Computer Experts Help lost 5 years of PhD work

Discussion in 'General Airgun Chat' started by heidi, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. heidi

    heidi AA MPR, BSA ULTRA

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    Do we have any true PC Experts ? Last night I had a power failure for some unknown reason resulting in my PC Crashing

    The only way I can get it to work is to reload windows on a second drive so currently my main drive is inaccessible and that contains 5 years of work towards a PhD so if anyone can suggest a way of rescuing the data I will be grateful

    Heidi
     
  2. pauljv

    pauljv Member

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    could you use the repair windows option with your windows disc rather doing an install windows option
     
  3. slammer99uk

    slammer99uk Member

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    Are you able to give more info on the system concerned?

    - Is it a laptop or desktop?
    - Hard disk configuration, IDE, SATA, 2.5 or 3.5 inch?
    - Are you or a friend comfortable rooting around inside it to move HDD’s from master to slave or primary/secondary etc?

    Or pop into PCworld/Currys and pick up an external USB enclosure for your original drive, boot the PC from your new version of Windows and plug it in and see if you can read it.



    Jerry
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  4. Adam

    Adam Active Member

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    When you say booting windows from a second drive, is that another internal hard disk or an external USB one? What version of windows is it? My knowledge is based on versions up to 7, I've not used 8.

    It is possible that the power crash just trashed the boot sector of your primary drive so windows can't boot off it. I've had this happen to me before. If so, all the data should still be accessible.

    When you boot windows off this second disk, do you have another drive letter in My Computer that refers to your original drive? If so, your original "My Documents" folder should be under the drive letter for that drive, in \Users\<your name>\Documents, for Windows Vista and later, and \Documents and Settings\<your name>\Documents for XP and earlier. I think XP Home had a single user so it would be
    \Documents and Settings\User\Documents

    If you can get hold of a Linux Live CD, booting off that won't touch the installed drives. So that is a non-destructive and free way to see if your original drive is accessible in any way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  5. Doberman1979

    Doberman1979 Not so senior member

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    Hi,

    First thing i'd do is slave the drive, we'd need more details of the machine but you take hard drive out, use a hard drive caddy then plug it in to a laptop as if its an external drive and take it from there. Am happy to talk you through whats required if needs be.

    Rgds Simon
     
  6. neilL

    neilL New Member

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    Sorry to hear that. Backups? Copies of data sent to supervisor? Emailed? Attachments?

    Worst case - old printed copies and pay to have them re-typed?

    I strongly urge you to have the disk mounted in a different enclosure and mount it read-only on a different system entirely. It may be possible to find the file(s). I would suggest a BSD or Linux system where a disk is not forced in to write-mode on boot. Windows is a terrible system to use for data recovery unless you have a drive adaptor which can force read-only.

    Hard drives fail for various reasons. The platters themselves go bad (actually rare), the read/write heads fail ( quite common with large capacity disks) or the electronics board fails. The board can sometimes be swapped with another from the same make and model, replacing heads is nontrivial and if the platters have gone there is very little chance of recovery.

    I used to sysadmin and also do disk forensics and the worst case was always a student with no backups. Data recovery companies charge a lot but it is hard work with modern drives.

    Neil
     
  7. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    Get someone to burn a copy of ERD Commander to a CD for you - boot off the CD and it has an option to repair a Windows partition for you.

    You haven't lost your data, all that has happened is that the boot partition has some corruption.

    Dead easy to fix, I must have done it a dozen times for various people.
    Unfortunately I'm not back in the UK until 19th Sept so I can't post you a disk, but perhaps someone on here who knows how to download a torrent of ERD could help you out?
     
  8. heidi

    heidi AA MPR, BSA ULTRA

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    PhD

    Problem solved took the Sata Drive into a PC repairs they told me the data is still there just the drive has crashed so it's been sent off to a data recovery specialist to extract everything on it.

    Not so unhappy now

    Heidi
     
  9. rich

    rich Active Member

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    I had a 40GB Fujitsu drive fail about 12 years ago, it turned out that the UK had taken delivery of about 300,000 drives all with the same inherent problem, and they had been installed in PCs made here.

    A data recovery specialist in Portsmouth managed to salvage everything I wanted but it cost me £120.

    True, the value was at least that much to me.

    The techie guy said the problem was the hard drive reporting to the OS on boot up that it wasn't ready, due to some flag not being set, while all the time it was ready; he just needed to get the OS to ignore the error message, which of course Windows 98 as it was at the time, couldn't do.
     
  10. JJ

    JJ Member

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    I had a state of the art Solid State Hard Drive go corrupt on me about 12 months ago. Only 6 weeks after buying it from new!
    In the end all drives will break no matter how much you spend.
    Back Up, Back Up and Back Up again. That's all you can do.
     
  11. neilL

    neilL New Member

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    ... and Test that you can recover with the backups.

    Probably a legend but the story goes that an office in NY paid a guy to take backup tapes to a storage unit outside the city and gave fare for the cab ride. Guy took the subway and kept the difference. Placed the bag on the floor between his feet. Office server hard drives failed and they got the tapes back from the remote storage but all tapes were corrupt. Magnetic fields from the subway train's motors under the floor wiped them.
    They never tested their backup+restore process.

    There are lots of similar stories.

    When in doubt print it out :) seriously though. When it comes to a thesis, copy it to a couple of other computers (send an attachment to a Gmail account - they keep everything!). Quicker to pull a copy back from another computer than a backup. USB key drives are very cheap. Not at all reliable but you can have one for each day of the week (and lose just one day's work) - old method that worked with floppies.

    But do check that your copies are good copies i.e. still open in Word or LaTeX :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  12. Ste Hughes

    Ste Hughes Daystate's whipping boy

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    Can't help you out, but in future for the sake of £1.50 per month you can get 100gb of storage on Google drive.

    Perfect for backing up important stuff like this.

    Hope you get your work back, I highly doubt its lost forever you just need the right guy to work out what happened.
     

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