Recovering Photos from a dying (dead?) Internal Hard Drive

  1. The Pool Man's Avatar
    Posts : 793
    10
       #1

    Recovering Photos from a dying (dead?) Internal Hard Drive


    Greetings,

    I have a friend who has a six year old HP laptop. The hard disk has been crawling for a while and they finally got the black screen of death. They booted into an HP Repair Utility, it tested the HDD, and came back with a code indicating it's either toast or nearly there. There was no way to boot into bios and they lack a second PC to create a bootable USB.

    My first advice was to abandon this PC altogether. Since they believe $500-$600 is a lot for a new PC (yes, I know) I advised them to stick a Beelink GK55 Mini PC onto their flatscreen TV... which with wireless keyboard/mouse is around $259 these days. They only do the most basic stuff and that guy is actually up to that job.

    The problem is the old PC has photos on that hard drive. I begged they upload to Google Photos immediately but the less tech savvy tend to say 'yeah, maybe later' and here we are with many photos in peril of being gone for good.

    QUESTION: so what to do now?

    1. Is a Geek Squad type the easiest solution? Like data recovery prices aren't so bad?
    2. Is there a way to open up the laptop, remove the drive, somehow plug it into the new one, run a disk 'fix' app, and then drag photos over? (This hard disk died while a system update was running... if that indicates anything.)
    3. If they buy a new PC I can help them create a bootable Linux thumb drive -- but will it see the C drive?

    This is the exact type of fiasco I endeavor to avoid, but like I said, I have a friend...
      My Computer

  2. Paul Black's Avatar
    Posts : 12,433
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #2

    Hello @The Pool Man,

     Linux Live USB

    A Linux Live USB is a good method of retrieving data from an otherwise un-bootable drive or if you are having other drive difficulties.

    Basically . . .

    [1] Download the Linux ISO - I always use Linux Mint although there are others.
    [2] Create a Bootable USB/DVD using Rufus for example => Rufus.
    [3] Boot the media.
    [4] Copy the files from the OS to an external HDD or USB.

    > Download Linux Mint 20 Ulyana

    I hope this helps!
      My Computer

  3. The Pool Man's Avatar
    Posts : 793
    10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Paul Black said:
    I hope this helps!
    Me too! lol

    So does it have to be THAT Linux? I'm very familiar with Zorin.

    The thing is in Zorin I've noticed it only sees external drives, not the C drive. Does that Linux Mint take care of that?
      My Computer

  4. Paul Black's Avatar
    Posts : 12,433
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #4

    Hello @The Pool Man,

    The Pool Man said:
    The thing is in Zorin I've noticed it only sees external drives, not the C drive. Does that Linux Mint take care of that?

    It will be just like using File Manager in Windows.
      My Computer

  5. The Pool Man's Avatar
    Posts : 793
    10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    I just booted into Zorin and didn't realize this option existed --

    Recovering Photos from a dying (dead?) Internal Hard Drive-inkedscreenshot-2020-12-29-21-46-20_li.jpg

    I clicked that and there was my C drive in all it's glory, lol.

    FOLLOW UP QUESTION

    So if I manage the Miracle of booting to Zorin -- and the miracle of it seeing the (damaged?) C drive -- and I find a folder of photos -- how do I rescue them?

    a. Use a Linux that is writeable? So that I can drag directly to the thumb drive? Or --
    b. Insert a second thumb drive or hard drive and drag to that?
      My Computer

  6. Paul Black's Avatar
    Posts : 12,433
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #6

    Hello @The Pool Man,

    The Pool Man said:
    FOLLOW UP QUESTION:

    So if I manage the Miracle of booting to Zorin -- and the miracle of it seeing the (damaged?) C drive -- and I find a folder of photos -- how do I rescue them?

    a. Use a Linux that is writeable? So that I can drag directly to the thumb drive? Or --
    b. Insert a second thumb drive or hard drive and drag to that?

    Quick and easy method:

    Seeing that the HDD is in critical condition, you want to spend as least time as possible retrieving the files. Therefore, if it was me, I would insert another USB and copy the Folder to that.

    I hope this helps.
      My Computer

  7. vipergg's Avatar
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10 version 20H2
       #7

    Stick a second thumbdrive in and see if it recognizes it and if it does just drag and drop or select all and copy .
      My Computer

  8. The Pool Man's Avatar
    Posts : 793
    10
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Thanks Y'All. Now that's what I call SUPER SERVICE

    Super Service - YouTube
      My Computer

  9. Paul Black's Avatar
    Posts : 12,433
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #9

    Hello @The Pool Man,

    The Pool Man said:
    Thanks Y'All.
    You are VERY welcome.
      My Computer


 

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