In a first test setup the harddrives were hooked up with SATA cables to two laptops, one running Ubuntu 10.4, a second one with Windows. If the HD booted and data was still accessible, an image was copied to a seperate harddrive. The seperate harddrive have a folder structure according to the HD number. We tried out several free software programs to restore harddrives and access data: Testdisk (Linux), Photorec (Linux, PC), PC Inspector (PC), Recuva (PC).
On this way, the content of 4 harddrives could be instantly accessed and copied.
12th of February we continued with recovering data from the hard-drives (see first session here). This time with the help of Peter Wagenhuber from servus.at. The outcome of our two DIY-data recovery sessions was to extract data from 5 of the 22 hard-drives. One was a laptop hard-drive and the rest from desktop computers. Most of the hard-drives seemed to be physically broken. Some have a very bad ticking sound and others just don’t boot at all. The next step is to give over the hard-drives to professionals. We are working together with Datenrettung Österreich who will use professional tools to reanimate the hard-drives. They have a collection of spare parts and have the possibility of recovering data from damaged hard-drives as well. Though some of our hard-drives are quite old, from late 1990 or early 2000 which makes the availability of spear parts rather doubtful.