Hard Drive Data Recovery Review
Discussion by tansqrx with 15 Replies.
Last Update: October 4, 2011, 2:21 pm
EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional 4.3.6
Worked first time and I was actually impressed.
ARAX Disk Doctor 2.2
Buggy and crashed. Never got a single bit of data from this software. Tried to get a refund but I had to fax my credit card number on a form they emailed me so I decided against it.
Western Digital consumer hard drives
At one time my hard drive fleet was comprised entirely of Western Digital but something has happened in the past few years and I have had 6 of them die almost exactly one year after purchase.
Here comes the second round to make this particular week in my life really bad. The backup that I referenced earlier, well it died exactly one day after the main hard drive crash. The external drive was a hybrid CD Ėhard drive contraption from AcomData (http://www.acomdata.com/) that I purchased from CompUSA during their closing. It served me well for some time but I was always annoyed at the CD partition that also popped up when the drive was attached. I knew from the beginning that the CD was emulated in hardware by having a separate partition on the external hard drive. I tried everything I knew to get the external drive working because at this point I did have more than time to loose from a dual hard drive crash. When I opened the enclosure I found guess what; A Western Digital hard drive. At this point I was in a really foul mood and the newly discovered hard drive very nearly went through the drywall in my room. After calming down I deduced that the hard drive itself was not to blame but there was a problem with the hardware controller. Long story short, the hard drive and data were apparently OK but I couldnít get to it because of the special CD partition at the beginning and the partition tables were laid out in a proprietary format. The data was NTFS but the partition entry describing the partition type was completely out in left field.
I exhausted all of my free options and I really needed that data back so I started looking for commercial products. For one reason or another I downloaded ARAX Disk Doctor 2.2 from http://www.disk-doctor.com. It was nice looking and ran a scan similar to PC INSPECTOR File Recovery and declared that it found all of the data and all that it need was me to pay them for the full product. I usually donít engage in such acts but I need my data so I paid them and then eagerly awaited my data. After entering the registration code another scan was performed (around 2 hours) and the same data found message appeared. I then clicked OK and the program crashed. Perhaps this was a one time incident but I soon found that this is one of the buggiest programs that I have ever seen and after beating my head against the wall for about a day I gave up. I soon asked for a refund and hit the red tape big time. After several days of emailing logs they finally gave up and sent me the form to fill out for a refund. There were two forms. One declaring that I have destroyed all copies of the program and the second asking me for my complete credit card information. Both forms were to be faxed back to them. Besides more red tape, I did see a slight problem with providing my complete credit card information on a piece of paper and then faxing it back to complete strangers. And yes faxing it was the only option. Keep my $40, I would like to keep myself save from credit card fraud.
Now enter last week and yet another hard drive debacle. This time it was my own fault because I was wiping some old hard drives for a friend and forgot to take the wiping CD out before I attached my own hard drive to the system and well you can figure out the rest. The wiping software is BCWipePD (http://www.jetico.com/bcwipepd.htm) which does not play around and what is wiped is gone. By the time that I realized my hard drive was in the process of being destroyed and I hit the power, about 7 seconds had passed and around 200 Mb was gone. Well of course that first part of the hard drive holds all the partition tables and a lot of NTFS data so there is absolutely no hope of getting the data back unless you do some raw data reading. Once again I was in a pickle because I had backed up most of my important data through Jungle Disk (www.jungledisk.com) but I didnít have my music backed up.
I first tried PC INSPECTOR File Recovery and then ARAX Disk Doctor but it was still the POS that I remembered so it was now 0 and 2. I once again started searching and happened on yet another commercial hard drive recovery solution. This time I did more due diligence and decided to plop down the money for EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional 4.3.6. As before the trial version showed the data to be recovered but I would have to get the full version, this time $90. I had to have my data back once again so I tried it and this time it worked! Not only did it get the data back it was easier to use and I had absolutely no problems at all. After I was finished with the current problem I attached the previous external hard drive and it got all of that data also! EASEUS is 2 for 2. I havenít played around with any other features in EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional 4.3.6 but I havenít had to, it worked the first time and I am a satisfied customer.
In the end all I want is to have my $40 back from ARAX but they have a very difficult and insecure refund process so for fear of credit card fraud they get to keep my $40 this time. In return I get to have $40 worth of fun smearing their name across the Internet and hopefully someone will read this before buying their product. On the other hand I did end up finding a great product called EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional 4.3.6. It worked and thatís all that I have to say. If you find yourself in the same situation as me then you should buy their product.
P.S. Remember to always remove that wiping CD before you reboot
At least thanks for the main info.
I joust bought three Western Digital disks.
Now, I know that I should never do that, buying anything else would have been a better choice.
There is a simple and very effective remedy to your credit card problems, if it is less than 30 days since you received the bill containing the ARAX charge, at least in the U.S. Contact your credit card company and put the charge "in contest." They will ask you to put it in writing, and you will have to follow through. However, credit card companies take consumer fraud complaints very seriously. Typically, if a company has more than 5% of its charges flagged as fraudulent, the credit card company will just shut them off -- refuse to allow them to do business with their cards any more. For that reason, even threatening to put the charge in contest is usually enough to get the company to be much more responsive to you.
