Might it still be possible to recover this hard drive?

Years ago, I ran into a patch of horrible luck. My laptop’s hard drive crashed, and my diskette backups turned out to be faulty.

At that point, I couldn’t afford to have the data recovered from the drive.

Now, I can probably afford to have it recovered, but the hard drive is really really old. It crashed in 1996, and it was old then.

It’s been in one of those anti-static bags ever since.

Is there any hope?

Yes, hard drive media is very stable. As long as the drive has not physically failed, any computer shop usually has decent stuff for pulling from blown partitions and such.

At this point, all you can get is a definate maybe. It will all depend on the reason for the crash. Corrupted boot block/ partition/ other soft errors. Chances are good. Problems with the heads or positioning mechanism would pretty much require the services of a clean room ($$$).

Were you in my neighborhood, I’d plug it into an adapter and slave it to my system for quick diagnostics. Soft errors I’d mirror the drive and go from there. Hardware failure I’d unplug from immediately because there woudn’t be anything I could do.

Is the data worth what it would cost to send to a clean room service?

I’m pretty sure this was a physical failure of the drive.

I don’t know if the data is worth a clean room service, since I’m not sure what sort of cost we’d be talking about. I got estimates when the failure originally happened, and it was a couple hundred dollars. I was completely broke, so I couldn’t do it then.

The actual contents are two novels. Well, one full novel and two half novels.

Recovery from physical failures is expensive, plan on somewhere between $600-$2000. The stuff they quote you “little as $99” in the ads is for basic stuff anyone can do with a little time and effort. Several places do “no data no charge” but its not uncommon for them to find alot of stuff, just not always what you were hoping for. If its something with financial value, its often worth the price.


I don’t think my data is worth that.