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Windows 7: Trying to recover failing HDD

07 Oct 2012   #1

Win 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 
Trying to recover failing HDD

I wonder if anyone can advise please?

I have a failing IDE drive which I need to stabilise just long enough to copy off some data.

[Memo to Self: Do more backups during the day!]


On start-up the HDD no longer appears in the BIOS drive listing.

However, Win 7 does detect it at start-up and goes through a CHKDSK routine and whilst some "File record segment xxx is unreadable" warnings are displayed, it does seem to read some of the files because it re-indexes them and displays the file name.

After this is complete, Win 7 works as usual, but the drive does not appear in either Explorer or under Disk Management.

Are there any tricks to force Win 7 to perform a full CHKDSK /R repair at startup, even if the drive cannot be 'seen'?

Desperation looms!

Many thanks for reading this!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Oct 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Hi,

First thing is first, get any valuable data off that disk. Please see if this will work for you:

Peppermint3 - Create Live CD/DVD/USB To Use For Emergency Backup

Once the data is off, post back and we can help further.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2012   #3

Win 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Hi,

I should have added "I also tried using a live Ubuntu instance from a bootable CD but also that cannot see the drive either"!

The problem is that the physical drive remains invisible, yet on boot-up Win 7 goes through the CHKDSK routine [I suspect a basic one] and after an hour or so completes the routine and then continues to boot properly.

The issue isn't about getting Win to boot - but to try and get the drive into an accessible state so I can suck off all available data onto a USB HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


07 Oct 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NigelT View Post
After this is complete, Win 7 works as usual, but the drive does not appear in either Explorer or under Disk Management.
That's very bizarre! How can Windows continue to work from a disk that it doesn't recognise in Disk Management?

Can you do the following:

1. Post a screen capture image of your Disk Management screen please?
2. Could you try Peppermint3 please?

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2012   #5

Win 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Bizarre ideed! It would seem that Windows can see what we mere mortals can only dream of!

I will do as you suggest, but will have to wait for the PC to finish the latest CHKDSK routine invoked after rebooting post-Ubuntu, which is coming up for 5 hours now! For obvious reasons I don't wish to disturb the process until complete.

This drive has been moved to another PC to free up my main workstation and is running under Win 7 Pro 32bit.

I will download Peppermint3 - I do have v2 already as part of my 'essential OS' armoury and it is one of my preferred variants.

Will report back as soon as...

Cheers and thanks for your kind assistance.

NigelT
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

Golden's way should work. But if Windows can see the drive and read it, you can try to Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2012   #7

Win 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Bad news, it seems....


1: I downloaded Peppermint3 mainly because I already had v2 and wanted to see the improvements.


This could not see the drive, but that wasn't a surprise, for it is a Ubuntu variant which I had already tried.


2: No pont sending a Disk Management screenshot because it only shows drives it can see - "Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence"!



After trying Peppermint3, I rebooted and it went through the process of seemingly hanging for about an hour, displaying the standard pre-desktop screen [
not the BSOD]

The usual "There is an error - I need to check drive G:" etc came up and off it went, displaying a torturously slow segment-by-segment analysis of duff elements. This continued for 2 days until complete. It was obviously 'seeing' data because it was referring to recognisable file names when re-indexing.


When Win 7 finally settled to a working desktop, it was possible to 'see' the drive using an Explorer window and it stated the drive 'needed formatting before use'.



I then fired up the command line option as Administrator and ran CHKDSK G: /F /R, hoping this would be the most extreme repair option available to me would work.


Two days later, and the same again [
....drive 'needed formatting before use'., etc.]

Checking drive properties revealed nothing - literally!


Using Disk Management caused it to disappear again.


I fear this data is now lost and think it might be time to drill a hole, unless anyone knows and tricks to repair from command-line services?


Mny thanks for all your help so far.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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