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  • File Recovery from a Computer that Won't Boot

Hard drives usually begin dropping hints and clues that they are about to fail before they become completely unreadable. But occasionally, a system crash occurs suddenly and immediately renders the machine unbootable. This occurs when important system files become corrupted, or if the hard drives' boot records or partition tables become severely damaged. This can be particularly frustrating, since your files may be completely intact, yet inaccessible due to the fact that your computer won't start up.

If this happens, there are three possible solutions.

1. Remove the Hard Drive and Attach it to a Working Computer
This is what most technicians would do, given the time, tools and resources. But with the advent of modern mobile computer design, particularly with netbooks and laptops, personal computers are becoming less serviceable by everyday users. The Macbook, for example, requires a special type of screwdriver just to remove the hard drive. Also, depending on the type of hard drive you are trying to recover, you may need to purchase additional adapters and/or enclosures in order to attach it your working computer. Furthermore, it may just be a matter of not owning another computer.

For these reasons, removing a hard drive and installing it in another computer isn't a feasible option for many users. Still if you want to follow this option, you may find our article R-Studio: Data recovery from a non-functional computer useful.

2. Use a Data Recovery Program with a Startup Version
If you install a startup version of a data recovery program onto a bootable device, such as a USB drive or a CD or DVD, you can use it to boot your computer, as long as there are no critical hardware issues with your machine. A startup version of a data recovery program effectively bypasses the operating system on your computer. All the necessary files for booting your computer are contained within the bootable media, meaning that even if you hard drive is damaged beyond recovery, you can still turn on your computer. The advantages of a startup version is that it allows you to access the drive without removing it. However, startup versions are usually limited in their data recovery capabilities, since, by nature, they tend to be stripped down versions designed for working in recovery mode environment.

3. Perform a Network Data Recovery
Emergency data recovery over the network is the best of both worlds from the above two methods. Without removing the damaged hard drive from the computer, you would boot it up using a startup disk with a remote agent installed. This remote agent would then communicate with another computer that was connected via a local area network, or even the Internet. You could then run the full version of a data recovery software from the remote computer, even if the target computer cannot boot.

The advantages here are that you aren't faced with the cumbersome task of physically removing or installing any hard drives, but you aren't limited by the capabilities of a startup version of a data recovery program.

R-Studio comes with a data recovery agent that allows you to perform data recovery over the network. It also includes an agent for starting up an unbootable computer and connecting it to the computer that will be performing the data recovery. This makes it a flexible and powerful data recovery tool for both professional technicians and home users.

Data Recovery Feedback
362 feedbacks
Rating: 4.8 / 5

I used some software for data recovery on MAC, but THIS IS only one, that help me!!!

THX :)

Tom from Hungary
I want to upgrade it to the technician tool.
This tool is amazing. I was able to recover 5 years` worth of lost photos by imaging 4 disks from a corrupted RAID 10 array.

It did a byte copy of the disks and then replicated the array layout and I could see the files instantly. I`d recommend it to anyone, especially at these license fees. You`ll struggle to get better for the price.
After several attempts, using various softwaretools, I wasn`t able to recover any files from my encrypted drive.
I almost had to come to terms with the darkest of dark scenarios, losing it all to oblivion and no one to blame but myself.
Then I came across the demo version of R-studio and decided to giving it a final try.
YES-yes-yes... Utterly wonderfully fabulously FANTASTIC R-Studio!
The most important files were in good condition so (the paid version of) R-Studio could recover these right away.
Unfortunately ...
I accidentally deleted several gigs worth of data from an external drive - no restore point. I tried other recovery software, but what was `recovered` was mostly junk files in randomized order. Considering the cost of professional data recovery, and given the online reviews, I decided to purchase R-Studio.

Wow. Everything - like, EVERYTHING I had ever moved to the Trash from that drive - was recovered, folder and subfolder structure intact.

I am grateful and beyond impressed at this program`s price point ...