 95/98. It worked pretty well. It would basically fix corrupted floppy disks and recover data from it and make it useable. The way it work, it would scan the boot partition, fix all the entries, map the bad sector and then access the data that was good.

Now I am guessing you would be using NTFS on large. NDD2 unfortunately could not use NTFS drives and the hard disk size was limited. I believe you need something like that. Do not waste time on copy single files like that. It may take hours and after hours of wating, you will find the copied files didn't work.

I would recommend to have a look at this

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It sounds like you are dealing with a hard disk drive crash affecting at least the files required for proper boot up. If the laptop was turned on when it fell, it's likely that the read-write heads of the drive were not retracted, and that means the damage is more likely to be severe.
I had a similar situation two years ago. My friend fell asleep and his laptop fell between the arm of the chair and the seat cushion -- blocking all air flow. A few hours later, his disk was toasted -- literally. I tried to use windows utilities to fix bad sectors, etc but the disk was too far gone.
I connected the disk via usb enclosure to another computer and bulk copied the user data file -- multiple directories at once. It took 1 1/2 days and I got 2/3 of the data back.

There are many data recovery utilities. If you use one, I'd look for one that does not try to write back to the already damaged disk -- unless you believe the current disk will not deteriorate further. I used to have a friend who did professional data recovery. One rule of thumb was to use/spin damaged media as little as possible to avoid further damage -- don't try to salvage the physical disk, worry about getting the data to a safe, stable media.

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That was probably the reason I wasn't able to recover the data. I used/spinned the damaged disk too much before getting more professional help. Just after damage it was running to a certain degree but during more professional recovery it was nearly dead. – dzieciou Jul 25 '13 at 9:13

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