Ok, so I have finally thrown in the towel. I need help, and I hope someone here can give me some good ideas.

Long story short, I have been attempting to recover data from my moms crashed HD. She has lots of important stuff on there like pictures, etc and so I have been trying everything to get to it. So heres what happened:

Hard drive crashed one day. She came home and nothing but a black screen asking about a boot disk. When I tried to boot the drive, it basically does not see the drive at all. So I take it out, and bring it to my computer, hook it up as a secondary drive. It makes my computer hang at startup, and won't let me boot.

It can be seen in BIOS

I looked up the drive and manufactorer. Its a Seagate drive, one of the old 7200.11 which leads me to lots of ultimately fruitless information about a BSY error these drives had. This, it turns out, was not the case.

So after repeated attempts at booting it in different ways (boot it on its own with windows CD doing the booting, boot it as a second drive with windows CD booting, Safe mode, etc) I go out to the web again.

I come across several recomendations to connect the drive with a SATA to USB connector and treat it as an externl drive, and access it that way. To my temporary relief, this appears to work. Windows recognizes its there, installs the right driver, and Im thinking im home free.

Can't access the drive. Initially it just shows the drive, no information, in My Computer. It doesn't show space, space used, format, etc. So I try a reboot, unplugging the external power thats hooked to the drive as well as letting my computer reboot. It comes back online, I plug my drive in, and it detecs the Recovery partition on the drive. ok, theres some stuff on there, so i go to copy it off. about 30 seconds in, it tells me the files are no longer there.

Several attempts lead to frustration, which leads me to than go and downoad a Recovery program (EaseUS Data Recovery) I plug the drive back in, start up the scan, and it begins detecting file from the main partition almost immediatly. After about a minute or so, it still scans, but the file #'s are not going up. I decide to let it finish, and come back later to find the same number total. I go to recover those and, once again, they are no longer there.

This leads me to the conclusion that, there is a lot of data likely still on the drive and recoverable, if I could just keep the drive from dissapearing.

Can Anyone help? Im almost to the point of putting up the 300+ dollars to get a pro to try and fix it, but I was hoping not to have to go that route. Thanks.

Ok a couple of things to try:

Freeze the drive. Thats right put it in the freezer and let it sit over night. sometimes the problem is a bad soder joint or something related to the drive warming up. I usually mount the drive in a USB housing so I can take it from the freezer straight to a system running windows and attempt my recovery.

Try either TESTDISK (and Photorec) or purchase a recovery application. I personally like an application called R-Studio. I purchased the software to do some recoveries with and it has paid for it's self several times over. It is not too expensive and it is one of the recovery tools that will allow you to make an image from the drive and then do the recovery from the image.

I have a different kind of problem but my BIOS also doen't recognize the drive. It happened after a bad format on the install of windows XP. The drive only is recognized by windows, via USB. But the bios doen't see it. It's a different kind of problem. Any clue ?

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