Ok so what happens is you have been working on a project, document, database, or maybe even the families genealogy. You have a few weeks of hard work into it. You have put in a ton of internet research and finding just the right pictures. You get up to go grab your self a snack and when you come back the machine is rebooting. It make it past the BIOS screen and then you get a black “DOS” looking screen that says Missing Operating System, Non-system disk or disk error, Boot error Press F1 to retry, or Hard Drive Controller Failure. Each one of these errors has its own specific meanings and basically still mean the same thing.
In this situation you have a few options. The first would NOT be to put in your Restore CD or Windows OS disk. I would recommend slaving the hard drive with an external USB enclosure and seeing if you can get your data off that way because you only had a minor OS hiccup. If you are unsuccessful try the easy DIY way to recover the drive the next step is to start looking into Data Recovery Software. I know that most people like to look for “Free” solutions but I will tell you after of years of supporting software anything that will actually recover the data is NOT free. We have some really good free little utilities that will diagnose problems but for the real deal data recovery you will need to be ready to shell out anywhere from 49-89 bucks. Now what I will recommend as a FAST diagnostic tool that will let you know fairly quickly what kind of failure you have is the Windows Surface Scanner. The tool will tell you how the drive is being read by Windows and how the communication between hard drive and operating system is functioning.
If the Windows surface scanner is reporting errors it is time to contact a hard drive recovery company. You are going to want to do your research and make phone contact with the company. There are questions you should ask. The ones that top my list are:
1. Are you a certified to open my drive. Will my warranty still be intact when you have finished?
2. Are you registered with the BBB?
3. How long have you been in business?
4. What is the CLEAN ROOM price not just the logical recovery price?
I hope this helps and as always if you have any questions please feel free to call me!
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