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Can't Access Data From Hard Drive Through USB Adapter


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#1 robot09

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 02:20 PM

I've got a Toshiba MK1655GSX out of a Dell laptop that was running Windows Vista. My son knocked the computer off the table and it stopped working and will not boot at all. I've pulled the hard drive out of the laptop and have it in an Antec MX25 SATA to USB external Hard Drive case. I tried another old drive that i've formatted before and put new data onto in the case and that opens correctly.

I plugged it into a Windows XP Pro Computer and it takes a LONG time for it to read the drive. The drive appears in Device Manager as well as Disk Management. After about 10-15 minutes the autoplay(where it starts trying to read the drive) starts up and begins looking for files. It doesn't see any of the files and finishes.

In Disk Management it says the partitions on the drive are Healthy and has the partition that had the data on it marked as Active. It isn't showing any File System for the partitions on the hard drive.

My Computer sees the partitions but wants me to format the drive when i try to access the data off of it.

I need to recover the data as it has important files that cannot be replaced and that were not backed up (i.e. pictures of my grandfather from my wedding 1 month before he passed away).

Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated.

Most of the pictures have been deleted from the camera and are posted to Facebook, but they just don't have the same quality as the original pictures.

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#2 James Litten

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 06:46 PM

Hi

That is some pretty important data. I have a technique for looking at the drive and then doing a repair/recovery based on what we see.

To break down what happens...
We make a boot CD with the tools we need on it.
We assess the condition of the drive.
Then we either
Make a rescue image of the drive and do the recovery from that (if there is evidence of physical damage)
or
We try to repair/recover straight from the drive
All of this is done in a way that tries to prevent making things worse.

It takes some time to do but all the tools are free and I can help you every step of the way. If you want to try it here's how to start and collect the data needed to determine the health of the drive...


Download the PartedMagic ISO for your computer (you probably need the one labeled "Most people will only need this file") ask me if you aren't sure.

Instructions for making a Boot CD
If you don't already have CD Writing software, download and install Infrarecorder
and place a blank CD in your CD writer then run Infrarecorder
Click WRITE IMAGE
Navigate to the PartedMagic ISO that you downloaded and click the OPEN button
Click the OK button and it should burn your CD. When it is done it will automatically eject the CD and you can close Infrarecorder, you can now use this CD to boot your computer.

Instructions For Booting From The CD
If you have any trouble booting from the CD let me know the manufacturer/model of your computer and I'll help.

When you boot the computer that has the bad drive connected to it with the PartedMagic CD that you made a menu will pop up, please select
1. Default Settings (Runs from RAM)

When it finishes booting you will notice that it looks kind of like a Windows desktop. The button in the lower left works like the START button in Windows XP and allows you to select and run various programs or shutdown the computer. To make things easy, I'll just refer to this as the START button.

Check SMART status of drive
After PartedMagic loads, double-click the Disk Health icon on the desktop and then double-click the icon for your hard drive. Click on the PERFORM TESTS tab.
Make sure that the Test Type is set to Short Self-Test and click the EXECUTE button
I will need to know if it passed or not.
Next click the ERROR LOG tab and let me know if there are any entries and if there are let me know what the rows say.
Next select the ATTRIBUTES tab and let me know what the raw values are for the ID's listed there.

Check partitions with fdisk
At the bottom of the screen near the START button you will see a picture of a computer monitor. Click it to open a terminal window. In the terminal window type
fdisk -l
(that is fdisk SPACE DASH l as in Linux) and press ENTER
I want to see the information that it prints out. You can take a picture of the screen or use Firefox in PartedMagic to login here and copy and paste the results into your reply. As long as the text is legible, a picture will be fine.

In your reply I need to see...

  • Did it pass the Short Self-Test?
  • Any entries in the Error Log
  • The Attributes list (at least the RAW VALUES for ID's 1, 5 and 197 if you have to type them by hand in your reply)
  • The output of fdisk

There are more detailed instructions with pictures here

If you have any questions/problems, let me know.

The next tool we use will depend on the disk health results.
James

#3 robot09

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:31 AM

Do i need to put PartedMagic ISO on a CD or can i just put it on a thumb drive?

#4 James Litten

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 09:08 AM

Hi Robot09

Thumb drive is fine.

Follow the instructions here for UNetbootin (the download buttons for UNetbootin are at the top of the page) and select DISK IMAGE and navigate to the PartedMagic ISO that you downloaded. Pay very close attention to the USB flash drive that you select to write to in order not to overwrite data on the wrong device by accident.

James




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