SpinRite is a $89 utility that brings hard disks back from the dead when no other program can. It is file system independent and works on PCs, Macs and Linux.
An example. My aging P4 went south a few days back. CHKDSK reported errors on D:, things like circular redundancy in a folder and other such symptoms of a hard disk circling the drain. I ran CHKDSK with the /repair option, which succeeded in only mangling things even further. In fact, after CHKDSK, it couldn’t find D: at all.
I then ran SpinRite. It said the SMART hard disk utility was reporting the drive was in imminent peril of death, did I really want to tax it further? I said yes, because there were still a few files on the hard disk I hadn’t backed up.
It ran for about 6 hours. Upon rebooting, while SMART still reported problems, Drive D: was back. I immediately backed up all the remaining files.
There are thousands of stories like this. Buy SpinRite now. You’ll never regret the purchase.
SpinRite author Steve Gibson also does an excellent podcast called Security Now, available on iTunes. Highly recommended.