I guess this website is full of big hardware buyers. I just bought two 500GB drives for $79.99 each. I probably went through a decision process similar to yours -- look at the capacity first, then at other features. Hard drives are getting more like computers now, there are lots of "extras" that are advertised, and I for one am unclear whether those options are really necessary or useful. An example is ... Rats! I just spent about 15 minutes looking for it, and not finding it.
Anyway, there is a new buzz-phrase that means you can "stack" multiple seek requests in the drive controller hardware, and it will process them in the order that minimizes head travel, instead of the order in which they arrived at the controller. This adds about 15% to 20% to the cost of the drive, but otherwise the performance numbers are identical. It is claimed that this reduces disk latency and wear-and-tear on the drive. I did some digging, and learned that only some very recent Intel motherboards are capable of generating such asynchronous requests, and then only in Vista, so if you're not using the latest hardware and the latest software, the extra money spent on the drive is wasted.
Anyway, I found another number which I strongly urge you to look for on each drive you buy: The length of the warranty! The 2 drives I bought were Seagates, and they are warranted for 5 years! The other drives I was considering had 1-year or 2-year warranties. (I did not even consider "refurbished" drives with 60- or 90-day warranties.)
I have sent two drives back on warranties after several years, and in both cases the replacement was trouble-free. I believe one of them was a Western Digital, but it was a small laptop drive, and that was probably 6 years ago. Times (and manufacturers) are changing.
The last time I had a hard drive corrupt data, I used dd_rescue and dd_rhelp successfully. So far as I know, they are only available in Linux, but they are open-source, and have apparently successfully recovered a lot of data. I believe the pair got the attention of the Gnu honchos, so there has been a name change to ddrescue. I haven't used this latest version, but it is reported to be "less buggy."
Another thing that I look for now is what grade of hard drive it is. Hard drives are generally grouped by either consumer or enterprise (server) grade. The server grade hard drives have a larger mean time between failures (MTBF) and are of course more expensive. It is hard when you are on New Egg and have a list of the same manufacturer, size and cache size to not automatically for the cheapest one. I have found out that the consumer grade hard drives might be fine for grandma, for the average Astahost member it is wise to spend the extra money.
I also have never had any problems with returning hard drives to the manufacturer. I have done this will all the major hard drive companies and had little hassle. The problem is they send you back the exact same model (usually refurbished) that has the same inherent problems and you will end of sending the replacement off in another year anyway. In addition to the $10 or so it costs me in FedEx fees, after around three times returning the same hard drive it just isnít worth it any more.
My worst experience is still with my IBM 45Gb DeskStar hard drive which I ended up sending back the same original and string of replacements 8 times.
For my personal experience, I would stay with Seagate as the preferred manufacturer for my hard disks.
Guys my external USB HDD has gone corrupt. I am unable to open any partition on it. Also, all the partitions have changed from NTFS to RAW.
I was using this external USB HDD for backing my precious data, but now it has gone corrupt as well. It contains many precious documents and my complete music collection. I can't afford to loose any file on it.
I am very much upset at the moment and need your help.
Please please help me recovering the files from it. I'll be really grateful to you for your help.-question by Faizan
If the drive has been detected then I would run SpinRite (http://www.grc.com/intro.htm). SpinRite costs about $80 but usually works. You may find some other free alternatives but I have found most of them to be junk. If no defects are found then you can move onto some of the other software I have described previously.
You may also be interested in an online backup solution that has been discussed in http://www.astahost.com/Carbonite-Online-B...iew-t20384.html and http://www.astahost.com/Remove-Bad-Sectors...-HDD-t1339.html.
QUOTE (GFaizan)[I was using this external USB HDD for backing my precious data, but now it has gone corrupt as well. It contains many precious documents and my complete music collection. I can't afford to loose any file on it.
Link: view Post: 136771
Please tell us. You use the external disk for backing up precious data. Now the external copy seems unreachable. But are the internal data still available ?
If not, you should remember that each precious data has to be in two separate places: on the internal disk and on the USB disk.
If you want to remove the data from the internal disk, you must have it on two USB disks or on a USB disk and a DVD. Never stay with important data in a single place, either internal or USB disk or network.
I personally recommend HDD Regenerator....
Itīs a great software...And can repair physic sectors of your Hard Disk...
Itīs a very useful tool... This software that you mentioned are totally unknow to me...Are you sure they are good?...
My recomendation...HDD Regenerator... A fantastic tool...
-reply by poser
Our RAID 10 systemSuffered physical damage and I contacted Rapid Data Recovery immediately. AfterAnalyzing our situation they suggested we contact Fields Data Recovery forBetter technical services. Fields did aFantastic job and we are proud to recommend them as a trusted recovery provider.-reply by Debbienor
Replying to iGuestThe post mentioning rapid and fields RAID10 recovery is a fakePlease do not let any of your readers get scammed by fields
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