how do I recover data from a non responsive hard drive?

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  1. Posts : 74
    Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
    Thread Starter
       #91

    okay.. conflicting instructions here... but I'm pulling the plug on the drive, as the data is what's important to me... if the drive is dead, so be it.
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  2. Posts : 7,099
    Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
       #92

    Not to worry. Your data is there. You have seen it show.

    At the moment it is only a suspicion that the drive may be going bad. Let your HDD rest. We don't want it to keep spinning till we decide on the best method of recovering the data without making it worse. I have some plans. But I would like to take a first, second and third opinion on it before we start executing it. You can go to sleep.

    I shall also be away for sometime.
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  3. Posts : 74
    Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
    Thread Starter
       #93

    thanks again everyone
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  4. Posts : 6,458
    x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
       #94

    jumanji said:
    .....
    So my first instruction to the OP:

    Shut down the computer, pull out the data cable and power cable from the problem drive and let it rest, till we decide what next to do.The OP can use his computer with his system drive powered.

    Initially I planned to do a rebuild MBR running PW in Windows but now abandoned that and go whole hog with data recovery.

    I shall be back after an hour or two.
    I agree recover the data first.

    I was concerned when Windows PW reported Bad disk, and relieved when the USB PW showed hope. I am using this experience to help another member, as you already know.

    The only activity on the drive should be trying a recovery. Any other testing should be deferred until the data is safe. That's always the case, we just got side tracked a few times by the tools.

    I think a clone might work best, but I'll leave the final decision up to you on whether to copy files / folders or copy the sectors. The condition of the drive might dictate that decision anyway.

    @ICit2lol: This drive is touchy at the moment. Under these conditions, we don't want vigorous testing of the surface. The chance of failure increases and the chances of data recovery decrease.

    Bill
    .
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  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
       #95

    Slartybart said:
    jumanji said:
    .....
    So my first instruction to the OP:

    Shut down the computer, pull out the data cable and power cable from the problem drive and let it rest, till we decide what next to do.The OP can use his computer with his system drive powered.

    Initially I planned to do a rebuild MBR running PW in Windows but now abandoned that and go whole hog with data recovery.

    I shall be back after an hour or two.
    I agree recover the data first.

    I was concerned when Windows PW reported Bad disk, and relieved when the USB PW showed hope. I am using this experience to help another member, as you already know.

    The only activity on the drive should be trying a recovery. Any other testing should be deferred until the data is safe. That's always the case, we just got side tracked a few times by the tools.

    I think a clone might work best, but I'll leave the final decision up to you on whether to copy files / folders or copy the sectors. The condition of the drive might dictate that decision anyway.

    @ICit2lol: This drive is touchy at the moment. Under these conditions, we don't want vigorous testing of the surface. The chance of failure increases and the chances of data recovery decrease.

    Bill
    .
    OK Bill just a thought surprised the Ubuntu couldn't pull the data though
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  6. Posts : 6,458
    x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
       #96

    Yeah John, this one is a sticky wicket. That's why it's important to tread lightly. Sometimes the drive can be read, sometimes it throws a fit.

    Running a surface scan on a drive exhibiting this behavior can often tip it over the edge. The disk's regular operation checks for read and write errors. When it has to try x number of times, it marks that sector bad and moves the data. A surface scan is far more aggressive and you don't want on a drive like this.

    As you noted, the data had trouble on an Ubuntu attempt, and I'm not sure if you followed the OMG moment, but Windows PW flagged it as a Bad disk.

    So the best hope is to baby the poor thing.
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  7. Posts : 7,099
    Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
       #97

    @IC2...No, OP hasn't tried any Live Linux so far. Has he ?

    Most of the cases coming here have different characteristics and so the dynamics changes.We do not have a fixed solution.Right now I am doing a little homework before posting three methods of recovery and which one we should go with. Your opinions and Ubuntu will also come in. So please standby to share your thoughts. I need not call Slarty for he always follows the thread.( He has already echoed one of my thoughts cloning, as if by telepathy. :)) I may have to call Anshad if he is not visible. I would also elicit others' views.

    I shall wait for all opinions before suggesting the final decision to be carried out by the OP. Because of the day-night cycles and other personal activities this may take time. The OP may wait.
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  8. Posts : 562
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64
       #98


    Running a surface scan on a drive exhibiting this behavior can often tip it over the edge. The disk's regular operation checks for read and write errors. When it has to try x number of times, it marks that sector bad and moves the data. A surface scan is far more aggressive and you don't want on a drive like this.
    That depends on the testing tool. For example, "Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostic" may try to auto repair bad sectors and may make the issue worse. On the other hand "Seagate Seatool" will only perform a read test. To repair bad sectors, user should manually enable the repair mode. I have been using "Seatool" for a decade. I should have been tested at least 1000 disks and it never screwed a single drive.

