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External Hard Drive: My Passport


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#1 589661

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:57 PM

Just the other day my "My Passport" 1tb external portable harddrive just stopped working. I could not right to it because it said it was currupted, i could not delete files from it nor copy files off of it. I opened it thinking it was going to be a standard sata harddrive inside since my thought was it could be because the conector was very loose. Well to my surprise the HD inside is neither sata or ide. it only has the connector that western digital gave it. I tried connecting to it using file recovery software such as panda and active @ bootable USB but nothing. Any other suggestions out there on how to recover lost information

* disk was scanned by chkdsk and bad sectors were marked.

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#2 James Litten

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 03:17 PM

Hi

Put the drive back together and plug it into the computer.

Now click the START button (Windows orb in Win 7) right-click My Computer (called Computer in Win 7)
Choose MANAGE
In the left pane click DISK MANAGEMENT
Do you see the drive listed?

BTW I live by a little spring where water comes out of the ground and becomes a little stream that eventually becomes Toms river :)

James

#3 589661

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:39 PM

the computer does detect the drive ...... sometimes. But it runs super slow. i tried to copy a 1gb folder of pictures and it took 7 hours and havent been able to get anything after that.

And thats awesome lol Toms River expands a long way

#4 James Litten

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:58 PM

I've been called to work on quite a few Passports. Often I can fix them and they are fine but yours has thrown a lot of red flags so you want to focus on data recovery before trying to repair it.

I would suggest booting with a Linux Live CD (I can give you instructions) and then getting the exact files that are most important from it. If it's a lot of data that you need to get from it still then you might be best off making a rescue image of it first since the bad sectors will probably cause errors or make the copying very slow like you've already seen. Then we can recover files from the image (you may need a drive with 1TB of free space to do this depending on how damaged it is). The two most dangerous things you can do to it now is to try to write something to it or try to read bad sectors. Both of these actions can cause the damage to grow to areas that are not damaged yet.

Let me know what you want to try
  • Recover a few important files
  • Recover a lot of important files
  • Try to repair the drive (and possibly lose the files on it)

Also let me know the model# of your passport if you can see it.
James

#5 589661

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 05:06 PM

I pulled off all of the most important things, mostly files belonging to my mothers old computer and all of her pictures. the rest will be a pain to recreate but nothing i cant do. i tried to run HDDRegen on it ut it doesnt detect the drive when i boot up using the boot disk, but windows still recognizes it after 20 min of waiting

#6 James Litten

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 06:00 PM

Okay, I'm glad you got the important stuff.

That weird connection that you found when you opened it up has been a real pain for recovery professionals. Typically, when something like that breaks you buy another one and rip out the connector and put it on the broken one then recover the data. You can't do that with these because they have automatic encryption in the chips on those connectors even if you don't set a password on it and when you try to replace the connector the chips on it often have a different key so they don't work :(

If you buy another one, you probably want to get one without automatic encryption (that you have no password for) and one that can be removed and connected via another enclosure or straight to the motherboard like you expected this to do before you opened it and found the proprietary connector.

As for repairing it we can use two free programs to determine the extent of the damage. One checks for physical damage and the other for filesystem damage.

First the physical check.
Lately, I've been using HDDScan to do this in Windows
http://hddscan.com/
Run it (it may take a bit to show up once you start it so be patient)
Select your Passport from the dropdown list (if it is there)
Click the SMART button and let us see the results (copy and paste, hopefully it won't be too messy :) )

Next close the attributes window and click the orb/button with the harddrive and magnifying glass on it.
Choose SMART Offline Tests
Choose Short Test
When the Status says Finished in the Test Manager window double click the entry and it will tell you if it passed or not.

So, we'll need to see...
  • If the Passport did not show up at all
  • The SMART attributes results
  • Whether or not it passed the short test

Depending on those results, I will tell you what to do next to check/repair filesystem errors.

James

#7 The_Outkast

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 06:38 PM

Not to butt in, but have you tried plugging it into a different USB port to rule out that possibility?

