Solved! Is my HD shot? Data retrieval possible?


Jul 27, 2016
Hey my friends,
So one of my desktops took a dive, I had trouble getting into Windows desktop (sometimes I could, others not).
I took it to a place that I go to that actually recycles PC's, mostly from large businesses but they do cater to individuals. The guy told me my Gateway P6803W HD was "shot", but as I said I was able to get into windows intermittently and got into BIOS easily, I wonder if I can still retrieve my files? I do backups but I hadn't saved a few months of family photos etc that I'd like to get back. Any chance the data can be recovered and if so, will it cost me a small fortune to do it?
Thanks much


Nov 11, 2013
Most times you can simply hook the hard drive up in another computer and retrieve what you need, especially one that occasionally boots

Dont try to boot the other computer using your drive just go to the drive and put what you need on usb drives


Jun 16, 2014
Unfortunately, no one on here can answer weather or not it's recoverable. They would have to physically have the drive and attempt the recovery. Prices also widely vary. If it can't be accessed by another computer, it would need to be sent to a lab which can cost up to $1500 in some cases. It may only cost you an hour or two of labor if it is accessible. As mentioned above, you can hook it to a computer and try yourself, however drives with issues can become worse or lose additional data the more you run them. It depends on how sensitive the data is and how much data you have. Also, recovery might be difficult if the drive keeps dismounting while you are transferring files. You may need a third party app for recovery at that point. I think it's better to take it to a local repair shop so someone can physically work on it and give you the proper recommendation.

For future reference

  • ■If you have a Google account (Gmail, YouTube, etc), that gives you a Google Drive and Photos account. Google Photos gives you unlimited backup of photos up to 2048x2048 resolution, and up to 15 GB of storage of larger photos on Google Drive. It also gives you unlimited backups of videos, although I don't know the limits (used to be 1080p and 15 minutes). Install the Google Photos app on your phone, and you can configure it to auto-backup your photos and videos to the cloud.
    ■If you have Amazon Prime, it gives you unlimited backups of photos of any resolution. Install the Prime Photos app on your phone and you can configure it to auto-backup new photos to the cloud. I don't think they have a similar deal for videos.
    ■If you subscribe to Office 365, it includes 1 TB of cloud storage on OneDrive. I don't use this one so I don't know the details. But I would assume there's a simple way to configure it to auto-backup your photos and videos to OneDrive.


Oct 2, 2018
Just to add, if you are hearing unusual sounds (grinding, clicking, screeching, etc.) coming from the drive while it is powered up, power down the drive immediately before you cause permanent damage to the platters. You will lose the data forever if it is irreparably damaged.