    There are two reasons i prefer "Seatool" over others.

    1. "Seatool" will work with any manufacturer's disk.

    2. It will abort the test to prevent further damage if there are too many surface test.

    Before testing with "seatool" , make sure the disk is connected to a direct SATA port and avoid USB enclosure. If it is already connected to a SATA port, replace the data cable with a good quality 6GB/s cable. Often a faulty cable may make the disk looks like bad.

    For Windows version of "Seatool", the test to run is "Long generic" which will scan entire disk surface.
    Last edited by Anshad Edavana; 20 Jun 2014 at 03:54.
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  9. Posts : 6,458
    x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
       #99

    I did not know that Seatools would abort to prevent further damage - thanks.

    That being said, I don't see any value add to running a read only test on this drive.

    Connecting the drive internally and replacing the data cable sound like good ideas.

    I would still attempt a data recovery before testing the drive - we know it's faulty.

    Respecting the differences of our experience and admitting that my working knowledge is antiquated, I still think that the user data recovery takes precedence over testing the condition of the drive.

    Since there is a difference of opinion on the matter, I think Canuck has to decide what to do next.

    I'm back to the sidelines.

    Bill
    .
    Last edited by Slartybart; 20 Jun 2014 at 11:00. Reason: ... the condition -> ... testing the condition
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  10. Posts : 7,099
    Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
       #100

    Thanks Anshad for your good suggestion.

    Now I am thinking of three recovery processes/methodology.

    I .Cloning with ddrescue. Advantage: 1. Unlike conventional imaging/cloning software, it can do bad sector recovery as it clones with specified no. of passes. 2. Anshad Edavana can help with his experience. Especially with the second command. We are going to give only two commands and then sit and relax till the cloning is over.

    Since all the partitions are intact, I see no problems in ddrescue recognising the problem drive. In the other thread , the first one in Seven Forums where it was recommended, the OP Jon Snow reported that it would not recognise the problem drive. Now we know for sure that was because his drive had gone dead long before.

    Requirements: 1. A pendrive to write the bootable ddrescue ISO 2. A formatted empty external drive of not less than 500GB. ( I am not sure of the the ddrescue log file size which it will create. We may not afford to lose it for want of space. So maybe a 750GB or 1TB drive???)

    (During the initial phase of this thread, with the OP's sluggish Windows with the problem drive connected, we made a marathon effort to make a bootable pendrive with PW ISO with the onetime boot menu key for the OP's motherboard not known. Thanks to Slarty's find we could get over it and the OP is now well-versed in creating a bootable pendrive and booting from it.)


    II. TestDisk: The first and only screen of Windows Disk Management the OP presented after a long read by Windows shows all logical partitions in the drive as RAW. So I would consider using TestDisk > Advanced File utilities to report the health of BootSector/backup Boot Sector and whether an MFT repair will be required all of which it can do hopefully. If these are the only cause of the problem ( like corrupt MFT but not caused by bad sectors), if repaired his drive should be back in shape and the OP can directly list the files and copy those into the external drive. May be as suggested by Anshad which I include now after his previous post on Seatools for DOS, a first run by SeaTools to repair badsectors and then TeskDisk may be a better option? ? Or should we stick to only TestDisk?

    Requirements: 1. Two pendrives one for TestDisk and one for Seatools for DOS depending upon which course is decided upon. 2. Same formatted empty drive of 500GB capacity

    III. Try Live Linux and copy the files. Distros: Peppermint -1. Golden Tutorial 2. Mate- whs Tutorial and I think Slarty is authoring one 3.Lucid Puppy - jumanji 4.Ubuntu - ICit2lol

    Advantage: Authors 2.(Slartybart) 3. and 4. are live on this thread to give an interactive support which the OP may need in dealing with the specific distros.

    Disadvantage: 1. No bad sector correction Solution: Seatools for DOS followed by Live Linux ??? 2. OP's inclination to undertake the Linux load also matters.

    Requirements: 1. Two pendrives one for the live Linux ISO and one for Seatools for DOS again depending upon the course to be decided 2. The same formatted external HDD of 500GB capacity.

    I am not sure which one to go for .It is for the Jury to decide. I have only presented the possible scenario for experts' opinion. Jurors: 1. Slartybart 2. Anshad Edavana 3. Icit2lol ( who are already in) and 4. Other's who may want to throw themselves in with their opinions.

    There may be small holes here and there in my perception and presentation. Those obviously need to be filled up. Bad section repair.

    My day is over. Dinner, coffee and then bed.:)
    Last edited by jumanji; 20 Jun 2014 at 10:41.
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