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dead HDD, recovery possibilities?

Discussion in 'Exploring Computers!!' started by squd92expsp, October 9, 2002.

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    1. squd92expsp

      squd92expsp Elite Explorer<br><img src="/forums/images/stars4.

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      Ok, I have a problem that's been nagging me for 3 months now. My 60 gb HDD decided one day that it wanted to self destruct. It just started clicking and hasn't worked since. There's a long story that goes along with this, but I don't want to get into that.

      But anyways, I have some very important data on that drive that at the time, I had no way of backing up so its stuck. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas of what to do. I tried hooking it up as a slave drive to my new HDD, was able to access the 5 gb partition, but not the 55 gb partition. I tried running scandisk on it, but it came up with some errors, I don't remember them now, will try it again and post the exact message. Is there any free software out there that will diagnose/recover data from a Maxtor drive? The service center at CompUSA didn't have any software that would work(part of my long story) and my software for my WD drive won't work with it. Would I be better off sending it to a recovery plase? Any suggestions would be helpful

      Jason
       
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    3. Alec

      Alec Elite Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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      I've heard those recovery places do a good job. It sounds like they'd have a fairly easy time with your drive, so it might not cost that much. Usually the price of recovery of the data is about the cost of that size drive. I think you can send them your drive, and they send you back a new one with your data on it; probably about double the cost of a blank drive.

      Good luck!
       
    4. Doug

      Doug I'm Awesome! Moderator Emeritus

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      Did you open the hard drive or did it get knocked around? If so either of those could destroy a drive. I have heard of HDD recovery companies recovering info from some pretty damaged drives but i do believe its costly.
       
    5. taxx

      taxx Make em say Ugh

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      If you can read one partition the drive isn't completely shot. You could try pulling the drive and hooking it up as a slave on another PC and see if you can get to that partition? (it might be something in your OS).
      But since you say it was clanking that might not work.

      I would run scandisk and then search the microsoft knowledge base for the errors. I would also consider norton's disk utilities. There are several utilities out there if you just look.

      This might work:
      www.computer-recovery.com (probably very very expensive)

      have you tried booting from a floppy?

      I think the first thing I would try is hooking it in as a slave on another pc and see if you can read it like that. It has both worked and not worked for me but worth a try. Norton System Works could go either way too.

      I am sure no one has to say this now "Back up your data", I invested in an external larger second hard disk and do a total backup of my network to it once in a while and also keep data on a zip disk. If I have to I can get my software again, but data is irreplaceable. THen I turn the external drive off all other times. It is a lot cheaper than a tape backup when you have large amounts of data and apps. ALthough I wouldn't do that in a production enviroment, that is just my cheap solution for home.
       
    6. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      Had a similar problem on one of the business machines and after looking into the recovery process, I decided it was way too expensive.

      Good luck.....
       
    7. DocVijay

      DocVijay Meow

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      Those recovery services are great, but often very expensive. Call around to check, but it may not be worth it unless it's really critical data.
       
    8. ChuckyD

      ChuckyD Moderator Emeritus<br>Elite Explorer<br>ECX Member Moderator Emeritus

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      Is the 55 GIG Partition in NTFS?
       
    9. squd92expsp

      squd92expsp Elite Explorer<br><img src="/forums/images/stars4.

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      QUOTE]Originally posted by ChuckyD
      Is the 55 GIG Partition in NTFS? [/QUOTE]

      It was NTFS, needed the unrestricted file size to store dv video.

      that's pretty much what I wanted to know, whether these places could do what they claimed or not.

      Nope, I have not done anything physically to the drive. I do, however, push the multitasking ability beyond anyone else I know.

      I tried slaving the drive into my computer again now that I've upgraded to XP again. It was able to recognize the partitions, but when I tried to open them, it said they were unformatted. I tried it in a computer with 2000 and got the same result, and a computer with 98se, and that one didn't even register the drive being there.
      I went to run scandisk this morning, just to find out that XP doesn't have scandisk. I'm going to try and get a 98 cd from a friend when he gets out of class this afternoon. I'll also see if I can get his copy of Norton as well.
      I can boot from a floppy, but still cannot access the drive.

      Not anymore, but when I tried to talk to some computer people about this earlier, they shook their heads, told me that, and walked away. I now have 180 gb of harddrive space, divided into 4 partitions. I have my 30 gb c: mirrored on the second drive's f: partition. I won't let this happen again.

      How expensive, I've already pumped $200 into this and am willing to pump another $800 into it.
       
