HomePC relatedA method to retrieve data from a failing hard disk Log in

One of the hard disks on my Desktop PC failed (probably due to heat), the one with all my data which was the Linux /home partition. To make matters worse, after buying a new HDD and installing Fedora Linux, by mistake during the installation process I deleted the main backup of that data which was on the second hard disk!! I could only do a partial retrieval of files from the failed hard disk. The file transfer would begin well but would stop though only 10% finished. I noticed the HDD got very hot in the process.

Because my most important files are also backed up on a laptop PC, I transferred them to my Desktop PC and had enough data to be able to continue my work. I lost about 150 gigabytes of non-essential files, 15 years of photos, hundreds of music MP3 files which totaled 3 gigabytes, my entire Documents folder of 17 years of documents, and other folders and files. None of the data was vitally important for me, but nevertheless I felt bad to suffer such a loss.


The next day just after waking up in the morning, I realized a way to keep the failed hard disk cool by putting it on a plastic bottle of cold water with a wet towel between the bottle and the hard disk to help transfer heat. Glory to God, it worked! I retrieved 100% of my photos and music!!

I bought a 120 gigabyte SDD to use as the root partition for my Linux OS, and used the healthy second HDD for my new /home partition. The boot time of my PC now is less than half what it was before. :-)

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About James Arendt

Born in 1950 and raised in Chicago Illinois, USA.
Served in the USAF from 1970 in San Antonio, Texas, Biloxi Mississippi, Sacramento California and Asaka, Japan and honorably discharged in 1974.
Became a full time missionary for Christ and served in Russia, China and Japan for 44 years and counting.
Lives by faith in God's supply with no fixed job or income.
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A method to retrieve data from a failing hard disk — 3 Comments

  1. Similarly about 7 years ago I had a laptop that crashed and kept shutting off. Propping it up on its side on an open window ledge, where a jet stream of river air flowed, I was able to restore it with some software to DVDs. It took a few days but I got back everything.

    Coincidentally I have the same desktop in the pic. About 4 years ago, I found it by the side of the road. It kept getting error messages from the bios no matter what IDE hard drive I put in. It drove me nuts for a few days, then I tried putting an old unstable laptop hard drive in running XP and it worked fine. I put 2 more IDE hard drives and a blue ray burner in and use it to this day using XP. Unknown to most people, Blue rays do work on XP but with software Xbox360 threw away.

    Every upgrade from NT based XP I see, is really Bill Gates downgrading, driving people crazy changing the names of items and where everything is in the Operating System. When you train a dog you tell it to sit and stand up at the same time, much like how Gates trains people to buy unnecessary software.

    I’ve helped lots of people UPGRADE to XP from Vista and UPGRADE to Windows7 from Windows8.