WD1200 Caviar SE

The first thing I will say, since I am new to the forums here, is that this is a ‘faulty drive’ question, so if it needs to be redirected elsewhere, please let me know.  

I run a video production company and have 4 identical, custom made desktops running Windows XP Pro.  They all have the same hardware/drivers installed, and are about 4 years old.  The C: drive on all of them are WD1200, WD Caviar SE.  I don’t know if this is enough info to know exactly what these drives are, but if not, I can get more info off the label.  

Anyways, I came in after a weekend and had 1 of the four CPUs completely frozen.  I tried everything to get it to shutdown, but finally had to do a hard power down.  When I went to reboot the computer, it had problems, saying that an avgoem file could not be found.  I tried a repair, but it said there were bad sectors, I think?  I pulled it out and plugged it into one of the working computers and it came up like an empty drive and said it needed to be reformatted.  What I would like to know is if there is any data retrieval software out there that will let me look and see if the data on this drive is recoverable, despite getting a formatting message.  It had about 90 GB of information, some of it I would like to see if I can get back.  I really need it, but probably not so much that I want to pay big money and send it away.

My second question is seeing if there is any way to take the c: drive image from one of the working computers and put it onto a new HDD so that I can get my broken computer up and running.  The guy who built these computers has gone awol, so I do not have access to all of the program discs that were installed onto all of the computers.  I don’t want to have to rebuy all of the software and have one of my towers mismatched as far as operating system and other software versions.  I don’t know if there would compatibility issues tying to use the image from one of my other computers, but as far as OS and drivers and whatnot, all 4 of the computers are the same, and I’m pretty sure my computer guy said that he built these by using an identical HDD image for all 4.  Or maybe this is just a big no-no and I should not asking at all…

I greatly appreciate any help that anybody can point me towards or can answer directly.


To get the data back you may try using a data recovery software, like recuva or testdisk.

Regarding the disk image you can use Acronis WD Edition.  Before replacing the drive you may confirm what is the maximum hard drive capacity your system support.

How to Automatically Clone a Disk with Acronis True Image WD Edition Software 

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Thank you for your response, I will try both methods for the data recovery and your suggestion for the disk image.