    10. taxx

      taxx Make em say Ugh

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      if it is ntfs 98 won't be able to run scan disk on it.

      Also, I think yu were getting at it but didn't state it clearly, you are backing up on to a seperate HD?
       
    11. Howard

      Howard Moderator Elite Explorer Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Xp uses chkdsk and not scandisk also don't use scandisk from 98 cause it won't read an ntfs partition.

      This is from the xp help section

      ChkdskCreates and displays a status report for a disk based on the file system. Chkdsk also lists and corrects errors on the disk. Used without parameters, chkdsk displays the status of the disk in the current drive.

      Syntax
      chkdsk [volume:][[Path] FileName] [/f] [/v] [/r] [/x] [/i] [/c] [/l[:size]]

      Parameters
      volume:
      Specifies the drive letter (followed by a colon), mount point, or volume name.
      [Path] FileName
      Specifies the location and name of a file or set of files that you want chkdsk to check for fragmentation. You can use wildcard characters (that is, * and ?) to specify multiple files.
      /f
      Fixes errors on the disk. The disk must be locked. If chkdsk cannot lock the drive, a message appears that asks you if you want to check the drive the next time you restart the computer.
      /v
      Displays the name of each file in every directory as the disk is checked.
      /r
      Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. The disk must be locked.
      /x
      Use with NTFS only. Forces the volume to dismount first, if necessary. All open handles to the drive are invalidated. /x also includes the functionality of /f.
      /i
      Use with NTFS only. Performs a less vigorous check of index entries, reducing the amount of time needed to run chkdsk.
      /c
      Use with NTFS only. Skips the checking of cycles within the folder structure, reducing the amount of time needed to run chkdsk.
      /l[:size]
      Use with NTFS only. Changes the log file size to the size you type. If you omit the size parameter, /l displays the current size.
      /?
      Displays help at the command prompt.
      Remarks
      Running chkdsk
      To run chkdsk on a fixed disk, you must be a member of the Administrators group.

      Checking a locked drive at restart
      If you want chkdsk to correct disk errors, you cannot have open files on the drive. If files are open, the following error message appears:

      Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)

      If you choose to check the drive the next time you restart the computer, chkdsk checks the drive and corrects errors automatically when you restart the computer. If the drive partition is a boot partition, chkdsk automatically restarts the computer after it checks the drive.

      Reporting disk errors
      Chkdsk examines disk space and disk use for the file allocation table (FAT) and NTFS file systems. Chkdsk provides information specific to each file system in a status report. The status report shows errors found in the file system. If you run chkdsk without the /f command-line option on an active partition, it might report spurious errors because it cannot lock the drive. You should use chkdsk occasionally on each disk to check for errors.

      Fixing disk errors
      Chkdsk corrects disk errors only if you specify the /f command-line option. Chkdsk must be able to lock the drive to correct errors. Because repairs usually change a disk's file allocation table and sometimes cause a loss of data, chkdsk sends a confirmation message similar to the following:

      10 lost allocation units found in 3 chains.

      Convert lost chains to files?

      If you press Y, Windows saves each lost chain in the root directory as a file with a name in the format Filennnn.chk. When chkdsk finishes, you can check these files to see if they contain any data you need. If you press N, Windows fixes the disk, but it does not save the contents of the lost allocation units.

      If you do not use the /f command-line option, chkdsk sends a message if a file needs to be fixed, but it does not fix any errors.

      If you use chkdsk /f on a very large disk (for example, 70 gigabytes) or a disk with a very large number of files (for example, millions of files), chkdsk might take a long time (for example, over several days) to complete. The computer is not available during this time because chkdsk does not relinquish control until it is finished.

      Checking a FAT disk
      Windows displays chkdsk status reports for a FAT disk in the following format:

      Volume Serial Number is B1AF-AFBF

      72214528 bytes total disk space

      73728 bytes in 3 hidden files

      30720 bytes in 12 directories

      11493376 bytes in 386 user files

      61440 bytes in bad sectors

      60555264 bytes available on disk

      2048 bytes in each allocation unit

      35261 total allocation units on disk

      29568 available allocation units on disk

      Checking an NTFS disk
      Windows displays chkdsk status reports for an NTFS disk in the following format:

      The type of the file system is NTFS.

      CHKDSK is verifying files...

      File verification completed.

      CHKDSK is verifying indexes...

      Index verification completed.

      CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors...

      Security descriptor verification completed.