#8 589661

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 11:43 PM

HDDScan S.M.A.R.T. Report
Model: WDC WD10TMVV-11A27S0
Firmware: 01.01A01
Serial: WD-WX50A99Y1797
LBA: 1952151552

Report By: HDDScan for Windows version 3.3
Report Date: 8/23/2012 12:42:39 AM


Num Attribute Name Value Worst Raw(hex) Threshold

001 Raw Read Error Rate 198 198 0000000000-02F6 051

003 Spin Up Time 219 158 0000000000-07F1 021

004 Start/Stop Count 100 100 0000000000-034C 000

005 Reallocation Sector Count 129 129 0000000000-0231 140

007 Seek Error Rate 100 253 0000000000-0000 000

009 Power-On Hours Count 100 100 0000000000-0193 000

010 Spin Retry Count 100 100 0000000000-0000 000

011 Recalibration Retries 100 100 0000000000-0000 000

012 Device Power Cycle Count 100 100 0000000000-0299 000

192 Emergency Retract Count 200 200 0000000000-0000 000

193 Load/unload Cycle Count 197 197 0000000000-2702 000

194 HDA Temperature 123 097 27 C 000

196 Reallocation Event Count 198 001 0000000000-0002 000

197 Current Pending Errors Count 197 197 0000000000-01EB 000

198 Uncorrectable Errors Count 100 253 0000000000-0000 000

199 UltraDMA CRC Errors 200 200 0000000000-0000 000

200 Multi Zone Error Rate 100 253 0000000000-0000 000

* Ran the SMART Offline Short Test. Ran for only a second and says completed without errors, or never started

Edited by 589661, 22 August 2012 - 11:46 PM.


#9 James Litten

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:20 AM

I'm afraid that it looks like a mechanical failure.

005 Reallocation Sector Count 0231
That means it has found 561 (231 hex) bad sectors and marked them as bad so the drive does not use them anymore. That is a lot. The threshold for disk health is either 140 or 320 (I'm not sure if that number is hex or decimal). So that is bad.

197 Current Pending Errors Count 01EB
This means that 491 (1EB hex) sectors are marked as not being readable. These are your problem that is causing the errors when trying to use the drive. They are inside files that you are trying to access and may even be in important system parts of the drive. These will only be reallocated and added to the first number above when an attempt is made to write to them. Until then they will cause problems.

The main problem here is that with this many that almost always means that the drive will continue to degrade to the point where it will have so many bad sectors that it will be completely unusable and unrecoverable.

I would not trust the drive or try to repair it.

If you find that you need other data off of it that you can't get then let me know. I have a few tricks for that but they can be rather involved.

If you are in a situation where you really need to take a shot at repairing it for further use here is a test to see if it is rapidly degrading and thus would be futile to try any repair.
DO NOT DO THIS IF THERE IS STILL DATA ON IT THAT YOU WANT
Run the Extended Test (it's in the same place as the short test). It will take many hours to run.
After it is done see if
197 Current Pending Errors Count
Raw Value has increased to a number greater than 0000000000-01EB hex

If it has then the drive is failing rapidly. If not, let me know and I will tell you how to get it back into a usable state (data will probably be erased) but I would not trust it with anything important.

If it were my drive, I would consider myself fortunate to have gotten the important data off of it before it failed completely. I would set it aside on a shelf in case a few days from now I realize there is something on there that I need to recover that I forgot about.

How does this happen? Typically, this is the kind of situation that I see with external drives that were moved while the disk was performing an operation or dropped. It doesn't take much to do this, just bad timing. Often when external drives crash from a power failure or being unplugged from the computer before it is safe, they do not have the errors that yours has and are usually a filesystem error. That's why I like to check for physical errors first.

I really wish I had better news for you.

James

#10 589661

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:30 AM

You have been extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Thank you a million. I think im just going to chuck this drive and get a new 1tb portable harddrive. I still like Western Digitial even though this did happen. I havent tried others though so my opinion is skewed. do you have any suggestions. I am open minded and open to opinion.

#11 James Litten

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:26 AM

I like WD too. Go with the WD Elements line. I am currently using a WD Elements 1.5TB drive on this PC right now and have used it for many recoveries 'in the field'.

If you go with the Elements line, be careful with the USB connector on the drive. I have heard that it breaks sometimes, though, I've never had a problem.

Oh, also, if you guys ever need help with anything out there, I'm a big fan of 'emergency services' and like to do what I can to help. I'm just on the other side of Jackson from you. Use my website link in my profile to contact me.

James

#12 589661

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 06:36 PM

Went to Staples today to get a new Western Digital external portable HDD. Found the deal of my life that fell into my lap. Sea Gate Go Flex 3.0 2.5" portable external harddrive 1TB on clearence. 179.99 down to 45$ so happy right now like a pig in mud.




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