The call came in about 10am on Saturday. Gary could not boot his laptop and needed a repair. After a telephone diagnosis, I told him the suspect was a failed hard drive, and I would replace his with one I had, and re-install Windows 7 .
However retrieving his data from the old hard drive was not guaranteed with my available tools. I told him 30 dollars for the laptop repair, and 50 more if I could retrieve his data. Gary was poor, so I was trying to keep it cheap.
I plugged his hard disk into my lab puter, and it was not detected. I froze the hard drive in a plastic bag, and re-installed. It was detected, so I ran ddrescue on the drive only to get severe errors after just 19 gb.
I may try again as Gary has not retrieved his computers yet, but I highly suspect these platters need to be installed in a working hardrive for any data at all to be found.
Gary didn’t back up his computer… He would have all his grandkids pics if he had, now it’s going to be like a ransom to have them returned.