      12372 kilobytes total disk space.

      3 kilobytes in 1 user files.

      2 kilobytes in 1 indexes.

      4217 kilobytes in use by the system.

      8150 kilobytes available on disk.

      512 bytes in each allocation unit.

      24745 total allocation units on disk.

      16301 allocation units available on disk.

      Using chkdsk with open files
      If you specify the /f command-line option, chkdsk sends an error message if there are open files on the disk. If you do not specify the /f command-line option and open files exist, chkdsk might report lost allocation units on the disk. This could happen if open files have not yet been recorded in the file allocation table. If chkdsk reports the loss of a large number of allocation units, consider repairing the disk.

      Finding physical disk errors
      Use the /r command-line option to find physical disk errors in the file system. For information about recovering physically damaged files with recover, see Related Topics.

      Reporting bad disk sectors
      Bad sectors reported by chkdsk were marked as bad when your disk was first prepared for operation. They pose no danger.

      Understanding exit codes
      The following table lists the exit codes that chkdsk reports after it has finished.

      Exit code Description
      0 No errors were found.
      1 Errors were found and fixed.
      2 Disk cleanup, such as garbage collection, was performed, or cleanup was not performed because /f was not specified.
      3 Could not check the disk, errors could not be fixed, or errors were not fixed because /f was not specified.

      The chkdsk command, with different parameters, is available from the Recovery Console.
       
    12. DocVijay

      DocVijay Meow

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      Damn Howard that post was THOROUGH!! You're my kind of poster.

      Anyhow, I don't think it will cost $800 to recover the data. It may be upwards of $200-300. Most places are very good at recovering the data. I've even seen them pull data froma computer that was in a house fire. It was not completely burned, but damaged ehough to never have a chance of working again. Give some of them to get some quotes. It won't be $800. I used to have some numbers for some places, but I can't find them right now. If I do, I'll post them.
       
    13. Campo

      Campo Elitus Explorus

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      Here's a little trick I've used that's worked 60% of the time.

      1st make sure you have a HD of the same size

      2nd throw the bad HD in the freezer for a couple of hours.

      3rd hook the frozen HD up to a running system as a slave and copy the data from one drive to the other.

      I know It sound's crazy, but it work's.

      when a HD starts clicking and becomes unreadable it's because the head's stick, either because the platter has swollen from heat or the arms for the heads have swollen from heat, if you freeze it it will shrink the metal back down long enough to get the data off, but it will die again once it warms up to full operating temp..

      do a search on the net for "freezing hard drive for data recovery" it's a trick that's been around for along time.

      hope this helps (I hope it works to :) )
       
    14. squd92expsp

      squd92expsp Elite Explorer<br><img src="/forums/images/stars4.

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      Well, I ran chkdsk, or at least tried to run it. I first tried it without the /f, but said it wouldn't run in read-only mode. When I tried again with the /f, it crashed the program and gave me the "send error information" message box. This happened both from the recovery console and the command prompt. I don't have a working boot disk, so I can't try it from dos.

      I'm tempted to try the freezing hard drive idea, but I'm really worried about the level of humidity around here. If I can figure out a way to keep the connections and the hard drive board dry, I'll give that a try.

      I'm about to start calling around to recovery places. If I can find one that will only do it for $200-$300, then I'll give up on trying to do it myself.
       
    15. Webster3

      Webster3 Mr. Ed

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      The freezing idea is a legitimate technique... you do have to watch out for the condensation after taking the drive out... just wipe it down real good and make sure no liquid gets in the power connector.

      Also, the refridgerator is good enough, you don't really need to freeze it. The main puropse is to make the metal shrink a bit like was just mentioned.

      This is just a long shot mind you, it only has worked 1 out of several dozen times for me. :)

      Ed
       
    16. LStoudenmire

      LStoudenmire Active Member

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      If nothing else works, it certainly won't hurt to give it a good thump or drop it. I've tried it as a last step before tossing it in the trash, and it worked.
       
    17. Webster3

      Webster3 Mr. Ed

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      Right on, that has worked a couple times for me as well!

      Ed
       
    18. Crimson

      Crimson Active Member

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      Try a program called drive rescue. I use it to save peoples floppy disks alot, it does hdd's also.


      Paul
       
    19. DocVijay

      DocVijay Meow

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      As far as I know those disk rescue programs are not for mechanical failures. If your drive craps out becasue of a physical problem, often times it must be professionally done. If it's a partition problem FAT problem, then they work quite well.
       

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