How to recover data from laptop hard drive that won’t boot

This 1TB HGST drive came to us from a shop locally here in Wichita. The Wichita shop received a drive that wasn’t showing up on the computers they would plug it into, and they were not able to complete software-based recovery on the drive. This shop likes to refer people to us as we are normally able to recover the data quickly and for a lot less than any competitor data recovery companies.

Recovering Important Music From Hard Drive That Won’t Boot

This particular drive had some important audio files for a DJ that had created original music. The customer had tried the Geek Squad from Best Buy first but was told they were not able to recover anything from the drive without sending it out for recovery. The quote for the recovery through Best Buy was $1450. The customer decided to not go through them for recovery but brought the drive to their local computer repair shop instead.

The local computer repair shop attempted a recovery on the drive but found it would not respond to their recovery equipment. The shop had recommended us in the past to other clients when they were not able to recover the data, so they told this client to bring the drive to us for an affordable data recovery option.

The main issue with the drive ended up being bad sectors. Bad sectors can be in just the wrong spots, as was the case with this drive. The bad sectors were keeping the drive from mounting partition information and would cause the software-based recovery methods to freeze up when you attempted to run a scan on the drive.

How to recover data from laptop hard drive that won’t boot

The first step was to prepare the hard drive’s firmware for imaging. This included turning off features of the drive that could interfere with the imaging process. Once the drive was ready to image, I used the PC-3000 built-in DE program to image the drive fully. It took a few days, but I was able to get 99.9999% of the sectors from the drive!

Once the imaging passes were complete and I was confident I had gotten all the sectors possible, I continued with the last step of recovery, running a full recovery scan to find all the data in the recovered sectors. There are multiple data recovery programs that are available for this step, but one of my favorites is UFS Explorer Pro. While it is an expensive program, it does an excellent job.

Data Recovery Results

All the user data was retrieved including folder structure and full file names. The important music files were all intact and because the folder structure was present, they could be accessed through the programs they were using without any additional work. The client was very pleased to get all their data back in a fully usable form.

Because we quote a flat rate based on the issue with the drive, this recovery fell under our affordable Standard data recovery tier.

Start your recovery

If you have a drive that is not showing up on your computer, I would be happy to help! You can request a free quote by filling out my quote form. Or you can give me a call at (620) 615-6836 to discuss your project. I offer data recovery to anybody in the USA through my mail-in service, as well as locally here in Kansas.

Drive info: HGST 1TB, HTS541010A9E680, P/N: 0J26213, MLC: DA5218, FW: 560

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