Data recovery gone good!!
My neighbor brought her laptop over yesterday, windows won't boot even in safe mode. Hiren's Mini XP won't touch the docs, the HDD freezes my PC and shows 0% used/0% free. It won't mount for a chkdsk /r either.
Turns out that, of course, every single picture she's taken since 2006 is on that bad hdd....with no backup.
My intention was to fix this for them gratis as a going away gift (they're moving to the down undah next month).
Well the data gods were smiling, I fired up Spinrite and it crunched for about six hours but recovered the data! I copied all data to a USB drive and reassembled the laptop and everything works fine. Tomorrow I'll give the laptop back with a shopping list for a new HDD and I'll clone it over before it fails again.
Nothing more, just wanted to share this good news!
Build a man a fire and he'll be warm the rest of the day. Set a man on fire, he'll be warm the rest of his life.