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HP External Dropped - Not Working Properly


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#1 GPyrenees

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:19 AM

Hey BC,

My girlfriend knocked my HP md1000h 1TB external hard drive off my desk a couple of hours ago during a file transfer. The transfer halted and Windows Explorer froze so I unplugged the HD from the USB port.

When I try to use the HD now, a few strange things happen.

Usually when the device is attached, both HPLauncher and the HP Simplesave show up in My Computer under "Devices with removable storage". Now, only HPLauncher shows up, but after a long pause HP Simplesave G: shows up under "Hard Disk Drives".

When I try to access the HP Simplesave by double-clicking it, Windows Explorer stops responding momentarily and then grants me access after a long pause. I can see the folders and other files but the files themselves show up with white blank icons rather than icons for the file type (video, in this case).

After another long pause, the file icons return to normal and I am able to click the folders. Clicking the folders prompts another long pause and sometimes lets me in, other times Windows Explorer stops responding and restarts and I am back to square one. I should also say that I've tried to play a few of the video files and they open in VLC but none of them have actually started playing.

I've gotten about 4 folders in but I have yet to successfully open a file stored on the HD, whether it be a video or document. How can I tell if the files are corrupted or damaged? Is there any chance of recovery or moving the files onto my laptop? Is there anything I can do to get the HD working properly again? The HD has about 500 GB of movies, music, pictures and documents on it that have great value to me.

I'm using Windows 7. I'm pretty freaked out that my files are all messed up but the fact that I can somewhat navigate the drive is a little comforting I guess. Please help me out BC!

Thanks in advance,


GP


UPDATE: Ok, I've tried a couple of things so I'll post what I've been able to do and where I'm at now. Last night I was able to navigate the HD with some success, but I still couldn't open any files that were located in folders on the hard drive. I found a pdf that I needed and I tried to copy and paste it onto my desktop to open it from there - and it worked! However, next I tried to copy and paste my entire folder of documents from my HD to my desktop and it didn't work... it started to copy and then just stopped and closed for no reason.

I closed to my laptop when I went to sleep last night and I haven't been able to gain access to the HD since I've started it up again. I was getting the error "G: is inaccessible, I/O problem" or something. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting and now I have nothing showing up in My Computer at all, although my computer does detect that it's connected to something I can't find a way to get into the HD again.

I guess I'll wait for you guys this time.

Thanks again,


GP

Edited by GPyrenees, 26 April 2012 - 09:42 AM.

GP

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#2 rotor123

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:50 PM

The Hard drive is definitely damaged.

Whether or not data recovery software will work is hard to say without trying. It depends on how it is damaged.
Do not run chkdsk at this time without instructions as it could make things worse.

The last one of these I did took over a week of steady running to recover everything and it was much smaller drive.

Off to do some research

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#3 GPyrenees

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:00 PM

Is there any data recovery software you can recommend? I'll work on it as long as it takes to get everything back.

To be honest the documents are the only things I really need to recover, everything else is replaceable. It would just be more convenient to be able to restore everything that was on the drive, obviously.

Please let me know what to do next.

Thanks,


GP
GP

#4 James Litten

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:05 PM

Hi GP

Roger and I spoke about your issue and I have a technique that might work for you.

I always do these jobs under the assumption that the drive is broken and is continuing to break as we work on it so we want to use it as efficiently as possible.

That means when you are not working on recovering it, The drive should be powered off and disconnected.

To recover the documents we start at the easiest recovery attempt and progressively get more advanced.
First we need to make sure that we can see the drive.
Since you don't see it in Windows anymore, lets try to look at it in Linux.

Download the ISO for Parted Magic from here and burn it to a CD...
http://partedmagic.com/doku.php?id=downloads
If you do not know how to make a boot CD of the ISO, let me know and I will get you further instructions.

Put the CD/DVD you made in the drive.
Shutdown the computer.
Plug in and connect the broken drive.
Start the computer and boot it from the CD that you made. If you don't know how, let me know the manufacturer/model of your computer and I'll tell you how to do it.

When it gives you the list of options at startup choose...
1. Default settings (Runs from RAM)

Once it boots, you'll see that it looks kind of like XP. Instead of a start button in the lower left it has a button with a picture of a hard drive on it. For this post we will call that the START button.

Go ahead open LXTerminal, START>ACCESSORIES>LXTerminal
Type
fdisk -lu
and press enter

Let me know if it sees and lists the bad drive (probably called /dev/sdb). Try to tell me as much of the output as you can or take a picture of the screen and post it.

