Question Getting Data Off Failed Laptop HDD Using Linux

Aug 11, 2019
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My girlfriends laptop drive failed, but the computer does still recognize the drive. She has some pictures and a few documents that she wants back, but not enough to send it off and pay for professional data recovery. My build dual boots with linux, and since I think I can see other drives with linux I was wondering if it would be possible to hook her drive into my desktop to get those files? I understand this could further damage her drive by making it run, but since her warranty is out anyway I told her that since I would fix her laptop for her and have the old drive that I would do some research and try.

Side Note: I understand, and I told her, that there's no guarantee even if I can and Linux finds the drive
 
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Welcome to the forums my friend!

Best thing you can try is to plug it into another system and use a program like Recuva.

Outside of that, proactive measures to prevent hard drive failure is best, professional data recover is costly because it is a specialist trade, that requries lots of experience. So it's "technically" worth every penny. Not much you can do if the HDD has failed.

You can try and recover it using some free software, outside of that, your only choice is professional recovery. Even then it isn't guaranteed.

This is why the only guaranteed measure to data protection, is to proactively back it up unfortunately.
 
Reactions: JustToby
Aug 11, 2019
3
0
10
0
Welcome to the forums my friend!

Best thing you can try is to plug it into another system and use a program like Recuva.

Outside of that, proactive measures to prevent hard drive failure is best, professional data recover is costly because it is a specialist trade, that requries lots of experience. So it's "technically" worth every penny. Not much you can do if the HDD has failed.

You can try and recover it using some free software, outside of that, your only choice is professional recovery. Even then it isn't guaranteed.

This is why the only guaranteed measure to data protection, is to proactively back it up unfortunately.
Thanks for the welcome!

Yeah, I'm aware of why it's expensive, but just for the handful of pictures on her HDD, it's not worth it.

Personally, if possible, I'm hoping to not have to use a program. If I was trying to recover large chunks of data, I'd feel a bit different. Especially considering if the drive has completely failed I'd have wasted $20 getting a Recuva license, because there's a large chance I wouldn't even be able to get the pictures
 
If the drive is still recognised, and if the file system still mounts, then you could try to copy off those few files that she needs. Otherwise you could try to clone the drive with a tool that understands how to work with bad sectors, eg HDDSuperClone or ddrescue (both are Linux tools). You wouldn't need to clone the entire physical drive, just the data partition, assuming it has multiple partitions.

http://www.sdcomputingservice.com/hddsuperclone
https://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/

If the cloned file system won't mount, you could use a tool such as DMDE to recover the files. It has a Linux version as well. It's not free, though (US$20). Alternatively there is TestDisk or PhotoRec, both freeware.

https://dmde.com/
https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

BTW, I would start with a SMART report. Look for reallocated, pending or uncorrectable sectors.

https://www.smartmontools.org/
 
Reactions: JustToby

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