Recover Files From Broken Laptop Hard Drive

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I have a dell inspiron 1520 laptop whose hard drive recently crashed. I contacted dell, and they immediately sent me a new hard drive, which i received, installed, and have working with vista. The only problem is, I have important files on the crashed hard drive and i don't know how to retrieve them.

I created an Ubuntu CD, which works fine, and I'm able to open the files through Ubuntu, but the next step is finding a way to either get the file onto a USB flash drive or over my home network and onto my desktop computer. (There's probably over 10gb of files which I'd like to save.)

I have no idea how to use Ubuntu, or if there's an easier way to transfer these files. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance

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You say they will open in Ubuntu, can you view the contents?

Or do you just see a directory listing?

I don't know Linux/Ubuntu but why not copy the files to a USB flash stick?

Perhaps posting this question in the Linux forum will help.

I'm very very new to Linux (Knoppix) and I'm having issues with mounting/reading/writing to drives, getting wireless to work, and so on.

It's a bit tricky (to me) but I'm sure once one "learns the ropes" it's simple.

Asking on the Linux forum might help.

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Thanks CurlingSteve, I might try posting this in another forum. The problem I encountered was that Ubuntu wouldn't recognize one of my flash drives, and I just tried another one today which worked, but now Ubuntu won't show the files anymore. They used to show up under the drive OS, but now that drive isn't listed. The hard drive may be shot for good.

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Try sticking the drive in a freezer for a while and try it again. I did that when I had a drive failure and was able to recover all but 6 or 7 videos (out of hundreds that averaged 175MB or so a video).

Edited by Honda_Boy
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Honda Boy's method might work, but I'd try this first.

WAY back when I had an IBM PC with a hard drive that had a stuck spindle.

I had to open the case and bang on the drive to get it spinning on each cold (as in overnight) boot.

Once it loosened up, it would work all day.

Fortunately the PC had a "flip-top" case so it was easy to open and get to the cards and drives.

Who knows, a bit of thumping might get your drive spinning again, at least long enough to pull the data off.

If that doesn't work, try the freeze trick (as a last resort in my opinion).

In either case, if you get access copy off fast.

You might only get one shot at this.

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I froze my hard drive for three hours then booted up but got the error message "operating system missing" I rebooted off the Ubuntu cd and looked for the OS drive but it wasn't there.

Dell is making me send back the hard drive within 15 days since they sent me a new one, and I'm all out of ideas. I might call dell support tomorrow and see what they have to say as a last option. Besides that, I might have to take the losses and move on.

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