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Windows 7: How can I recover a "lost" HDD?

02 Jun 2010   #1
Noels

PC, Windows 7 32 bit
 
 
How can I recover a "lost" HDD?

Hi all,

I have a 1 TB HDD that I'm unable to use. It won't show up in my BIOS with my other drives, in Control Panel/System under Drives or in Computer Management under Disk Management. It won't even show up in Partition Magic 8.0...

It seemed to be working properly until I tried use it for backup, but my backup program wouldn't recognize it, so I tried to re-format it and I found out it couldn't be formatted. Then I used the Command Prompt and went through Diskpart/List Disk/Select Disk/Clean and it seemed to clean, but it still won't format and I can't see it anywhere now.

What can I do to recover this drive? Or is it lost?

Thanks, Noel


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
02 Jun 2010   #2
HMonk

Dual boot XP Pro SP3x86 and Win7 Pro x64
 
 

Regardless of its state, if the HDD is electrically sound, the BIOS POST should report it. If your BIOS does not report the HDD, then it could be mobo, bricked green board, or the cables have come loose.

For openers then, disconnect and then reconnect both drive and PSU cables (both ends). If that does not work, swap out the PSU cable to an unused cable (or temporarily disconnect one from an ODD). Also, swap out the drive cable with a spare or one from another component.

Even though you did not change them, double-check to make sure your BIOS settings enable and point to the drive.

Also, try a different port on the mobo for the drive cable.

Monk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2010   #3
Sanvean

Windows 7 Professional 64
 
 

BIOS/Hardware level:

Is this an eSATA cable or USB connection? (I'm assuming eSATA, but if USB then that's another ball of wax.) *Ok in your specs I see eSATA for your external WD 1TB.*
What type of enclosure is it in and what is powering it? Sometimes enclosures have data/partition limitations.
What mode AHCI or IDE (if SATA)?
Does your MOBO have the latest bios? Sometimes 1TB aren't detected correctly by certain bios.
Does your 1TB have the latest firmware? (WD have these problems)
(sorry for all the questions, but multitudes of things can affect external eSATA/USB)

Is it possible to temporary switch some drives, try the 1TB in your case and another on the eSATA or USB? This would help immensely in narrowing down the culprit.

Is the connection cable SATA, or hybrid (SATA/eSATA)?
A vanilla SATA cable can cause this error.
Always try to use short cables and out a port from the rear of the case. Long cables and using a front port ( basically another long cable) can also cause drives to fail.(this goes for both SATA & USB)

OS level:
(since bios doesn't see it, probably won't work, but still good info to know.)

What controller is your eSATA or USB?
Is the controller enabled and also have the latest driver? Is it a jmicron controller (SATA)?

You can also try this:
Right click on Computer in start menu
Click Manage
Click Disk Management
Click Action
Click Rescan Disks

Yes I'm taking a shotgun approach...lol, but every single one of these can cause eSATA/USB failure. Sort of difficult trying to diagnose on this end, but with Hmonk and the rest of the crew here, something will come to light for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Jun 2010   #4
Noels

PC, Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

HMonk and Sanvean,

Thanks for your help!

My drive does appear in the BIOS now, and also in Disk Management. DM says it needs to be initialized, but can't do it due to an I/O failure. There isn't an avenue to format there, either.

I d/l'd WD's Diagnostics Program and ran all the tests and tried to write zeros, etc., but it fails every one on "Cable Failure," even though I have changed cables from 3 other currently running drives that are working properly. It also failed the SMART test.

I think I may need to RMA it...

Any comments that I should try something else?

Thanks, Noel
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2010   #5
HMonk

Dual boot XP Pro SP3x86 and Win7 Pro x64
 
 

First off, an I/O (input/output) failure generally means that the computer and a device are not communicating. Why? Could be a HW issue, e.g., electrical/mechanical or a SW issue, e.g., drivers.

In my computing history, most I/O errors that I have received were HW issues, most often either faulty connections or faulty components.

If you are satisfied that your connections are sound, one thing you could try is Kill Disk which you can get for free. (the "pro" version is also free: all you have to do is complete a user survey). What it is able to do, if the HDD/mobo/etc. are otherwise sound, is to access and wipe a HDD of all of its data (not HDD firmware, however). The object is to clean the HDD of any conflicts that might prevent the Windows OS (not BIOS) from being able to access or initialize the HDD due to those conflicts. If that fails, then I would conclude that an electrical/mechanical defect exists within the HDD itself, i.e., it is bricked.

Monk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2010   #6
Noels

PC, Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Monk,

Thanks, I do have KillDisk and I'll try it and get back to you in a little while.

Noel
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2010   #7
Noels

PC, Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Monk,

I've been running Killdisk for about 15 minutes now and it tells me it has 139,600 hours left to go It bounces around from 139,600 to 139,700 and around those numbers...Not sure what that tells me, but I'll hang for awhile...

Noel
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2010   #8
cloud8521

 

backtrack to see whare you lost it :O
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2010   #9
Noels

PC, Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Monk,

Here's the Killdisk log - looks like it's unwriteable from sectors 0 to 5228:

----------------------------------------Erase Session Begin---------------------------------------
2010-06-03 14:11:17 Active@ KILLDISK for Windows Build 5.1.39 started
Target: WDC WD1001FALS-00J7B1 931.5 GB
Located on: WDC WD1001FALS-00J7B1 (Serial number: 2020202057202d444d5754413556323437333633)
Erase method: One Pass Zeros (1 pass) Passes: 1
Error (1117) reading sector 0 on 81h.
Bad (unwritable) sectors detected from 0 to 5228 on Hard Disk 1.
Error (1117) refreshing device Hard Disk 1.
Error (1117) reading sector 0 on 81h.
User stopped erasing at 0 % (pass: 1)
2010-06-03 14:38:06 Total number of erased device(s): 0, partition(s): 0
-----------------------------------------Erase Session End----------------------------------------

Noel
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jun 2010   #10
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

noels,
You have a hardware problem.
Replace the cable.

You have a hardware problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 How can I recover a "lost" HDD?




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