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How do I get data off a bad hard drive

I"m trying to help a friend whose Mac mini hard drive supposedly died. I took it out using your guide - couldn't access it in its housing - and used a USB interface kit to try and read it to pull off the data (pics) that my friend wants to save. I hooked up to a Mac desktop and it didn't show up. I then hooked it up to a Win 7 PC and, using Disk Manager, was able to see it (also showed up in Device Manager) but it has no letter assigned or volume (and Properties says it is working properly) so I don't know how to get to it. The section (1 of 3) that has data on it looks fine but all the options under right mouse click are greyed out except for Help. Any suggestions? Am familiar with Terminal and some of the commands but I'm stumped - or else the drive is really fried!

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Using Windows ANYTHING to recover data on a Mac drive is a very poor idea at best. The first thing to do is try booting from a Mac retail system installation disk and run Disk Utilities. At this point you don't even know if the problem is the hard drive. Next try booting in Target Mode and running disk utilities. Next, using Target mode, try booting from TechTools Pro, then DiskWarrior. Here's how to trouble shoot in Target Mode: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1661 I use my TechTools Pro everyday and it6's the best Mac repair program sine the advent of system 10: http://www.micromat.com/ It is not free.

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Since mac osx uses it's own file system that is typically not easy to view and read under other operating systems I would consider using some of the hard drive recovery tools found in Hiren's Boot CD to see if you can examine the drive structure and possibly the data itself. If I remember correctly there should be at least two partitions on the drive, one is used by the system and is typically not seen by the users and the other will be the larger and house the data and OS. Hiren's is primarily aimed at PC's and Linux file systems, but you may have some luck with it.

The other option would be to place the drive in a functioning mac system and get some data recovery tools for mac osx. Like Disk Doctor's data recover for mac.

If you have a hard drive that is demonstrating the "click of death" meaning the read/write head is slamming home periodically with a steady rhythm, then (I know it sounds crazy, but it has worked for me in the past) you can place the drive in a Ziploc bag, with a desiccant bag close it and place it in a freezer over night. You usually can get about 30 minutes of good operation out of a drive before it fails again when it is that cold.

Hiren's boot CD can be found at http://www.hiren.info/

Disk Doctor's software can be found here http://www.diskdoctors.net/mac-data-reco...

Hope this helps.

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Well, about OS X there's another software to try: Diskwarrior.

I doubt Hiren would help, but Diskwarrior and Disk Doctor on a functioning Mac are a good hint. As for the rest, I agree wholehartedly to your reply.

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In order to get back your data, first you must disconnect your hard drive and connect it to a healthy system. Then, you need to install and run powerful third party recovery software on the computer to which the bad hard drive is connected. Make sure that you do not install or save any recovered files on the bad hard drive because it may lead to permanent data loss.

Try using Remo Partition Recovery tool for better results, http://www.myharddriverecovery.net/

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When you connected the dead Mac hard drive to a PC, you must have run a Mac recovery software on windows host to recover all your data from a dead Mac hard drive. But as you said when you connected your Mac to another Mac it won't show up so there might be chances that your hard drive may have received any physical damage. If a hard disk is physical damaged and data is to be recovered then it must be sent to a certified data recovery lab.

Please read more on how to do Mac file recovery on windows computer system

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I am a computer repair technician by trade and what you explained is a common problem. Some data simply cannot be recovered from a corruption, it depends on how badly the data is actually corrupted. I would suggest purchasing the brilliant software Tenorshare data recovery to retrieve deleted photos] . You can get it here

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I designed a new website showing you how to delete corrupt files, prevent them, and recover corrupted data:

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Try Drive Genius, I use it a lot and many times it allows to fix damaged volumes, in case it does not work look for a company specialized in data recovery, if it is a software problem, it won't be expensive.

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This is really technical and won't be fixed with some general tips or tricks. Your Mac fails to read it that means it underwent some corruption that OS X is unable to get it. Since PC is a different platform than OS X, it somehow seems to read the disk, that too incorrectly. You must first get this disk checked with a HDD repair software. If it got a directory structure corruption then it might get fixed with the help of partition repair software such as Disk Warrior (http://www.alsoft.com/diskwarrior/). You can also try Stellar Volume Repair (http://www.stellarphoenixrecovery.com/so...). Both the repair software are good choices for directory structure replacement. Though, Stellar Volume Repair is much cheaper than Disk Warrior and is equally skilful.

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Dave will be eternally grateful.
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