A few weeks ago I had a Dell inspiron laptop come in that had a corrupted and failing hard drive. It was a very good business friend’s wife’s laptop. The personal data on the laptop was irreplaceble, family pictures, movies, and personal finance. They had taken the laptop to Geek Squad and they couldn’t do anything for them except replace the hard drive, they called Dell and they told them it was a loss cause. So as a last resort they asked me if I would take a look at it. They had NO Backup!
Basically the drive was failing mechanically, it was still alive, but failed every test. I was surprised it was still functioning. Windows Vista 32 bit was installed, and it would not boot, go to anysafe mode, repair, or reinstall on the partition. The USB ports were not functioning, the keyboard was broken too. So I ordered a new hard drive and a new keyboard. When they arrived I replaced the keyboard and got to work of trying to get a usb drive operational to back up any data I could get off the partition. Nope that wouldn’t work ever. I did every basic back and recovery options available to no prevail. Right when I was going to give up and replace the drive, I saw that the dell had a recovery partition on the drive that was 600 Meg in size, just enough space that I could install an OS on it. The CD still worked! So I went for it, I was a little worried because the recovery system on the partition didn’t work. I got the OS installed (Windows Vista) and was able to access the damaged Partition. I ran a scan disk on the damaged Partition and it was successful. I attached the laptop to a backup device and was successful in getting all of the data off the laptop. Every Picture, Movie was fine! I then replaced the hard drive with a new larger and faster one, installed Windows 7 Utimate for them and gave them Backup Instructions!
Rule Number one: Backup Your Data.
Rule Number two: Make sure you have friends in Technology. We will work for a few beers after work for our friends!