If your hard disk is working but has many bad sectors due to mechanical malfunction or abuse, it may still be possible to recover your data.
How to recover bad hard drive:
First: you’ll need to make a copy of the drive. This is vital, if your drive is suffering mechanical malfunction it is only a matter of time before it becomes completely inaccessible and the only way you’ll be able to recover it will be in a clean room – and that gets expensive.
I recommend GetDataBack for this purpose, as it kills two birds with one stone. It can make an image of your drive on another drive as a file. (the image creation option is available on the tools menu) Remember to buy the right version – most machines use NTFS, but if you have an older machine it might use FAT.
Second: you’ll have to search that image for file system records. GetDataBack does this also, remember to search the whole drive and not just a partial section.
When the search process has finished, it’ll give you a file system tree. It may be scattered depending on how damaged the file system was. You can search this for your documents. Remember to copy the files to a good drive.
Third: once the recovery process is complete, slip me five bucks and BACK UP YOUR DATA.