*sigh* What to do? ;_;

The day before school started, my laptop decided to inconveniently crash and burn on me. So the hard drive’s dead.

And guess what? That laptop had ALL of my significant .blends, and ALL of everything I’ve worked on ;_;

I’m trying to fix it, but it keeps on about a Non disk error or something like that :frowning:

All hope is not lost; no matter what, I’ll keep blending :smiley:

Just, my best .blends were on there, man!! Gosh darnit…

Can you plug the hard drive into another computer?
I’m not sure whether laptops are IDE, though.

And here is the part where you learn it’s important and critical to backup your files…

preferably on something outside of the laptop.

You might be able to boot the laptop with a Linux live CD, then maybe transfer files to a flash drive or memory stick?

Buy something like this: http://www.usbgear.com/USB_small_enclosure/
and plug it into another computer…

get a usb hard drive hub like Jogai

Its simply a matter of whats dead in your Notebook.
Most Notebooks die because eiter the CPU socket or the mainboard get micro fractures due to temperature problems and the contacts simply tear apart, others die because the graphic chip burned out and some only seem to be dead because the backlight of the display is broken. And sometimes the capacitators on the notebooks PSU die.

The hardrive mostly stays intact. Best bet is, as already told, get an external enclosure.
Remove your HDD, should be a plate on the bottom to remove and check weather the HDD is IDE or SATA,
get an external enclosure plug it in your computer and copy your data.
If the electronics of the HDD is broken you have 2 possibilites. the fist one is the grandma homemade method. remove the hdd put it in a airtight plastic bag (to prevent condensated water get into the hdd electronic) and put it into the freezer over night… get it out the next day, wait a few minutes till it fits in the “outsidefreezer” climate and does not seem to be wet and give it a try. sometimes broken electronic parts just work then long enough till they get too hot again. you can also use those “contact” companys spraycans “contact cold”. If cools down electronic parts a delta of ~70°C within a second to find broken parts, find shortcircuits or for kinky hdd rescue attempts.
If this all fails you can try to get a similar hdd, remove the control PFC from the working one and replace it on your hdd, in 90% of the cases it works.

If you got a headcrash or physical damage in your hdd you have to deceide how valuable your data is… professional data recovery in a lab is about 2000USD per 1GiB

I suggest everyone to get SyncBack. its a nice freeware tool for windows which allows to schedule backup/sync tasks of any kind. This way your data stays save.
I got 2 mirrors of my data on local HDD and bought 12GiB webspace for an ftp mirror as well… in case my flat burns out or something… surely ensurance pays the hardware but the data would be lost anyway.

Definately your best bet ist to get a usb enclosure for your Laptop Harddrive. Just check if its a IDE or SATA drive. Either way a external usb enclosure is very cheap, you can get one for 20 Euros or so. Maybe even less, depending on the manufacturor.

If your harddrive is busted, you might need some special software to recover your data.
I would first suggest you try using a linux bootcd and use ddrescue, since its free. Google the internet for tutorials on how to recover data with ddrescue. A goot bootcd in this case would either be knoppix or SystemRescueCD.

If that should fail, or if your just not comfortable enough with linux. The are some proprietary (which cost money) programs which you can try. What has worked for me in the past was :

  1. Ontrack Easy Recovery
  2. File Scavenger

File Scavenger even managed to recover files from a drive which constantly gave read errors, and wasnt even mountable. Back then, I hadn’t even heard of ddrescue, so I dont know if that would have worked in that case.

Once you get the USB enclosure and all these methods fail, because the drive is simply not responding, keep trying a couple of times. Sometimes you can get lucky and the drive will respond, allowing you to backup your data.

On minor note about USB enclosures. USB enclosures for Notebook harddrives, usually dont require a external power source. They get their power from the usb port. However not all usb ports deliver enough juice. Some laptops have a specific “powered” usb port. Otherwise, usb enclosures usually come with a Y-usb cable. Basically a cable with one mini usb connection on one end and two usb connectors on the other end. This allows you to plug both in and get more electricity from the second usb port.

If you connect the usb enclosure to a desktop pc, try the front and also the back usb connections. On my PC for example, the front ones dont deliver enough power, the rear ones do.

What has worked for me in the past was :

  1. Ontrack Easy Recovery

[X] signed - great tool. but not for physical damage

Otherwise, usb enclosures usually come with a Y-usb cable

those are highly dangerous. USB is certified for 500mA
The average 2.5" HDD needs ~500mA which is mostly a coincidence to the 500mA USB is supplying. If it needs more power (its written on the HDD) get a HDD enclosure with 2 cables… 1 for data+power and a second for additional power. The bottom line is, if you use a Y cable the usb enclosure can draw up to 1000mA from one USB port and the voltage transformers on your mainboard may burn out if they are not nicely cooled. Its no problem for a highend mainboard they got coolers on the transformers, but for some “bargain” mainboards it could end in a black screen.