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Author Topic: HDD Fail - What to do?  (Read 3278 times)
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Ichan
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« on: July 23, 2013, 05:53:56 17:53 »

I got a bad days, my secondary hdd fail - most of the time the bios still recognize it but not the windoz, rebooting after that will make it disappear from the bios list.

Most of my works aren't there, but the most current one is! Also all downloaded treasures are on that damn drive, almost 200GB.

It is 250GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3250318AS, tried the freezing trick found on the web - no joy.

Any suggestion? Other than throwing it into the wall or hammering it...

-ichan
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Unhappy
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013, 06:02:06 18:02 »

Simply try changing the SATA data cable with a good branded cable and change/reconnect SATA power cable this is common problem for low priced unbranded chinese sata cables here in India where I live
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Magnox
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 07:04:57 19:04 »

If using a different cable doesn't work:

Use some HDD recovery software to copy off what you can (not sure which software to recommend as I haven't done it in a few years myself)

Then, if you can find another, completely identical drive, it might be worth trying to swap the controller boards. I have done this a few times (4, 5?), even with a failed SCSI drive from a server once, and recovered the data. Then again, I've had a few more modern drives (generally 1TB plus) become completely unreadable after swapping the board, even when put back on the original board. I guess different geometry info is stored in flash on the board with some drives.

Note that the HD models must be absolutely identical, including firmware versions. Also, it's no use if the problems are with the disk itself, only if its the controller that is failing. That seems to be the majority case though.

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Ichan
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2013, 08:24:58 20:24 »

Thanks for the suggestions, i tried swapping it with the other 2 sata drives also tried it on different pc with different windows version - all the same, the os do not recognize it.

What software which can recover a hdd not recognized by the os? The drive volume do not appear on the os.

Seems swapping parts with identical drive is the only viable option now, i need to search for a second hand drive - it is not on the store anymore i think.

I am holding it now, really want to slam it to the floor...  Angry

-ichan

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pickit2
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2013, 08:27:06 20:27 »

If bios sees the drive I would try moving it to another sata port.
windows sometimes messes up on seeing sata drives.
 
try it in another pc, or buy or borrow a usb to sata convertor to use the drive external to pc.
use another OS maybe a small linex on a usb drive.

check Seagate site as they have a hard drive recover tool.

try the free demo here, I have a full copy somewhere.

http://hdd-regenerator.software.informer.com/
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 08:31:47 20:31 by pickit2 » Logged

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Ichan
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2013, 08:32:45 20:32 »

Uhmm... that usb to sata converter could be usefull, i put it on the shopping list - thanks.

-ichan
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2013, 08:51:04 20:51 »

If you are desperate enough have you tried running it under DOS - even if it is NTFS you can get driver (that crowd that sold out to Microsnot - something like Sys internal from memory). Like I say, if you're desperate.

George
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2013, 09:17:20 21:17 »

if the bios sometime recognizes the hdd try to clean contact on the pcb. Remove the pcb circuit and clean all contact between motor and pcb and between pcb and the others contacts dil. It is likely there is some contacts fired.
After try to recovery alla data with Getdataback for fat or ntfs
i have recovered more hdd with this system
Regards
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2013, 09:34:44 21:34 »

If none of the above suggestions work check to see if any of the chips on the drive are overheating. If they are try cooling them (ice in a plastic bag, heatsink or whatever). This may allow the drive to run long enough to allow you to rescue your project.
Good Luck
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Magnox
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2013, 09:51:40 21:51 »

Seems swapping parts with identical drive is the only viable option now, i need to search for a second hand drive - it is not on the store anymore i think.

I found one on ebay for one of mine, but it took some searching. Let's just say I learned personally the value of backups.

I spent several weeks trying to recover the same size disk as yours when it died. It was my archive of 'stuff' from almost when the internet started.

The worst thing was that I did keep a regular, mirrored backup disk, but I had run out of disk space on my PC. I ordered a new drive, and used the backup drive for the few days before it arrived. In that few days, the data drive chose to die!

With the controller board swap trick, I got about a quarter of the data back.

Edit: The cooling solution is well worth a try if you can identify a hot part. A can of freezer spray from an electronics store sprayed onto hot parts is a common trick.

Good luck with the recovery - I know how it feels.

« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 09:54:16 21:54 by Magnox » Logged
sfiga69
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2013, 10:30:45 22:30 »

if the bios recognizes the drive, but window does not detect it in disk management, it is probably not a electronics problem but mechanics or magnetics.
Before making risky operations on the mechanics / electronics, I would try several data recovery programs on damaged discs. At least they do not cause further damage to the disc content.
Some good programs of this kind, you can find them on Hiren's boot cd
A good tool for recovering data from damaged disks is O & O DiskRecovery or Ontrack recovery pro, this scans disk at low level using the proprietary drivers, and analyzes the FAT areas (indexes disk) and then file by file, folder by folder, we create a new index (probably will take several hours), and then presents the situation. At this point you are given the possibility to mark what you want to recover and make a copy on another disk.
With these tools typically are able to recover at least 90% of the content.

Good luck
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 10:36:50 22:36 by sfiga69 » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2013, 11:42:05 23:42 »

 If you didn't save your data yet, maybe you can try to boot with a rescue disk like Hiren BootCD or Easeus bootCD. Another hit, try to change your controller(electronic board) but must be the same, even version of your Seagate. Another thing to try, i had succes some times ago is after you boot in windows to power your hdd and plug in data cable and "scan for hardware change" in device manager or give another try with dd in linux.
For invaluable documentation I use an Raid 1 external box. I hope you recover your hdd.
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Gallymimu
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2013, 06:24:14 06:24 »

I've used getdataback a few times with good results when a hard drive had died.

also, if the bios recognizes the drive you might just have corrupted filesystem or partition data. both of which can prevent viewing with windows. 

you should confirm under administrative tools/computer management/storage/disk management
whether the disk is visible/and or has a recognizable partition in windows.
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Ichan
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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2013, 11:52:11 11:52 »

What i tried this far:

Make a bootable usb flashdisk, boot from it and then run NTFSDOS - nothing good, no ntfs drives recognized.

Tried on an older pc with WinXP (dedicated to run mach3), amongs many trial once i get the disk recognized with the drive content appears - i already think that the problem solved but then every file operation gave a drive failure report.

Putting it back to pc it belongs to (Win7/32), let the windoz trying hard to recognize the disk (i usually reboot in here) - after about 30 minutes the windoz started and the drive letter appears (E: and F:), but if i try to access any of those drive the explorer seems to be freeze.

Restarted the pc wait again for half an hour, install Ontrack EasyRecovery Enterprise found on the net and run it. The Ontrack scan the drive for a long time, i do not know how many hours as i leave it unattended for many hours, at the end of scanning process it report that the drive have some bad blocks with possibility of data loss. I decided to continue with creating the disk image, attached the screen capture, it is still like that after about one hour - funny the disk manager reporting both volumes as healthy.

Attached also the picture of that damn drive, with another tool impatiently waiting to do the final action...

-ichan

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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2013, 01:57:15 13:57 »

http://hdd-regenerator.software.informer.com/
this is demo

did you miss this? the full program restores bad sectors.
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2013, 02:39:45 14:39 »

Check the power supply and replace it with new one if possible , it may be because of improper supply voltage .
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2013, 03:28:08 15:28 »

http://hdd-regenerator.software.informer.com/
this is demo .. the full program restores bad sectors.

Thanks pickit2 this thing interests me as well.
Here is a machine, the hard drive is experiencing 'its last hours'. Still boot and run the system (32bit Vista) but the event log is full with 'disk error' entries, also the 'blue screen of death' on the rise. A full backup is no longer possible (failed), yet would be very important, because a lot of 'irreplaceable' drivers and other programs. Luckily I managed to save a lot of things, but before the hard drive replacement maybe I try even the hdd regenerator.

The full regenerator has been downloaded (see attached).
Has anyone used this? What is your experience? Other advices?

Thanks
zuisti



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Gallymimu
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« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2013, 04:26:28 16:26 »

Check the power supply and replace it with new one if possible , it may be because of improper supply voltage .

This is very unlikely given that everything else in the system works and the drive responds the same in other computers.  Bad advice in my opinion.
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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2013, 04:29:45 16:29 »

HI Ichan,

Here, the tool in the second photo, is called engineer   Grin
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2013, 04:33:02 16:33 »

What i tried this far:

Make a bootable usb flashdisk, boot from it and then run NTFSDOS - nothing good, no ntfs drives recognized.

Tried on an older pc with WinXP (dedicated to run mach3), amongs many trial once i get the disk recognized with the drive content appears - i already think that the problem solved but then every file operation gave a drive failure report.

Putting it back to pc it belongs to (Win7/32), let the windoz trying hard to recognize the disk (i usually reboot in here) - after about 30 minutes the windoz started and the drive letter appears (E: and F:), but if i try to access any of those drive the explorer seems to be freeze.