Now you can shutdown the computer.
START>Logout
Choose "Shutdown the computer" and click OK
Unplug and disconnect the bad drive.

If it sees the bad drive then we can proceed with a recovery attempt. If not then we will need to crack open the external drive case and pull out the drive and connect it directly to a computer and see if that works.

James

#5 GPyrenees

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:43 PM

Hey James,

Sounds like a plan! Unfortunately I'm not quite tech-savvy enough to know how to make a boot CD of an ISO or boot my laptop from a CD.

If you could provide me with further instructions on how to do these two things I will get them done as soon as I can. My laptop is an HP Pavilion dv6.

Appreciate your guys' help with this.


GP
GP

#6 James Litten

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 01:25 PM

Hi GP

Get the open source CD/DVD burning software Infrarecorder from here...
http://sourceforge.net/projects/infrarecorder/files/InfraRecorder/0.52/ir052.exe/download
and run it to install Infrarecorder.

Here are instructions for making the PartedMagic CD with Infrarecorder...
http://partedmagic.com/doku.php?id=creating_the_livecd_with_infrarecorder

Now you need to have the CD and the hard drive in your laptop (you may need to turn on the laptop in order to open the CD drive and put in the CD and then turn it off)

My experience with the HP Pavilion dv6 is that it will automatically boot from the CD when you start it. I'm pretty sure that you can force it to boot from the CD on those machines by pressing the ESC key when the HP logo shows at startup.

If this doesn't work, let us know.

James

#7 GPyrenees

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:36 PM

Hey James,

I've done everything you requested in your last two posts. Here is a picture of the output:

Posted Image
GP

#8 James Litten

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:31 PM

I'm afraid the drive is probably gone.

If you are going to try a professional data recovery service, pack it carefully now and do not do anything else with it.
What we just did together is about the most gentle way to determine whether or not we had a chance to recover it with conventional tools.

If you want to go further on your own, realize that the odds are against any success.

We can try to remove the drive from the enclosure. There is a small chance that the damage is with the USB controller and not the drive.

I do not have any HP SimpleSave drives (which is what I believe you have there) in my lab so I'll have to hunt around for a manual to find out how to pull the drive out of it.

BEST SETUP if you pull the drive.
You will need a computer that we can plug the drive into (the computer must have an available SATA port and Sata power cable) and a SATA cable to plug it into the computer.

ACCEPTABLE SETUP if you pull the drive.
If you don't have another available computer then we can use an USB / SATA bridge
I use something like this ...
http://www.amazon.com/Drive-Adapter-Converter-Optical-External/dp/B001OORMVQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1335558279&sr=8-2
or something like this (my favorite choice for laptop drives)
http://www.amazon.com/Diablotek-EN3525D-Drive-Docking-Station/dp/B00346I5LI/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1335558342&sr=8-8

Let me know if you want to proceed with pulling the drive. Just remember that it very possibly won't work.

James

#9 GPyrenees

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:53 PM

Hmmm, that is unfortunate news.

I think I will investigate some of the local recovery services and get a price range. That's really heartbreaking that my documents are likely gone forever :(

I don't have an available computer so I suppose I'd have to make one of those purchases off Amazon to continue.

What does chkdsk do? Is there any merit to the idea of freezing the drive and connecting it as it thaws? Lol. Probably ridiculous but I'm poor and desperate.

Thanks anyways, I'll have to post again when I've decided what to do next.


GP
GP

#10 James Litten

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:52 PM

Hi GP

Unfortunately chkdsk won't work because it can't see the drive.

If you do decide to pull out the drive, that will probably void the warranty on the device so keep that in mind.

I would never advise someone to do the freezing method in a forum. I can only do that one in person where I can physically inspect the drive myself.

I do believe in the freezing method but only as a last ditch effort and under very specific circumstances (stuck precision mechanical parts). My success with that lasts for 20 minutes tops (usually more like 10) and then decreases significantly each time after until it is 'game over' and there is nothing outside of a 'clean room' with high precision robots that can save it.

James

#11 GPyrenees

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 01:19 AM

Hey James,

That's good to know. Maybe I will end up grabbing something like what you recommended after all; my neighbour says he was quoted at about a dollar a GB for recovery from Best Buy :wacko:

I'll check out some private places and see if they can give me a better offer. I imagine I'll be back though.

Also the warranty is not a concern really, I can get another drive easily but I can't replace the files that are on it. We'll have to see what happens after we open it up though.

Thanks again, I'll bump the thread again when I can.


GP
GP




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