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Windows 7: Western Digital WD2500 Caviar SE not working---files are trapped!

06 Jun 2012   #1
kbronski

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Western Digital WD2500 Caviar SE not working---files are trapped!

I recently changed the graphics card in my desktop, which caused a large crash that resulted in my computer absolutely refusing to boot, even when I install the old card. Anyway, I had 2 hard drives.. an 80GB boot drive with my OS and software, and a 250GB drive with all of my personal data (music, movies, documents, work files, etc) that is not not working. The 80GB drive works when hooked up to a USB, but the 250GB doesn't. I did put it in another computer to find out that all of my data is still there (I had to boot into a Windows 7 disc to access the drive), but it simply won't recognize when I hook it up to a USB. How can I get my files off the drive??? It's not a bootable drive.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Jun 2012   #2
F5ing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Are you accessing via USB with something like this?

Newegg.com - Vantec 2.5"/3.5"/5.25" SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter - Model CB-ISATAU2

I've not had a problem accessing any SATA/IDE drive 2TB or smaller with that type of device (hundreds of drives).

Can you see the drive in Disk Management?

How are you booting when you try but are unable to access?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #3
kbronski

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Yes, I'm using one of those adapters (except mine's a generic one I got for $4.99 on Amazon). It's always worked FANTASTICALLY, but it wasn't working with this drive. When I put the drive into my computer and booted, I did not mean that I booted into the drive. I actually inserted a Windows 7 disc and booted into the disc itself (as if I were going to perform a fresh install of the OS). My plan was simply to see if the drive would show up (if it didn't show up in the Windows 7 install disc's disk management, I was simply going to consider the drive as being corrupted)... and sure enough, it showed up. So, the drive is working fine and is not corrupted (at least, I think it's not corrupted), but I simply cannot access anything on it!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Jun 2012   #4
F5ing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I pretty much consider most of those type devices as "generic". They all seem to work!

Post a screenshot of Disk Management with the drive attached. It could be that all it needs is for you to assign a drive letter to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jun 2012   #5
kbronski

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I would post a picture, but the drive is giving me the click of death right now. I think it might be permanently done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jun 2012   #6
F5ing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Sorry to hear that.

The only way I know of to recover from that is to replace the circuit board mounted on it. But you need an "exact" replacement.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jun 2012   #7
Night Hawk

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, W10 Preview - Second remote tower Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

If the controller card went on the drive you would have to take it to a data recovery service to extract the contents off of the drive's platters directly for a fee. Since the drive appears to be working and you can see onto it to some extent while booting from the 7 dvd the next step would be trying to get the drive initialized as FSing was mentioning by assigning a drive letter.

When not able to access the drive while installed externally and yet the drive is found to work in an enclosure you should try replacing the ribbon data cable. After so long those tend to lose conductivity and simply need to be tossed. In fact on different custom cases while still using ide HDs or for ide optical drives I never use the flat ribbon type but paid out for some excellent round cables by Antec. ($10 a piece but $15 for Shipping! ) antec round ide cables - Bing Images

Have fun finding them at late date since vendors like newegg have since stopped carrying them. The clicking sound however shows that the armature is slapping up against the main spindle and that data recovery service may need a visit! click, click, click, beeeeeeeeepppppp... doa! The drive would be toast!

Replacing the drive is what will be needed. One option would be trying out any number of data recovery programs before the drive fails completely which is about the total sum of where you are now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2012   #8
F5ing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

If you really need the data off of that drive I would try replacing the board myself before going for a data recovery service. The cost of the board is a lot cheaper than what would be charged by the service.

The board is easily replaced, the hard part is finding the exact board that you need. It may or may not work, but if you're already thinking about spending $800+ on recovery services, you would only be out an extra $40 or so.

Even if it works though, as Night Hawk mentions, the drive needs to be replaced. I've only used replacement boards to get data off. After that the drives end up getting trashed and replaced with new ones.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2012   #9
Night Hawk

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, W10 Preview - Second remote tower Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

The clicking sound of a drive isn't from the controller card in the drive but the mechanical arm that holds the read/write heads. Once that is worn is slaps up against the main spindle for the platters. Replacing the card would be a total waste of effort unless it was only a fault with that.

Attempting any other repairs yourself will most likely damage the drive even further where any data retrieval won't even be possible by a professional service. One reference on drive faults can be seen at Common hard drive faults

A second reference on drive clicking is a good read at Problem with hard drive clicking - ThinkWiki

The next reference is a real oldie that advised booting from a live Linux distro if you don't have a program like Undelete to use in order to rescue files and data from a nearly extinct drive. This was written while Knoppix was still only a small live cd not the much larger live dvd as it is presently. http://www.shockfamily.net/cedric/knoppix/

With the drive installed internally temporarily you would boot live from ubuntu or Linux Mint to view and copy files from the drive over to another before simply dumping it as long as the drive remains readable. This would one option if any one of a number of data recovery programs fail to do the job for you.

If it was simply a controller card and bought within the last 3yrs. you would have the limited WD warranty to save a little on cost not including shipping over bringing it into a data recovery service while it might just take that if nothing else works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2012   #10
F5ing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I understand where the noise is coming from, and the fact that letting it go on will kill it for sure, but the head sweeping is not always caused by internal components. Most hard drives in the last 10 years or so are built such that the controller card is mounted externally. You don't need to violate the "clean" environment where the internal components reside to replace the card. So if it's handled carefully like you would any other hard drive, you'll not cause any damage that would make the data unrecoverable by professional services.

I've still got three old "working" hard drives from other user's machines where I've replaced the boards to recover data. I don't remember if any of these were "clicking" drives but I can say that I've been able to recover data from some drives that were clicking.

I'll admit it's nowhere near a 100% success rate, it's more like 60%. Sometimes you just can't find the exact board. And sometimes it just doesn't work. The thing is, people were more likely to give it a shot if it was only $40 or so, and they would always forget about it if it didn't work (they never went to pay for the professional services).
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 Western Digital WD2500 Caviar SE not working---files are trapped!




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