How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask GeekGal Your Own Question

GeekGal
GeekGal, Computer Support Specialist
Category: Computer Hardware
Satisfied Customers: 918
Experience:  MIS Degree & 15+ Years supporting Mac and Windows Desktops and Laptops,Printers, and other computer hardware
76665483
Type Your Computer Hardware Question Here...
GeekGal is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If hard drive is wiped can data still be retrieved from

Customer Question

if hard drive is wiped can data still be retrieved from it...if so how
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Computer Hardware
Expert:  JACUSTOMER-t74c8ynh- replied 6 months ago.

Hi my name is ***** ***** I can assist. Basically as long as the data has not been written over, the data is retrievable. When the data is marked as deleted, the hard drive removes the tag that the data is readable and can now be written over. If you are needing to retrieve files from your hard drive, it is best to shut down your PC, remove the hard drive and connect it to another system via a USB-to-SATA/IDE adapter. This will allow you to connect it to another PC as another drive and scan it will a file recovery utility. Recuva is a good free utility that can retrieve those files. http://recuva.com

Expert:  JACUSTOMER-t74c8ynh- replied 6 months ago.

If you are wanting to completely wipe the data from a drive so the data is unrecoverable, you'll need a data wipe utility.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
ok, I have Recuva on this desktop that I am using to converse with you, not sure how to use it though...also have the USB-TO-SATA/IDE adapter...not wanting to completely wipe...hoping tp recover operating system if possible
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
when I connect hd to usb adapter, desktop shows usb adapter, but hd not showing up
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
you still with me?...waiting on reply please
Expert:  GeekGal replied 6 months ago.

Hi there. My name is*****'m sorry that you've had to wait for your answer. Data such as pictures, and documents and other files can still be recovered from a hard drive IF it the hard drive has not been wiped with with a special utility. Recuva is a good software program. I have it used it successfully in the past.But....no data recovery software is going to be able to retrieve each and every file, and the files that are retrieved will usually have odd names so you'll need to look at them and rename each one. Because of this, Recuva won't be useful for recovering an operating system. That is another matter entirely. If you have lost your Operating System, you'll need to reinstall it.

If you'll tell me what brand and model computer you have, I will check to see if there is possibly a recovery partition that is installed that you could use to restore the drive to factory settings with the original OS.

Expert:  GeekGal replied 6 months ago.

If there are photos and documents on the hard drive that you want to try to recover, that will need to be done before you restore factory settings. If you'd like, I can start the recovery process for you while you watch via the Premium Service of Secure Remote Assistance. This is completely optional. If you choose to do this, I can, with your permission, remote into your computer while you watch and work on the issue for you. If you do not choose to take this service, but need more help, we can continue here.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
looks like the hard drives ( from 3 separate desktops which were given to me) are bad...tried each hard drive from each pc one at a time using my USB-SATA/IDE adapter and although my personal desktop recognized adapter, hard drives never showed up ...I could hear each hard drive start up when using adapter and each one sounded like they were running good and smooth, no pronounced noise of any kind...,also tried each one in one of the pcs given to me... got a solid red light on front of tower beside hard drive Icon...don't know if this red light is totally because hard drives are bad, or because they were completely wiped...plus when I turned on said pc with one hard drive installed, there was an error saying something about "analyzing network media type"...then...please see images, thank you...
Expert:  GeekGal replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for that additional information. The hard drives could be bad, but it is too early too determine that. The issues that you mentioned and the photos that you sent are indications that the hard drives are not bootable devices. This could be because they were wiped, or it could be because a critical sector failed. Since all 3 of them are displaying the same symptoms, my first guess would be that they are not bad, they just need to be partioned, and formatted before reinstalling the operating system. The only way to determine whether or not they are indeed bad would be to run a Hard Drive Test. It is possible that your computers have a built-in Hard Drive Test utility that can be accessed in the bios before the computer is tries to boot. If not, you'd have to get your computer that's working to recognize the drives and run a hard drive test on them.

The error about "analyzing network media type" is just an error that you see when the pc can't find any bootable devices ( hard drive, cd drive, usb drive, etc) and is checking as a last resort to see if it might be able to boot over network. It's pretty much generic for uhoh...All in All this my be more trouble than you want to go to. I don't know. Only you can answer that. If you have further questions or want to pursue this, please let me know.

Expert:  GeekGal replied 6 months ago.

