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I'm running Windows XP (still!) with 2 hard drives, 2nd drive stopped working a couple of nights ago. PC crashed, restarted - heard a couple of beeps - not the usual start up sound. On starting pc up without 2nd drive Windows boots + runs fine, but with secondary drive in it's too slow to use. Drive appears in My Computer but cannot access - takes forever to even load My Computer with the drive running.

I've tried running testdisk from DOS and can see the drive, followed steps to recover boot sector and can list some files - but only 1/4 at most are showing.

Have tried the deeper search in testdisk and there's a read error at 12% - left it for 2 hours and it still hasn't got any further. Took about 30mins max to reach 12%.

I've been looking up bad sectors and haven't found a decent way to proceed to try to recover as much data as possible.

Can anyone suggest what might be best to do next? Other than time travelling back in time and backing up.. have done in the past but of course those drives broke too! Thanks for any help :)

marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, ChrisInEdmonton, Kevin Panko, Tog, Shekhar Jan 11 '14 at 20:43

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The best way to get data off a dying drive is a bit for bit copy. Do you have another hard drive you can clone this one to?

Hook up another drive to clone to and boot to a Linux Live CD (Knoppix is great) and see if it picks up both drives. Once you're in the Live CD console you can check to see if the drives were both picked up with an fdisk -l.

If so, then use something like dd_rescue to clone the drive at that point. dd_rescue is nice because it has the ability to cope with bad sectors. Just make sure to be VERY careful when using this tool, if not used properly it can destroy your data.

If you don't want to take the cloning route it might be work taking a look at something like Unstoppable Copier or Recuva.

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