I have read some threads but would like clarification for the experimental journey to recovering data from the formatted hard drive.
Dell computer Windows XP SP2 installation disc. 250 GB hard drive only c:\drive (also have CD/DVD & CD/RW drives).
Long story short. Received Unmountable_boot_volume error. Could not boot in safe mode. Called Dell, they suggested I reformat my hard drive instead of restore to prevent more damage. Troubleshooting indicated hard drive did not fail and only file system damaged.
Since all data is lost, figured I do not have anything to loose so I would try to recover any data (.pst in particular). I have not installed anything other than the operating system back onto the computer to prevent overwrite. I noticed that I still have internet and my MS office 2003 is still loaded just waiting for a product key.
These are the steps I am going to follow, I just need confirmation that I am on the right track.
1. Create a new drive by using the tutorial "How to partition and format hard drives in windows". (For argument sake I'll call this J:\ drive.) I should have some unassigned partitions since I only used about 150 GB of my hard drive.
2. Download the data recovery software offered by Stellar onto the new J:\ drive.
3. Complete recovery process and hopefully obtain data.
4. Reinstall all software programs required to read recovered data and store programs on c:\drive.
5. Keep all recovered data on J:\ drive and test if files are legiable.
6. Keep J:\ drive and store all data files in this location. Keep all program files on c:\drive.
7. Use my external 20 GB hard drive to back up J:\drive.
8. Curse myself for not backing up all my data since May.
9. Reinstall antivirus, spybot, etc. etc for computer protection.
10. Remember to turn computer off at end of day to prevent power surge.
I do have a question, I noticed that when I turned on my computer it sounded like the drive was skipping (same sound as a LP skipping on a record player). This was happening before I reformatted the hard drive. Do you think the hard drive is still going to fail, if this sound persists?
Thank you for any suggestions/support you can offer.