Dead Hard Drive Advice

A friend wrote to me today about his failed hard drive:

This weekend my laptop HD, a hitachi 250GB. suddenly stopped.
While running disk warrior on it, it failed into the famed click of death.
Would be very interested in recovering some of the data from it if you have any brilliant ideas.

Here is my response:

Spinrite might help


If the data is very important, you can try using Drive Savers. It’s an expensive service where they open your hard drive up in a clean room. It might cost $1000-3000.

If you go with Drive Savers, I’m a reseller and I might be able to get you a discount on their (very expensive) service. Try giving them my reseller code: DS14221.

The deal they gave me with the reseller code is:
* 10% discount on our services to my customers.
* 10% commission paid on the net invoice after customer discount.
* No up-front charges to my customers.
* No “Attempt Fee” if data is not recoverable, there is no charge (a $200 savings).
* No charge for return shipping, if data is not recoverable.


And you really should set up an automatic online backup. I used to use Mozy. I now use Crashplan for about $60/year.
How I have Crashplan set up:
* I backup about 250 gig online and it would be a bother to backup too much more than that since it takes so long to run the backup over my internet connection.
* Crashplan also automatically makes a backup of ALL my files to a local external hard drive I got for a hundred bucks.
* I do some free peer-to-peer backups with friends using Crashplan.

I’ve written a bit about Crashplan on my blog. Look at my posts about Crashplan.


  1. John says:

    If you have exhausted all options – re-installing another copy of windows (or whatever your os is), installed a 2nd drive to see if you can read from the first failed drive, then you can send the failed drive to a recovery service. In the future though, consider using an online backup site like That will protect your data plus give you file sharing capabilities.

  2. Jaskiran says:

    Check out these online backup reviews:

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