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Windows 7: WD portable HDD error/extra unallocated space, maybe broken. need4work


10 Jul 2012   #1
711

windows 7 x64
 
 
WD portable HDD error/extra unallocated space, maybe broken. need4work

im currently stuck with a western digital passport elite HDD. its ONLY 500GB and it was working fine, when i hit the bootup today it didnt show up at all then it did show up but only in disk man. and it shows up as like 2TB of unallocated space that i can not initialize (media write protected or something like that) it houses a bunch of very personal data and work related files that i REALLY need to get off of there soon.

what ive tried already: most of what i could find online that i think wasnt to extreme. i didn't want to do anything that may make it worse so i decided to post here to get a second opinion.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Jul 2012   #2
711

windows 7 x64
 
 

it does make a very quite clicking noise once its plugged in, after plugging it in it makes the starting hum (that it always has) then it makes one click and the hum dies down, then another hum and a click and so on. it will do this maybe 2 or 3 times while the light blinks and then (and only after this) does it actually show up in disk management. (no further click or hum) i fear it may be a faulty partition table.

if any one here could help me before i go to work in a few days u would be a god send.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Hello 711. Welcome to the forum.

That click could indicate a head fault. A head fault is very bad. Therefore you want to proceed very carefully.

If it is a head fault (frozen head actuator, head parking issue) it is recognized by the infamous "Click of Death". Wikipedia has an audio recording of an instance of one.

Use the drive as little as possible until you have everything you need in place. If my guess is correct you may have limited opportunities to recover your data for free.

You want to find a data recovery program like RECUVA and a partition management program like PARTITION WIZARD. Install these and review their instructions. You will also need a backup source to put your recovered files on.

When ready, connect the external drive and try and recover your data.
If the recovery program can't see the drive then you could try Partition Wizard to rebuild the MBR. Then try and recover data with the recovery program.

If PW can't see the drive then it somewhat proves you have a hardware failure. In that case you can try the freeze trick.
You put the hard drive in a zip lock bag and place it in your freezer for a hour or two. Then you remove it and immediately and quickly hook it up and see if you can get it recognized. If so start recovering data immediately - getting the most important stuff first. If the freeze trick works to unstick a "frozen" actuator head it will tend to only work until the drive heats up. You can try to refreeze but subsequent attempts will be less effective. This process is damaging to the drive - it is a last resort.

Do not try and initiate or format the drive! The "good" news is that if this is a head fault then your data is intact on the platters. A data recovery company could then recover that data so long as you have not altered or destroyed the file table. It costs a lot more to recover the data if the file table is destroyed.

Sorry I could not bear better news.

http://lifehacker.com/5237503/five-b...recovery-tools
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jul 2012   #4
711

windows 7 x64
 
 

well thank you for your reply, i will be trying those steps probably in that order. in the event that i do have to freeze it, would it make a difference if i was to rap it in an ice pack or something to keep it cooler for longer? or would that make it worse. also i need the files quick for work soon, if i cant get them off using the PW method and i use the freeze method would i still be able to send it back to western digital? i called them and they told me they would replace it for free.... but data back up is extra and to get it done by friday when i work again is WAY to expensive! if i use the freeze method and it works u think it will void the warranty?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Yes it will. The freezing trick is considered destructive. And keep in mind it does not always work. It only works in those cases where heat has caused seizing of the parts. It will not work if the problem is electrical. As I said, it is a last ditch, hail Mary kind of attempt.

This is a case where you have to decide which is more important: the data, or the money. If it's the data, and the drive is under warranty, and WD will retrieve it professionally, then you have your answer.

Did you have any luck getting the drive recognized?

And yes, I've heard of people wrapping the drive in ice packs after removing them from the freezer. It would not make any difference as far as any damage goes. The damage comes from water vapor condensing inside the drive as it warms up from the inside out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 WD portable HDD error/extra unallocated space, maybe broken. need4work




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