External HDD died, need help recovering data for backup

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  1. Posts : 7,063
    Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
       #11

    TheM4dHatter said:
    ...... While Linux had no problem mounting it or reading it, .....
    If Linux could mount your drive and can read it, why did you not copy the files to another drive.??????!!!!!!!!!

    EDIT: You started off this thread saying "External HDD died" but now you say it is not dead yet :). Whatever, if indeed your HDD is riddled with bad sectors, taxing it the way you do now may hasten its ultimate death and then everything is lost. (If it isn't dead yet it is just your luck but that may run out anytime.:))

    Since you keep experimenting on your own - with only a hazy knowledge about partition structure, VBR, MFT etc., - I may add further fuel :) by suggesting this thread for your reading Best method/tool for cloning a failing HDD for Data Recovery? Once you successfully clone your drive, - which in your case I presume will take days and weeks and assumimg that it will not die during this cloning phase - you can do all your experiments to your heart's content on the cloned drive without running the risk of losing your failing HDD anytime.
    Last edited by jumanji; 14 Oct 2016 at 11:17.
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  2. Posts : 33
    Win 7 x64
    Thread Starter
       #12

    I'm way beyond that point already but thanks, Linux is definitely the way to go.. if gaming only got better on there I would say goodbye to windows forever.

    At the moment I'm running in Hiren's Linux distribution already (I don't know what it's based on but it looks like Debian).
    I'm checking each cylinder of the harddrive searching for partitions, hard links, soft links, backup MFT, backup NTFS boot sector and through that rebuilding the partition table.
    Once that is done I'm going to check what is missing still, at that point I'm going to use programs to extract data from sectors no matter what they are, if they start with a series of Hex numbers it will recognize the filetype and reconstruct it as well as signature recovery. After that I will try to recover some broken sectors by applying different decibel levels next to each corrupted and/or bad sector in an attempt to restore it (seems to do a pretty good job in theory and research) then use something like unstoppable copier to copy the rest of the bunch after manually moving those things of real importance fist.
    Last step will be zero out the drive, then I pretty much did what a forensic team would do based on the hours and hours of googling I've done haha.

    It takes forever (it is trying to approach data in thousands of ways, sometimes a cylinder cluster fails but i've seen maybe 10 or so that really didn't respond to any of them so far), but hopefully a lot will be restored at the end of it.
    After zero-ing the drive I might try a different algorithm because some drives (even the newer ones) still respond to a certain written string of non-psuedorandom data in hopes for extra recovery of the drive itself, once that is done and i'm satisfied with how much is repaired it will be my designated junk drive, if not functional enough to run as junk drive I'll open it up, degause, drill and throw away.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 33
    Win 7 x64
    Thread Starter
       #13

    jumanji said:
    TheM4dHatter said:
    ...... While Linux had no problem mounting it or reading it, .....
    If Linux could mount your drive and can read it, why did you not copy the files to another drive.??????!!!!!!!!!

    EDIT: You started off this thread saying "External HDD died" but now you say it is not dead yet :). Whatever, if indeed your HDD is riddled with bad sectors, taxing it the way you do now may hasten its ultimate death and then everything is lost. (If it isn't dead yet it is just your luck but that may run out anytime.:))

    Since you keep experimenting on your own - with only a hazy knowledge about partition structure, VBR, MFT etc., - I may add further fuel :) by suggesting this thread for your reading Best method/tool for cloning a failing HDD for Data Recovery? Once you successfully clone your drive, - which in your case I presume will take days and weeks and assumimg that it will not die during this cloning phase - you can do all your experiments to your heart's content on the cloned drive without running the risk of losing your failing HDD anytime.
    At the time I dove into this I had little knowledge about it indeed, the drive seemed dead, but it is not, it just has a corrupt sector which happens to be the MFT sector so I can't copy all my files because it recognizes it but it can't FIND everything because of the missing partition table and corrupt MFT sector which is being recovered..
    I did a lot of reading afterwards. Cloning the drive is an option and I have thought about doing so but that is an option I will explore after "experimenting" with Testdisk like so many professional ITers seem to rave about. It's taking days, I didn't start anything else, this is what i've been doing, rebuilding the partition table so I can access the files, then other exploration will start as mentioned in the previous post ( I didn't see your post).
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  4. Posts : 7,063
    Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
       #14

    If as you assume it is only a file system corruption and not hardware fault like bad sectors, the Seatools for Windows short test and long test will give you a pass signal. This diagnostics only tests the integrity of your HDD irrespective of the filesystem.

    If you are unable to run SeaTools from Windows you should use SeaTools for DOS and check the integrity of your drive.

    If it fails the tests, it is certainly a hardware fault and your assumption that it is only a filesystem corruption and trying to repair it is a waste of time and effort.

    Edit: If the filesystem corruption is due to bad sectors, TestDisk will not repair or recover it. That TestDisk is taking such a long time to scan the disk in itself is an indication of a faulty drive and in the beginning itself I advised you to stop TestDisk (my post#2 to take a different path).Worse, when TestDisk listed the files after a Quick Search, you failed to copy the files and went ahead with deep search. Perhaps at the end of the deep search you may be able to List the files hitting P and if that happens, atleast then copy the files immediately. ( You won't be able to recover the Partition table and write it or recover the backup bootsector to write the VBR at the beginning of the partition or rebuild/write a new BS or repair the MFT if those are corrupted due to bad sectors. If MFT was bad TestDisk wouldn't have listed the folders/files.)

    Since you asked for help but never listened and prepared to be guided, and went on with your own assumptions and presumptions, I can only comment on what you are doing .

    Good luck with your experiments.
    Last edited by jumanji; 15 Oct 2016 at 02:25.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 21,007
    Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
       #15

    My two cents again maybe the drive has a physical fault with it and I would myself run a surface test with Partition Wizard Best Free Partition Manager for Windows | MiniTool Partition Free see my pic it tests the physical surface and to some extent the read/write arms within the drive - nothing to lose.

    See my pic
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails External HDD died, need help recovering data for backup-mini-tool-surface-2.png  
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  6. Posts : 33
    Win 7 x64
    Thread Starter
       #16

    jumanji said:
    If as you assume it is only a file system corruption and not hardware fault like bad sectors, the Seatools for Windows short test and long test will give you a pass signal. This diagnostics only tests the integrity of your HDD irrespective of the filesystem.

    If you are unable to run SeaTools from Windows you should use SeaTools for DOS and check the integrity of your drive.

    If it fails the tests, it is certainly a hardware fault and your assumption that it is only a filesystem corruption and trying to repair it is a waste of time and effort.

    Edit: If the filesystem corruption is due to bad sectors, TestDisk will not repair or recover it. That TestDisk is taking such a long time to scan the disk in itself is an indication of a faulty drive and in the beginning itself I advised you to stop TestDisk (my post#2 to take a different path).Worse, when TestDisk listed the files after a Quick Search, you failed to copy the files and went ahead with deep search. Perhaps at the end of the deep search you may be able to List the files hitting P and if that happens, atleast then copy the files immediately. ( You won't be able to recover the Partition table and write it or recover the backup bootsector to write the VBR at the beginning of the partition or rebuild/write a new BS or repair the MFT if those are corrupted due to bad sectors. If MFT was bad TestDisk wouldn't have listed the folders/files.)

    Since you asked for help but never listened and prepared to be guided, and went on with your own assumptions and presumptions, I can only comment on what you are doing .

    Good luck with your experiments.
    Seagate tools said drive in perfect condition, smart test worked, short and long test worked, Arconis said degrading due to heat, I decreased the temperature by placing it in a different spot.
    Testdisk took a long time with the quick scan IN WINDOWS, in Linux it finished in about 3 minutes.
    The deep scan is taking forever but it's a deepscan for a reason, on a 4TB drive I can expect it to take a while.
    I know how the program works I read the guide :)
    I did copy what I found important after the quick scan but it wasn't nearly all of it, maybe 10%.
    The disk still mounts in linux under the correct name etc., the partition sector is screwed however, its only one partition but it doesn't register well and doesn't mount in windows, it does find read errors on cylinders but that was to be expected else it would have been in working order.
    So I did listen to advise I did pretty much everything you told me to, since it wasn't successful enough I had to move to "experimenting".

    ICIT2LOL said:
    My two cents again maybe the drive has a physical fault with it and I would myself run a surface test with Partition Wizard Best Free Partition Manager for Windows | MiniTool Partition Free see my pic it tests the physical surface and to some extent the read/write arms within the drive - nothing to lose.

    See my pic
    Did that with a few other programs, it seems to work just fine in linux, in windows not so much, that's what I'm trying to restore now, accessibility in windows.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 1
    Windows XP sp3 (x32) + Windows 7 (x64)
       #17

    AUTOMATIC TRANSLATION via translate.google.com

    Hello. Unfortunately I have very exactly the same problem with a 1TB Western Digital USB drive. Please what is the rest of the story ? Did you recover anything ?
    Thanks


    -----------------------------------------
    Testdisk tells me:
    Drive E: - 1000 GB / 931 GiB - CHS 121597 255 63, sector size = 512

    Then:
    Analyze Drive E: - 1000 GB / 931 GiB - CHS 121597 255 63
    Geometry from i386 MBR: head = 115 sector = 50
    BAD_RS LBA = 1920221984 5880424
    Check_part_i386 1 type 74: no test
    BAD_RS LBA = 1920298864 5994972
    Check_part_i386 2 type 70: no test
    BAD_RS LBA = 168624138 5950949
    Check_part_i386 3 type 72: no test

    Current partition structure:
    1 * Sys = 74 119528 74 3 232582 38 44 1816210284

    Bad relative sector.
    2 * DiskSecure MB 119533 19 23 224380 65 21 1684369952

    Bad relative sector.
    3 * Sys = 72 10496 93 40 10496 93 39 0

    Bad relative sector.
    Only one partition must be bootable
    Space conflict between the two partitions
    1 * Sys = 74 119528 74 3 232582 38 44 1816210284
    2 * DiskSecure MB 119533 19 23 224380 65 21 1684369952
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