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Windows 7: HDD Recovery


24 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 
HDD Recovery

Hi,

A few days ago I noticed when playing videos I would get a stutter. This was with Vids on HDD and ones streaming.

The HDD is the only HDD in the laptop.

After the videos getting so bad with the frequent stuttering I shut it down. When I switched back on later it wouldn't boot. I could get the BIOS and boot options like safe mode but couldn't boot in to safe mode. Or boot at all. I'd had a problem before where it wouldn't boot normally and it did boot in to safe mode and then it would boot normally.

Anyway when I came home, I took the HDD out and put it in my enclosure and connected to another computer. All 4 partitions for the HDD are showing up. But the main one which was the C: drive is not accessible. The other 3 (SYSTEM,RECOVERY and HP TOOLS) are accessible but are empty aside from a few log files.

In disk manager the main drive which was C: is listed as a RAW file system. The other 3 have NTFS or FAT32.

I tried to see if I could fix this myself using Testdisk but have not had success. Although testdisk can access my main original C: drive and I can see all the files that I want to recover.

How can I make this drive accessible? I've tried writing the partition in Testdisk and it remains the same. Advanced section says the Boot Sector is OK.

At the moment I'm just using testdisk to save some files. But it isn't the most user friendly software I've came across.

Any help?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Mar 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Hello iamcami and welcome to Seven Forums.

This article may help you access the HDD. It recommends that you download a program called PC Inspector File Recovery. I've never used this but a friend highly recommends it and it's free.

How to Recover Data from a Crashed Hard Drive | EmergingTechs.com

Once you've accessed and saved your data you could try running any of several diagnostic tools to see if the hard drive is really toast or if your computer suffered some other problem. As this article suggests, if your hard drive fails any of the tests it's time to replace it.

7 Free Hard Drive Testing Software Tools

In the future, a lot of people recommend creating a system image once a computer is set up exactly how you want it to be. If you ever have another major issue you could restore your machine to the way it was when the system image was created. Usually in less than an hour.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

Well I used "GetDataBack" for NTSC after it being recommended.

It was going REALLY slow. About 5% in over 12 hours. I had to restart and tried to see if I could pause it but had to cancel. After restarting whenever I connect the dodgy hard drive the PC starts crawling and isn't detecting the drives before. It seems worse now. Less access. GetDataBack and TestDisk both can't even find the drive now, or at least it takes so long I get impatient and unplug the drive so that the PC will work.

Am I screwed now?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Mar 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

I'm afraid I can't give you a definite yes or no if the data on your hard drive is retrievable through conventional means like readily available data recovery software. You could try the free PC Inspector File Recovery software in my first post to see if it might work. Please note that any data recovery software could take many hours if not days to try to reconstruct the data sector by sector. It's also possible that the HDD might be at a point now that only a company that specializes in data retrieval could access the info on the drive. And they cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

I know of one product called SpinRite that has had good success in recovering data from damaged hard drives. It's not cheap at $89 but it depends on how much your data is worth to you. Disclaimer: I have no affiliation or monetary interest in this product or company.

GRC Hard Drive Data Recovery Software - SpinRite
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

Thanks for the reply.

I'm sticking with GetDataBack at the moment. Although painfully slow. In that 5% over 12 HRS it did manage to recover most docs and pics which is great.

What'll do is use an old PC rather than my primary one, that way it doesn't clog up this machine and it should go uninterrupted. Hopefully I can get it going again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2012   #6

Windows
 
 

You're going to make things worse by unplugging the drive, powering it off or being impatient. Your drive most likely has a corrupt File table. It may be physically damaged or have a bad controller, but it sounds like the file system. Backup whatever you can recover using GDB to an external hard drive, first. The best method is to image the drive and do your recovery from the image. Easeus has a very good, free partition recovery program which can recover lost partitions. You'd want to install Easeus on another computer and connect your hard drive to the other PC with an adapter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

Well it's definitely not working in any Windows programs now. It causes Windows to become unstable just connecting the drive.

I think marsmimar may be right about it being past the point of no return.

Oh well. Do you think the drive is worth formatting and (trying to) using? Will it be under warranty? The Laptop is out of warranty (1yr) but I'm curious if the HDD would still have warranty with Western Digital?

I got the ultra important data off of it 1st so it's definitely not worth paying to get the rest. It's annoying but not the end of the world.

I will now start exercising better backup methods. This was the 1st harddrive i've had fail like this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iamcami View Post
Oh well. Do you think the drive is worth formatting and (trying to) using? Will it be under warranty? The Laptop is out of warranty (1yr) but I'm curious if the HDD would still have warranty with Western Digital?
The drive should have a serial number and WD could probably use the S/N to determine if it's still under warranty. Personally, I wouldn't trust the drive for storing / retrieving important data. But there's no harm in formatting and then running the free Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows on that hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2012   #9

Windows
 
 

It's definitely worth trying marsmimar's suggestion of getting the drive warrantied through WD. You should be able to do it through their website, though I suspect they'll ID the drive as an OEM and refer you to the manufacturer.

After everything is off the drive you could reformat it (FULL format, not a quick format), then run the free trial version of HD Tune Pro. Do a full disk scan and check the health of the drive to see if it's worth using again. Make sure you do backups.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home x64
 
 

Just to update this thread. I check WD and it's not covered

It's the laptop that covers it (HP) and that warranty was only for a yr.

I'm still waiting for prices to come down on HDD's but I've been using an old 80GB and now thinking a SSD might be good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 HDD Recovery




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