I hope that I have provided the information that you were seeking. If so, please kindly take a moment to rate my service. As an independent contractor for just answer, I do not receive credit for my answer and I am not compensated in any way without a rating of at least 3 stars. You can provide a rating by clicking on the stars and then clicking on submit. Please remember, don't rate until you are satisfied. If you need more help, please let me know so I can continue to work with you or allow me to "opt-out" so that other experts can assist you. Your complete satisfaction is my goal! Thank you!

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
thank you, ***** ***** about the rating system, and will be more than happy to give you an 'EXCELLENT' rating...but, I still don't know 'how' to do this hard drive test [how to find the possible built-in hard drive test utility if available] and would appreciate a little more info on possibly recovering the OS on each...as I said, I connected each hard drive to my personal desktop by USB-SATA/IDE adapter and even though my personal desk top recognized the adapter, it never showed either hard drive...thank you for your time, help, and patience...
Expert:  GeekGal replied 5 months ago.

I'd be happy to provide that information, but I will need to know the brand and model # ***** each computer in order to determine whether they have a built-in utility to restore to factory settings and a built-in hard drive test utility. Each from manufacturer is different and also the methods for accessing it may differ according to model #. Even it originally had that, if they completely formatted the entire hard drive AND PARTITIONS, it may no longer be accessible. In any case, the place to start is by knowing the brand and model #.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
thank you...we will do just [1]...all it has on it is 'Microsys' and 'intel inside/celeron' on front...the only thing on the back is a 'serial number' - 32287...there is nothing else as in 'Model number' on it...and I don't know what kind of drive or whatever that is in front, on top with the lock...
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
this is lock I'm talking about...
Expert:  GeekGal replied 5 months ago.

I'm sorry. I know this isn't what you were hoping to hear but, MicroSys is a smallish company that builds computers and sells directly to businesses. They do not sell to individuals and there is NO support information available for these computers. I suspect that this is because they support the computers themselves, as part of the package that they sell. It is very unlikely that they have recovery partitions or a hardware troubleshooting utility built-in. In any case, your best bet to get an operating system on these is to purchase the full version of Windows 7 or 8 from Amazon or eBay, and install from scratch. I found one available for you from Amazon for $24.95. Here's the link http://amzn.to/25NRybD. Later if your system supports it you can do the free upgrade to Windows 10.

Expert:  GeekGal replied 5 months ago.

If the information that I have provided has been helpful, please kindly take a moment to rate my service. If you have further questions I am happy to help.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I have different Windows CDs, but don't think they'll do me any good if I can't boot from cd...or will they?
Expert:  GeekGal replied 5 months ago.

Why can't you boot from cd? Have you tried pressing F12 during start up to get to the screen that allows you to choose your boot device? Just power on and press and release F12 repeatedly until you see the screen. Alternatively, you can try ESC, F1 F2, or possibly even F11 to get to bios setup and you can temporarily change the default boot device to cd.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I've changed boot order...several times...just tried Windows Vista installation cd and it wouldn't boot with cd-rom 1st boot option... and I put a hard drive in that I know works and has Windows XP OS on it...I can get to 'safe mode ', 'safe mode with networking', etc but can't get Windows to boot...it just goes back to 'safe mode', 'safe mode with networking', etc screen...over and over and over...
Expert:  GeekGal replied 5 months ago.

ok. I'm sorry, but I've exhausted all possible ideas. Would you like fo rme to "opt out" to see if another expert might have something to contribute?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
is there any way 'I' can test mother board to be sure it's ok?...somekind of software, download, app, or?...
Expert:  GeekGal replied 5 months ago.

Yes. there are several. One of my favorite is the Ultimate Boot Cd. It has over 100 hardware testing utilities. Unfortunately, our biggest handicap is that you can't seem to boot from a cd. The bot***** *****ne is that with this brand of computer, there's nothing that we can do if we can't get it to boot.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I clicked on it but don't see where to download the free ultimate boot cd iso.
Expert:  GeekGal replied 5 months ago.

There is a download link on the left side of the page, but it doesn't seem to work. I paologize. You can download the iso here:

http://100-downloads.com/programs/free-system-tools/ultimate-boot-cd/

This is one of those download sites that I'm not reeally fond of as you have to be super careful to make sure that you click on the correct download link. I've attached a screenshot with the link that you need to click on circled. Just scroll down until you see that.

Hope that helps!

Expert:  GeekGal replied 5 months ago.

Oops. forgot to attach the photo. Here you go!

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
what do I need to use to download to/on...CD-R [still getting disk boot failure] or?...