Hard drive data recovery

i have a friend that owns a car lot and his computer started smoking saturday. I naturally thought, power supply problem. I went to his shop this morning and could smell that my power supply smoked smell. I took it out and it was definitely fried. I got a new one and it would not power up either…until i unhook the hard drive. Then it powers up no problem. It is a maxtor 160g pata drive that is still under warranty. question is, he has all of his inventory, form setting, etc. on the drive…no he does not have a backup…i know dumb move on his part. does anyone know the approximate cost of dat recovery from a failed drive. this one is shorted out good. thanks in advance…He is trying to figure out if it is cheaper to get the data back or have someone come in and set up all of his forms, settings, etc./ this usually cost around $300-$400.

[QUOTE=AWILLIAMS64;2211524]i have a friend that owns a car lot and his computer started smoking saturday. I naturally thought, power supply problem. I went to his shop this morning and could smell that my power supply smoked smell. I took it out and it was definitely fried. I got a new one and it would not power up either…until i unhook the hard drive. Then it powers up no problem. It is a maxtor 160g pata drive that is still under warranty. question is, he has all of his inventory, form setting, etc. on the drive…no he does not have a backup…i know dumb move on his part. does anyone know the approximate cost of dat recovery from a failed drive. this one is shorted out good. thanks in advance…He is trying to figure out if it is cheaper to get the data back or have someone come in and set up all of his forms, settings, etc./ this usually cost around $300-$400.[/QUOTE]

First I would hook that drive onto a computer and see if it can read or access that drive first. If it can then you can save the data onto another HDD and Restore his computer if it is a factory bought back to factory settings with the Recovery cds and then reload his progam and copy back his data. This is all if you are able to recover the data from just hooking up to a computer. Those HDD recovery companies could charge more the 300-400 sounds like on the cheap side I am thinking it could cost more for recovering his data. You should tell him to really make sure the true cost before doing that. But you should go the simplier route first and hook that HDD to another computer and see if it can see it. Also download maxtor HDD utility and see if that can’t help first before spending hundreds of dollar that might not in the end recovery the data.

Try the previous posters method first.
If the circuit board on the drive is toast, you may be able to recover the data from the old drive.
First you must get an identical Maxtor drive, (Model and size).
Only if the board is identical to the one on the old drive will this work!
Remove the old board carefully and replace it with the board from the new drive.
Plug it into the computer and if the head and platter motors are ok you should be able to read and copy all the files on the drive to a NEW drive. Do not rely on the old drive. I have used this method before and it works.
If however either drive motor is damaged by the burn up you will get no where, the advantage is it’s worth trying for the amount a drive costs. If it doesn’t work then its a data recovery service.
Best of luck.

i tried to hook it up to my computer and it wont even power up either. i did find a set of dvds that he had backed up his system a couple of years ago. This is right after the computer was built and he had his programs installed with the correct printer settings, it is from nero. I did the restore on the new drive but it would not boot into windows. it would flash the xp screen and then go back to reboot. I did not format the new drive first. it is a sata 320g wd, so i am not sure if that is why it did not work properly. I just used the wd disc to set up the drive and trying the restore discs again…just waiting to see what happens… i did think about trying the find another drive idea too…i may try that as well. He says it is definitely not worth the excessive amounts of money to get the data. He does have hard copies of most of the info, he will just have to pay someone to set up his inventory program and form printer again. no biggie. I guess the worst case scenario now is that i reload a fresh xp install and start over. thanks for the info. also if anyone could chime in if i did need to format the new drive before restoring would be great!

If you install new drive it need to be formated. It usualy hapen during OS instalation, than you can download stored data.

i formated w/ the wd disk, ran the restore discs again, and same thing, tries to boot, shows xp logo, then reboots, i am now using a winxp cd and trying to repair the windows installation to see if that works,.,.,i have to go to work in about an hour so i may have to continue this tomorrow…

I do not want to scare you, but if the failure could destroy power supply and hard drive, it could do some damage to motherboard also. It is always good to try till the end.

Boot into BIOS and reset to factory default and then try.
It is possible that the hard drive has taken the motherboard with it, or some how damaged the memory.

got a new sata hd, everything seems ok for now. The liteon dvd burner worked for a bit and now wont read a disc. at least i got it back up and going for now. Another ?? if he gets a usb external hd, and i do a complete backup of his system through windowsxp, can i reload from the usb drive if the hd fails again?

Backup will not do the job, it copy only data files/folders not operating system and programs installed.
If you want to do that, you will have to get a software which create mirror image of the drive.