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Old 08-16-2010, 09:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trying to recover a laptop hard drive

I had a Dell laptop, Inspiron E1505 running Vista, that died on me a few months ago, when I power it on I get “Error Code 0146” and windows would not load. I tried to boot it off the boot disk but had no luck. I just want to recover my files if I can; pictures, word docs, ect.

I removed the laptop hard drive and popped open my eMachine desktop, I plugged the hard drive into the desktops power supply and the mother board and fired it up. The computer is reading the old laptop drive (as disk E and a 9 GB partition of recovery disk as drive F) But when I try to open or explore drive E it says the drive cannot be opened because it is not formatted, I also can’t run scandisk because the drive is not formatted. Drive E does not show any properties; size, space used, space free, ect. It let me do a disk defrag but I’m not sure that’s actually doing anything. Drive F shows 5 GB used and has folders in it but none of my personal files are there.

Is there any way I can access the files on the old laptop drive or are they truly gone for good?
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to recover a laptop hard drive

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Originally Posted by t8765 View Post
I had a Dell laptop, Inspiron E1505 running Vista, that died on me a few months ago, when I power it on I get “Error Code 0146” and windows would not load. I tried to boot it off the boot disk but had no luck. I just want to recover my files if I can; pictures, word docs, ect.

I removed the laptop hard drive and popped open my eMachine desktop, I plugged the hard drive into the desktops power supply and the mother board and fired it up. The computer is reading the old laptop drive (as disk E and a 9 GB partition of recovery disk as drive F) But when I try to open or explore drive E it says the drive cannot be opened because it is not formatted, I also can’t run scandisk because the drive is not formatted. Drive E does not show any properties; size, space used, space free, ect. It let me do a disk defrag but I’m not sure that’s actually doing anything. Drive F shows 5 GB used and has folders in it but none of my personal files are there.

Is there any way I can access the files on the old laptop drive or are they truly gone for good?

Have you tried to format it?

Just try formatting it, and seeing where it goes from there.

Also, you can get PC Recovery from a local staples for like $20 and see if that works...
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to recover a laptop hard drive

If I format it wont that erase all the data that is on there?
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to recover a laptop hard drive

Are you computer literate at all? I don't mean to sound condescending or what not. I just mean there is a difference between swapping parts and actually knowing how to use certain software.

You could try a linux distro designed for data recovery. I haven't tried this particular one but have heard good things about it

Data Recovery With TestDisk | HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to recover a laptop hard drive

“Computer literate,” well compared to you probably not, I have had no formal training or education and most of what I know I learned from trial and error and msg boards.

I have had some luck in the past getting data of busted or unbootable desktops by putting the hard drive in a working machine; I was hoping this would be possible with the laptop hard drive but its proving a bit more complicated now.

I had never heard of a “distro” until you mentioned it, I looked it up, and that sounds really interesting. I will give TestDisk a shot, whether or not I will be able to figure out how to use it, remains to be seen but, after all, that’s the fun part. Thanks for the tip, any more advice would be welcome. Cheers!
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to recover a laptop hard drive

Sorry for using slang (ie distro), I forget sometimes that I am speaking to a broad audience
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to recover a laptop hard drive

NoNameNY, please be considerate of our members.

Use any form of Linux. Ubuntu, for example. Download a Live Boot-CD. You can use Linux without installing it. It might be able to see data that Windows can't.
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