Thursday, March 16, 2006

What to do if your notebook hard drive fails

First, Don't Panic.

As long as you didn't let the smoke out of your hard drive, you should be okay. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Go buy a USB laptop hard drive enclosure.
  2. Plug your laptop hard drive into the enclosure, and hook the usb cable up to your computer at home.
  3. Download some recovery software like R-Studio.
  4. Pay the company their $45, they are about to earn it, and earn it big time.
  5. Install R-Studio on your home pc, and start it up.
  6. Tell R-Studio to scan the USB connected hard drive.
  7. It should, once it's done, give you the original directory structure of your hard drive. As an added bonus, many of the files you deleted from the HD will be available again.
  8. Select the files you care about, and tell R-Studio to recover checked items.
  9. Go to sleep.
  10. When you get up, it should be done. You should see a screen like this:
    Screen print of successful restore operation

I cannot tell you how stoked I am that this worked. As you can see in the screenshot, I lost some files, but not many, and not the ones that I care about. Most of the lost files were MP3s and videos, which I can re-acquire. I got the important stuff back (email, code, documents). Just about 11 gigs worth.

Thank you, R-Studio.

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