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Windows 7: I need advice for recovering a hard-drive? please read!

2 Weeks Ago   #1

I need advice for recovering a hard-drive? please read!

About half a year ago I realized that my external hard-drive that I bought on amazon was malfunctioning, I had noticed there was a connection problem even before that, it would connect and disconnect rapidly sometimes, but I didn't think much of it cause my files were still there. then 1 day I tried to open my files which had saved in there (video files), and they couldn't open, but it wasn't just like a straight-right-away error message--it was loading and loading, like there was something there, it just couldn't open, and when I tried to “safely remove hardware” It would not allow me to, even with all windows closed it would say “please close programs using the drive”.. I had to just pull the USB out. I unplugged and re-plugged it several times, to see if I could find a way to open the files (and I tried everything like moving the file to C drive to open, or using a different computer, nothing worked)... every-time I tried the files appeared differently, like sometimes it would just not be there, (actually every time the folder would come up empty at first), sometimes there'd only be like half of them, and then the rest would load, but then there wouldn't be the names or thumbnails, sometimes just the names not the thumbnails, sometimes names and thumbnails, but not dates or info, sometimes there was everything included accept it wouldn't play... it would open the video player and the video player would load a bit and then would give up.. My hard drive seems like it has Alzheimer’s and it is having trouble pulling up different parts of the file but I am sure there is a way to recover the files because I know it’s in there somewhere, the data wasn’t wiped, I think it just doesn't know how to use the data to play the video because the video is somehow corrupted ...

I want to get the drive recovered, but I most importantly don't want to give the drive to someone who hooks it up to a computer and unsuccessfully tries a whole lot of things to recover the data, and then after all that the drive may self-destruct even more and make the problem even harder to solve… I feel that every-time the drive is powered on, it’s probably somehow screwing itself up even more, Plus the whole issue with the unstable connection (which is what I believe caused the malfunction in the first place) will probably find a way to screw it up further.. So before anyone tries to recover the data with a computer, I want to have the drive completely cloned, but I don't know how that can be done, I am thinking I could buy the exact same model and then ask a hardware expert to scan the drive with a machine and clone the data onto the other drive, it might even be better to have 2 or 3 other cloned drives just to be safe… The last thing I want is to pay some nutjob at the data recovery company to **** up the drive permanently, if that happens then I can’t even bring it to a real good data recovery expert..

In the future when I have more money I’d want to hire like a real smart computer expert, who is smart and creative, someone who treats data recovery like Sherlock Holmes treats crime solving, treating every situation differently, not following a procedure... I don't trust those 9-5 working folks in a data recovery company who don’t really care about your data cause they’re still getting paid at the end of the day. Right now though, I have not much money and I can't wait forever because I hear that hard-drives lose their magnetic energy if not powered on for a while, and it could lose your data even after a year of sitting in storage, I don't want that to happen. I feel that I can't wait any longer; these files are so incredibly important to me, I can't afford to lose them. They are like all I worked on for many years. So, please tell me, what would you do? How would you handle this? Thanks for reading & Thanks for any advice or help.

(P.S. I have about 1,500 USD saved up and that's all I'm going to have for a good while, I have no job because I am disabled but I won't get into that... so what would you do, if you had 1,500 dollars and broken drive?)

Again I really appreciate any replies, even If you are not an expert.. I am posting this on like 12 other forums so any reply is helpful even if you don't know much. Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #2

win 8 32 bit

Welcome to the forum. First step is to work out if the drive is actually faulty or not. There are 2 sorts of faults the file system which chkdskcan fix if its just the file system there is no hardware fault with the drive. The second is bad block which is a hardware fault and means the drive is failing.
So your first step is to goto the makers site and download free disk checker specific for their drives run that and see if it says the drive is failing or all ok
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #3

Windows 7 HP 64

Welcome to the Forum.

As Samuria has explained, there are two kinds of failures: Logical (that can be fixed) and hardware (the disk is failing and there is nothing you can do).

As you had a bad connection, some of the files are probably corrupted (it's a logical failure) and the disk structure can be fixed, although some files can be un recovered.

Open a CMD window as Administrator and type:
chkdsk x: /f (replace x by the disk volume letter)

Pay attention on the results, specially bad blocks, bad clusters or bad sectors.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

2 Weeks Ago   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate, SP1, x86

I have several HD's that I use for 'Scratch Disks' because they all have WD on the label.

They were all given to me by customers that told me "it don't work!". So they just gave them to me.

Well, I opened up the little black box and removed the physical drive, connected it up to my own PC, directly to the motherboard with a power and data cable. They all worked OK. It was the interface in that little black box and not the drive itself, that was bad.

So if you brought me that external drive, that's what I'd do.

If you can do that....try it. If you can't....take it to a professional who can.

Happy Labor Day, Mates!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #5
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

DON'T TRY TO FIX IT YOURSELF UNTIL YOU READ THIS! Don't even power it up! Anything you try may ensure any recoverable data will be permanently lost!

If you cannot afford to lose the data, you need to send it to a professional data recovery expert. Even then, there is no guarantee that the data will be recoverable but it is still your best chance to recover your data. It will be expensive, though: well north of $1k!

If you can't afford to pay for professional data recovery, then you can try to do it yourself but be aware you have have an excellent chance of permanently losing your data.

In the future, back up your data, for crying out loud! Then, if you lose a drive, you will still have your data and recovery can be as cheap as the price of a replacement drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate, SP1, x86

That WAS his backup! But I'd not trust last weeks laundry list to a WD External Drive. I've just seen too many of them FAIL.* I use a 1TB Toshiba USB External drive, that has served me flawlessly for over two years, to Ghost backup my entire C: drive, but even so, I make multiple backups of my data files to different media. And, weekly I CLONE my main SSD to a 1TB Seagate spinner.

* Computer Building and Repair is the business I've been in for over 40 years. Experience, even bad experience, is truly the best teacher.

Happy Labor Day!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 I need advice for recovering a hard-drive? please read!

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