T Nation



My computer died today. Everything is now gone. This is one of the saddest days in my adult life. I lost all my files. Including my iTunes with 6000 songs. I guess I will just have to pick up the pieces and start over. At least I still have the Nation. Wish me luck..


Let God damn those who create computer viruses, and let God help those who search porn.


Take your computer over to the Geek Squad at a local BestBuy and they might be able to salvage a lot of the data off of your hard drive. They don't charge too much for that kind of thing either.


That's crap - I've been there too, thats why I bought an external hard drive to BACKUP onto and it's been a lifesaver.

If you wanna spend the money you could take your hard drive to a professional data recovery place - there's a good chance they'll get your data back but it does cost quite a bit.


You can salvage your data yourself.
Here's how:
Get a second hard drive. Install it. If you need help with this contact me or look it up online. It's not really that hard.
You just need to take the case off; insert the drive and then plug in two cables. Sometimes you have to fool around with jumpers. Usually not though.

Next you're going to have to install windows on this drive.
So set your bios to read the CD-Rom drive first (hit DEL when your computer starts).

Now install windows on the new drive (it'll be the one without data).
once that's done you need to go back into the BIOS and set the new drive as your first drive to load.
Now you have a computer again and you can transplant the data over.

Luckily hard drives are pretty cheap nowadays.
Also if it's something other than a virus like a dead motherboard or CPU you can always just replace that or you can just put your hard drive in another computer and back up your data like that.


your data may very well still be there, don't act rashly. Its most likely the operating system that has gone awry. Seek the help of a professional in getting your old data off. Formatting the drive is not the answer! I've been there. Twice. First time I lost it all, second time I found a better way...

Good luck.

And get some serious anti-virus software.


Unless you formated the drive and started over, chances are very likely you data is intact.
If it was a software error and it sounds like it was since you mentioned a virus and not physical damage to you drive.

All you have to do is hook it up to something that can read the drive like another PC and copy the data off of it, or partition the drive and move the data to the new partition and reload the os. If you know a geek, he could do this for you. Or you could head to best buy, but I'm hesitate to recommend them, they're usually good on simple stuff like this but sometimes you run into the guys that don't know anything and they'll tell you all they can do is format and reload.

BTW if it was a hardware error, i.e. the hard drive is physically broken you can bring or send it to a data recovery service, just google it and you'll find bunch. They can do stuff like remove platters and do detailed scans. The last price quote I saw was a year ago and they charged $75 for an initial fee and $75 for every hour of work needed. That's alot cheaper then is was back in the day.


I agree with pretty much everyone on this thread, except Kuz. DO NOT TAKE YOUR COMPUTER TO BEST BUY! Those geek squad morons are just that, morons.

I am a partner at a private PC consulting firm. Most the jobs we get are computers these idiots supposedly fixed, and most say they came back worse than when they brought them in.

The easiest way to find out if your data is still there is to just plug your hard drive into another PC. From there you can get your data off your hard drive and then reinstall Windows and you'll be back up in no time.


Also, formatting the drive won't necessarily wipe out the data, either. It can still be retrieve with professional data recovery tools. That's what I do.

We've seen Geek Squad cause a lot more problems and complicate things. What condition things are in really will depend on the virus and whether it damaged the OS or overwrote all of the data with zeros.


Thanks for all the helpful info, but I am afraid it is too late. The first thing I did was contact Dell, and Kenji our Indian friend helped me to reinstall my Windows operating system and all the drivers.

I actually have everything that is really important to me (iTunes library) saved. I just have to go through the hassle of reinstalling it. I do intend on buying an external hard drive. Can anyone recommend a good one? I guess I wouldn't need more than 100 GB. Thanks.



Check out these two sites:
www.bottomdollar.com Great site

www.pricewatch.com - be careful of shady merchants!


See if you can get an ADS external drive. They are rubber instead of metal, so the heat dispersion is much, much better AND they have a fan built inside which a lot of external units don't have.


I would get anything with a Western Digital drive in it. From my experience, these seem to fail the least. I've seen some pretty fancy setups that have aluminum enclosures and fans to remove the heat that builds up inside the enclosure.

You may just want to add a second internal hard drive. This will save you a bundle and installing a secondary drive is fairly simple.


Unless you've had the hard drive at 900 (Degrees) Farenheit for a bit, the data is theroetically recoverable. Even if you've smashed the platters to pieces, it's theroetically recoverable, although I doubt anyone would acually do this.

However, people have recovered data that has been "erased" to the Department of Homeland Security's (I think) standards, that is low level formatted (writing zeroes completely over the whole drive seven times

For a new hard drive, check out www.storagereview.com, I guess its sort of an enthusiast computer site, just about hard drives...



Well, tell ya what. My Dad had a problem with a hard drive crashing on his computer, was quoted some of the most ridiculous rates from the professional data recovery places ($200 up to over $1,000). Took it to the Geek Squad and everything was recovered in less than 24 hours for $50, so clearly they are not a problem in every case.


If you plan to buy another drive I would suggest at least 200GB. The prices are droping like crazy and if you're in to storing music, photo's and video's then it can fill up pretty fast.


Yeah, but I think they used an electron-microscope and assemebled the data back together bit by bit. That would take alot of time/money and rescources. But now I think they either shred/grind or melt down the drives after that was found out.
Good use of the word theroetical, definatly applys,lol.