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I think I have a damaged hard drive, with lots of PRECIOUS data on it. I always had a backup drive somewhere of it, but I needed it so I ordered more hard drives (should be here tomorrow or so) and formated my backup one. Anyways, what could happen to my precious data in these few days, when everything went fine for so many years?

That's exactly when my PC tower fell on its side while running. Everything was still fine the moment after, I tested some files on evey disk, OK it works, phew.

But now I don't see the drive anymore. When I go in Disk Management, it tell me that disk 4 is not initialized and I must initialize it...

I downloaded HD Tune to see what's up, and I have this warning in the "Health" tab : (C5) Current Pending Sector. When I click on it, in the description it says Number of unstable sectors: 1446. Then whan I do an Error scan, every single sector is detected as bad (well at least the 30~ish first ones)

Tried to run DiskInternals NTFS Recovery. It detects the drive as a drive with no partition. When I try to scan it, it says it found 1 file (so far) and that number doesn't changed. I ran it for 40 minutes and after seeing it was still at one I thought it was probably doing nothing.

So is this the end? I have hundreds, if not thousands of hours of work on this disk... What else can I try? Are there solutions out there? I'm willing to pay what it's worth.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

After a "hard" drive failure, I took it to a data recovery company in town. They quoted $600-$1500 to recover the data. You only pay if they can deliver. Sadly, the drive heads scraped across the platten erasing everything. But under better circumstances they assured me they'd likely have recovered all the data.

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Had that happen to me. DriveSavers quoted me $900. These companies have hardware and software that give them a advantage that normal people can't afford. You might be able to use PhotoRec (google it). It scans all the sectors in read-only mode and copies the files it find to another hard drive. – cybernard Apr 15 '13 at 3:05
@cybernard: "Might be" is the key word here. The other thing which also might happen is damaging your data beyond repair (for an untrained user, there's no way to tell which of these is more likely). In other words, only try to meddle with broken hard disks yourself if your data is of very low value; trying with valuable data is Russian roulette. (Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any data recovery companies - but I have managed to destroy my own valuable data through overconfidence ;)) – Piskvor Aug 20 '15 at 15:04

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