How can I recover data from a damaged hard drive?

Adam from San Diego, CA

Episode 1361 (2:22:04)

Laptop hard drive exposed

Adam's laptop hard drive became unreadable when a battery failure happened and he needs to get the pictures off it. Leo says that since the hard drive can still be accessed, he may be able to get them back with a recovery software utility. Piriform Recuva is the one that Leo recommends. The key thing, though, is to never write to the drive again until he manages to get the data he needs off of it. Another program called SpinRite could help move data off bad sectors.

Image By Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons