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Windows 7: Hard Drive Dying How To Rescue Data

08 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home
Hard Drive Dying How To Rescue Data

Hi all, I have two hard disks in my windows box.

The disk with the windows OS is perfectly fine and boots normally.

The second disk is a 1TB Seagate SATA disk where I store personal files. I have about 160 gigs of files on it. This is the disk that has issues.

If I boot to windows with the second drive connected windows either doesn't boot or boots but runs extremely slowly and just doesn't respond.

If I disonnect the second drive with my personal files on then Windows boots normally and works fine which indicates the hard drive with windows on it is normal.

I used a Linux live cd to see if the failing second disk is there and its size to validate if there are any files on it.

In Linux on the live CD I can see the disk size and that 160 gigs is used so my files are there.

When I try to mount the disk in linx I get the following errors -

Input/output error NTFS is either inconsistent, or there is a hardware fault, or it's a SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware. In the first case run chkdsk /f on Windows then reboot into Windows twice. The usage of the /f parameter is very important! If the device is a SoftRAID/FakeRAID then first activate it and mount a different device under the /dev/mapper/ directory.
I can boot to windows with the disk connected to try this so I used the windows install CD and access recovery tools but it does not seem to reconize the disk is there as when I run

checkdsk /f
It tells me the disk is write protected, which I am guessing indicates its referencing the CD I am booting of as it can not see my hard drive.

So couple of questions -

1) When at the command prompt with the windows repair tools what command can I issue to see what disks it has detected and drive letter paths mounted?

2) Is there anything else anyone can suggest?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Boot into Windows with the drive connected, right click on the drive and select properties, then go to the tools tab and click "Check now" in the error-checking block.

Also, the command isn't "checkdsk", it's "chkdsk". If you have two drives, and the one you want to check is the F drive, then the syntax is "chkdsk f:". I use the following flags: f (for fixing problems) and r (for recovering data): "chkdsk f: /f /r".

The best way to get the data off the drive is to get a removable USB drive and copy the files from the problem drive to the USB drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home

Hi, thanks for the response...

Couple of points -

1) I can not even access the drive in windows, if I have the drive connected it takes about half an hour for windows to load and once I see the desktop the disk is not accessible as the computer continually stalls and I can't browse any menus etc.

2) If I remove the broken disk and reboot windows boots normally but the broken disk is obviously disconnected so thats not of any use :).

So I am guessing windows is struggling to mount the disk and throwing errors hence Windows not loading when it is connected.

The only way to see what the dissc is doing is by booting with a live Linux CD as it doesn't mount the disk so it allows me to see the OS desktop and check the partion is there but as soon as you try to mount the disk even Linux errors out.

So I am still at a point where -

1) I need run chkdsk, the only way to do this is by booting with a windows CD to command and running it but it is struggling to access the disk.

2) It could be that the disk is to far gone and if I can not run chkdsk on it then I may to accept the loss?

I could be wrong but thats how I see it at the moment!

This is what I see is happening.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

You can try putting the drive in a USB enclosure - then try connecting it to a different computer. Or, you could try connecting the drive to a different port on your motherboard to see if that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #5


gotta be honest i've come across drives like this at work, and the results are fairly varied.

i often times get an identical hard drive and swap the boards over which gives us an opportunity to remove the data.

using a usb caddy can help at times as well but again it doesn't always work.

frankly it really will depend on what tools you have at your disposal, with linux live not working you have limited options if it's causing issues with windows when it is connected, pretty much leaves you with replace board on drive and hope that works. or hand it over to a data retrieval company.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2012   #6

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

Also, try a different SATA data cable. These have been known to break or fail

Attached Images
Hard Drive Dying How To Rescue Data-sata_data_cable.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hard Drive Dying How To Rescue Data

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