spinrite

How Do I Recover Data Off an Old Drive?

Recuva

Episode 1695

Michael from Illinois

Michael changed his laptop to a 2TB hard drive, but as he tries to move his data over to the old drive, it can't be read. Leo says the best way is to get a $35 USB dongle that turns your old hard drive into a USB external drive. But Michael says that he gets a message requiring it to format. Leo says the drive may have corrupted and died. He recommends trying to use Recuva to recover the lost data, but it may be a mixed bag as to what it can recover and what it can't.

Why can't my computer read the hard drive?

Bluescreen of Death :(

Episode 1662

Ed from San Diego, CA

Ed's son is getting a bluescreen of death, and when he reboots, it's not reading the disk. Leo says it's obviously a disk failure caused by a failed or corrupted sector. It's the most common failure point on a computer. The good news is that you may be able to recover the disk using SpinRite. But for the cost of that program, you can simply buy a new hard drive. So if you have nothing critical on the drive, replace the hard drive. You can get a larger one for cheaper. And while you're at it, get a solid-state drive. It'll make the computer much faster.

How can I stop my computer from booting in a loop?

ASUS Laptop

Episode 1637

Ellen from Costa Mesa, CA

Erin's Asus laptop has been stuck in a reboot loop, repairing "disk errors." What can she do? Leo says that the hard drive could be having issues, and Windows repair didn't "take." You can do a startup repair by going into safe mode, type Windows Key + Reset, and under advanced options, there is a startup repair option. You can also do it by using a 16GB USB key version of windows created by Windows Media Creation Tool and run the repair that way. You can then go into your BIOS and have it run the USB key first.

Why Did My PC Go Back in Time to 5 Years Ago?

XP

Episode 1622

John from Philadelphia, PA

John was using an old XP machine to recover data on a failed hard drive. But when he rebooted the XP machine, it crashed and then came back up with a profile from 5 years ago. Leo says he suspects the current profile is damaged and that points to a failing hard drive. Eventually, it'll stop booting. So time to get a new hard drive. He could run SpinRite on it. But it's $90. Not cheap. But he can run it if he has it already. It would be worth the time to do it. 

Get the data off that old hard drive ASAP, and then replace it.

How can I get my TIVO working again?

Hard drives

Episode 1544

Austin from Nashville, TN

Austin's TIVO DVR isn't working, except for flashing lights. Leo says there's a place in LA called WeakKnees, which can replace his hard drive. There's also FixMyTIVO.com, which says it could be a bad hard drive or a bad motherboard. If it's a bad hard drive, he can get a hard drive kit to replace it. But if it's a bad motherboard, then he'll have to buy a new device.

How can I get my data off a failing hard drive?

NewerTech Universal Drive Adapter

Episode 1538

Steven from Fort Wayne, IN

Steven's sister has a 2011 MacBook Pro with a failing hard drive. She hasn't backed it up either, and there's a lot of pictures that they want to save before the hard drive goes belly up. Leo says it's good news that the computer can still see the drive and it can be mounted. The drive may be a little "messed up" and it can't read or record the data reliably. Unfortunately, in the Mac world, there aren't many good disc utilities.

Why doesn't my laptop boot up?

GRC SpinRite

Episode 1496

Greg from New Brunswick, Canada

Greg's laptop is caught in a reboot loop. What can he do? Leo suspects that Greg's hard drive is failing, causing the laptop to stall during boot up. Leo says he can use SpinRite by GRC to move the data off bad sectors and mark them to avoid in the future. But the software is expensive and hard drives are cheap. If he needs to get his data, though, it's worth trying. Leo recommends that Greg buy a new drive, and he should get an SSD while he's at it.

How can I get my apps off a failed hard drive?

Hard drives

Episode 1459

Gary from Castaic, CA

Gary can't boot up his computer, not even in Safe Mode. What can he do to fix it? Leo says it's probably the hard drive that's preventing the bootup, and that's why Gary is getting the blue screen of death. It can be one tiny bit or sector that can cause it. Gary could use his Windows Install Disk, and during the install process, it will give him the option of repairing the OS. It's worth a try.

How can I recover the data off my hard drive?

DiskWarrior

Episode 1432

Denise from Camarillo, CA

Denise's external hard drive can't be read by her Mac. How can she recover it? Leo says that there are disc recovery tools that could help Denise. One is called SpinRite, but it's a bit expensive and is difficult to use on a Mac. AlSoft's Disc Warrior is another good option, but it may not be the best option because it can only fix soft failures.

What's wrong with my computer?

Hard Drive

Episode 1409

Peter from Escondido, CA

Peter is having problems connecting his Echo to the internet, but his computer is still having problems and he thinks it has died out. Leo says it's probably coincidental that the computer went down, but it may be related since Peter said the connection interrupted and a power surge may have occurred. If Windows was indexing the hard drive, it could have spewed a word salad of 1s and 0s, making the hard drive unreadable.