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Hard Drive failed with 500gb of data needing retrieved.


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#1 modem

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:28

Hello all!

Before I get to my question I want to state this up front as hopefully it'll be useful in any answers to my question. I'm a small computer business owner so I'm far removed from a noob as I've been doing tech work for 20 years now. Although I'm never afraid to admit when something has me pondering and seeking the advice of others. :)

Onto my question...

I have a 500GB hard drive (Seagate SATA) that just recently failed on me and has about 400GB worth of data that needs recovering. It's not mission critical data, but data that I would like to have back in the structure I have it stored in. The data is mostly AVI, EXE, drivers, pdf service manuals for many computers/printers, etc.

Anyway, the drive stopped being recognized in the BIOS and there was a very faint, but slight 'knock' on the inside of the drive. No where near as bad as the broken read/write arms in those mechanical failures. I figured that with the drive not being recognized in the BIOS, the PCB board might have went bad on the drive so I purchased a used/working one on eBay of identical model #'s and specs.

I installed that board and while it is now recognized in the BIOS, it gets recognized very slowly or on a few boots, not recognized at all. My goal is to either get the drive to be recognized on some level to get the data off of it. Either using Windows explorer (if the file system isn't shot) or using software like GetDataBack even if the partitions are toast.

But the main problem at the moment seems to be getting the drive to be recognized in a stable fashion in the BIOS so it can be recognized in Windows.

Does anyone have any suggestions, tips, tricks, etc?


#2 KZWings

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:32

The times that BIOS doesn't see it, Windows will never see it.

It sounds like a mechanical failure inside the drive itself - so you might be out of luck.

I've been lucky a few times and booted into Linux and been able to mount the drive and recover files that way. (even when Windows could not) It's definitely worth a shot.

Good luck!

#3 ozgeek

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:40

I have the excat same problem happening to my Steam drive. Luckily it is not critical (games can be redownloaded). Also luckily I have a spare hard drive to use Steam on.

Problems with the old steam drive:

- Sometimes BIOS struggled to detect and recognise the drive. Taking 10 minutes to complete a simple POST that usually takes a few seconds).
- Thinking it's due to heat, i monitored temps. No can't be temps otherwise my other drives would have failed.
- Tried booting only with this HDD. Sometimes sucess, somtimes fail.

Finally figured out that the drive is simply corrupted and have incured many CRC errors which can be fixed by formatting the drive and start afresh. I installed HDtune and it confirmed my suspicions.
To get my save games off it, I try to do a "Check disk for errors" in windows. Moderately sucessful. But work is in progress.

#4 OP modem

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:41

Any particular Linux distro you've used that you've been successful with?

#5 Sandor

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:59

I'm far removed from a noob


Just hi-jacking slightly. Why does your website, on the front page, still have talk of upgrading the IE6 then?

#6 KZWings

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:14

Any particular Linux distro you've used that you've been successful with?


I've had success with Ubuntu - boot from their live CD.

https://help.ubuntu....ommunity/LiveCD

Just slave the drive in another PC.

#7 OP modem

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:17

Lets just say that 1.) my profile data on here is outdated since about 2003 and 2.) that website is just as outdated and not used with customers. Real life got in the way from doing a new one. :p

Just hi-jacking slightly. Why does your website, on the front page, still have talk of upgrading the IE6 then?


Thanks for the info. I'll give HDtune a try, I don't think I've used that in my arsenal on customers hard drives before.


I have the excat same problem happening to my Steam drive. Luckily it is not critical (games can be redownloaded). Also luckily I have a spare hard drive to use Steam on.

Problems with the old steam drive:

- Sometimes BIOS struggled to detect and recognise the drive. Taking 10 minutes to complete a simple POST that usually takes a few seconds).
- Thinking it's due to heat, i monitored temps. No can't be temps otherwise my other drives would have failed.
- Tried booting only with this HDD. Sometimes sucess, somtimes fail.

Finally figured out that the drive is simply corrupted and have incured many CRC errors which can be fixed by formatting the drive and start afresh. I installed HDtune and it confirmed my suspicions.
To get my save games off it, I try to do a "Check disk for errors" in windows. Moderately sucessful. But work is in progress.



#8 Davo

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 19:29

I would try doing it from Linux to be honest. Doing anything from inside Windows is gonna be a pain, if it even works.

#9 Detection

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 20:04

Spinrite sounds like the best bet for that drive, designed to keep trying until you stop it, no timeouts - but if it is mechanical, nothing will recover it

https://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm

#10 jdonner

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 21:37

I'm a small computer business owner so I'm far removed from a noob as I've been doing tech work for 20 years now.


Explain to me why someone who makes such claims, still doesn't understand that all hard drives will eventually fail and that backups are recommended? I work in the IT longer than you claim to run your business and it's that experience that encouraged me to have two backups of all my date internally on two hard drives, an extra archive backup of all deleted or changed data, plus two extra copies on two different drives stored in fireproof safe and additional copies of the most important data like family photos on DVD and Blu-Ray, with additional protection like QuickPar and Dvdisaster and if it wasn't for the fact that I don't trust third parties and that I have a slow internet connection, I would have additional backups online. Are you sure that you are who you claim to be?

#11 TrekRich

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 21:42

Spinrite is very good, i have used it my self. Also check out Security Now!

#12 +Livin in a box

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 21:50

Explain to me why someone who makes such claims, still doesn't understand that all hard drives will eventually fail and that backups are recommended? I work in the IT longer than you claim to run your business and it's that experience that encouraged me to have two backups of all my date internally on two hard drives, an extra archive backup of all deleted or changed data, plus two extra copies on two different drives stored in fireproof safe and additional copies of the most important data like family photos on DVD and Blu-Ray, with additional protection like QuickPar and Dvdisaster and if it wasn't for the fact that I don't trust third parties and that I have a slow internet connection, I would have additional backups online. Are you sure that you are who you claim to be?

Wow, you created an account just to pipe up about how good you seem to be with your backups? How incredibly sad and big-headed you must be.

Back on topic, I've managed to recover Seagate drives that have had this problem in a laptop before by using Windows' check disk utility from the command line but it can only be successful in certain situations with the drive I had being partially recognised by Windows (as in, it wasn't showing in Computer but somehow was available to try and fix :/). Apart from that, Ubuntu like has been previously said works well and Spinrite I have used in the past. Good luck getting it working again! :D

#13 moloko

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 15:26

Did you try booting it in linux. Use this time as a lesson to back up your data on 2 separate drives. I made this mistake and lost 5 years of photos include of my business studio and my kids from birth to 5. :(