Dr. Damage asks: Disk recovery tools?

— 11:12 AM on December 3, 2004

A friend of mine wrote me with the following nasty problem:

I was burning a CD when I got the BSoD running Windows 2000 Server. The drive made a kind of whirring / clicking noise. When I tried to reboot I received a drive not found type of error. Upon checking the BIOS the drive type was listed as "{{{{&1{{". I could not detect manually or via auto detect. I removed the drive, popped it in the freezer and then returned it to the computer. At this point the BIOS recognized the drive. I took it out of that computer and added it as a secondary drive in another Windows 2000 server computer. Disk Administrator shows it is healthy and active, but indicates there is no file system on the drive. It was formatted as NTFS. If I try to run Repair Disk from the Disk Administrator menu, the Repair Disk acts as though it is doing something when in fact it can't seem to read the drive to scan it.

Any thoughts on some type of tool that would allow me to get to the data?

I know there are services out there that will attempt to recover data on a dead drive, but I'm wondering if there are some tools he could use himself that aren't so expensive. Any ideas? Also, if he's forced to use a data recovery service, do you have any recommendations on a reasonable one?
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