The answer is “Yes” in most cases involving a logically failed drive. You might be able to use a good file recovery program. If the OS is damaged, the computer must be able to boot without it. The best software will include a boot disk or boot disk image that can run the machine without the operating system. And if you’re not comfortable with the process, you can get a friend or IT staff member to perform the recovery. Make sure, however, that using the software doesn’t overwrite the files you are trying to recover.
If it’s a physically failed drive, that’s a different matter altogether. Successful drive recovery requires special equipment, above-average expertise and a cleanroom environment. If someone opens your drive without these requirements, they risk:
• Voiding any warranties still in effect • Damaging the drive beyond repair • Damaging the delicate recording surfaces of the drive • Losing your data beyond recovery
What about taking it to the store where you bought it? I wouldn’t recommend it. They won’t have the facilities for proper recovery; it’s just too expensive. That means it will be shipped out for recovery. You may never know where it ends up.
A professional data recovery lab is the best option for a successful recovery. However, be sure to check them out first. Some so-called labs are merely drop off locations and are not necessarily affiliated with an accredited lab. And many labs cut corners to keep down costs.