Restarted the pc wait again for half an hour, install Ontrack EasyRecovery Enterprise found on the net and run it. The Ontrack scan the drive for a long time, i do not know how many hours as i leave it unattended for many hours, at the end of scanning process it report that the drive have some bad blocks with possibility of data loss. I decided to continue with creating the disk image, attached the screen capture, it is still like that after about one hour - funny the disk manager reporting both volumes as healthy.

Attached also the picture of that damn drive, with another tool impatiently waiting to do the final action...

-ichan



It's normal for these processes to take a LONG time, each bad sector scanned can take a few minutes and if there are a lot of bad sectors it can take forever.  The drive recovery tools often also run in performance degraded modes which slows things down as well.  I've had drives with very few hours take a day or two (several hundred GB drive) for a recovery process.  Results are typically pretty good with a lot of files recovered.

What usually causes the most trouble is damage to the filesystem/FAT and partition tables.   This makes it hard to locate all the files clusters and piece them back together.  Some tools can actually scan the data and piece things back together for you.  Another problem is that the more fragmented the drive, the more difficult it is to recover files since the cluster chains are broken up over many locations on the drive.
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Ichan
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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2013, 05:41:00 17:41 »

did you miss this? the full program restores bad sectors.

No i don't, got the 2011 version already from the net. But, as it writes to the disk then i think i have to put it as later on the queue, i don't want it overwrites any of the existing data - or do i thinking it wrongly?

Here, the tool in the second photo, is called engineer   Grin

Yea, another engineer though that maybe there are some cockroaches playing around the head arm, i really tempted to open the case and sprays some insect killer...Shocked  well, i have to put this one above the hammer on the to do list queue.

I stopped the ontrack after some hours then tried the GiveMeBackMydata_DamnYa (the new name of it), this one faster than ontrack - giving a lot of I/O error report but then crashed after about one hour scanning.

Anyway, i just found someone here selling an ex-used similar drive on the local forum - will gonna buy it tomorrow.

if the bios recognizes the drive, but window does not detect it in disk management, it is probably not a electronics problem but mechanics or magnetics.

So, do you think swapping the controller board with the working one will not work? What you suggest for, swapping the head or platters?

Thanks to all.

-ichan
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« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2013, 05:45:43 17:45 »

What i tried this far:

Make a bootable usb flashdisk, boot from it and then run NTFSDOS - nothing good, no ntfs drives recognized.

Did you try a usb linux boot? Linux is usually a lot more verbose about hardware detection and problems (dmesg). You could also check the S.M.A.R.T. details.

How does the disk sound. Does it sound "normal" or does it give clicking noises, up/down spins?
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Ichan
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« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2013, 06:02:14 18:02 »

Well, i haven't touch any nix for long time, the last one has "XE" as the prefix - so, maybe... if the hammer is patient enough to wait...  Grin

Yea i forgot to report the physical condition. It is pefect, no strange noise just some soft hum that tells that the spindle is running, touching it will feel some vibration of the motor running fast. Also no excessive heat on the body and electronics, just normal warm which is still very comfortable to the touch.

-ichan
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« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2013, 07:16:46 19:16 »

No i don't, got the 2011 version already from the net. But, as it writes to the disk then i think i have to put it as later on the queue, i don't want it overwrites any of the existing data - or do i thinking it wrongly?
It does a no change write in raw mode, so it don't need or change the data.
Think of it as a software hammer, what have you to loose.
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Magnox
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« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2013, 07:43:53 19:43 »

It definitely sounds like a controller board issue to me. I've had a lot of HDs fail on me over the years*, and seen many more as an engineer. If there are no 'clicks' or 'clunks' from the drive, it's most likely an electronic problem. Hopefully not one that has caused errors to be written over your data.

Mechanical failures are almost always noisy. A head failure is often indicated by clicking and spinning up and down repeatedly as the controller tries to track-synchronise. Spinning up properly and being quiet, but not talking to the PC properly, likely indicates an interface issue that might be fixed with a board change.

I've never been able to recover data from a mechanical failure. Swapping heads out is, I believe, certain to fail outside of a proper drive recovery lab. They charge a lot of money.

I think the controller swap is worth a try. As Pickit said, what have you to lose at this point? If your data is worth the cost of another drive to try and recover, that's what I would do.


*Mostly Western Digital rubbish. I know some people rate them highly, but I have had possibly a dozen personally-owned WDs die on me not long out of warranty and some still in warranty. Including the expensive supposedly server-grade ones. None were worked particularly hard.

Now I will only buy Seagate. I've had some of those fail too, but nothing like the WDs which drop like flies in nerve gas. Seagate also has a better in-warranty service which I have used a few times.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 07:47:32 19:47 by Magnox » Logged
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