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External Hard drive corrupted


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#1 la ambalina

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:49 AM

Hello, I truly hope someone can help me!

I have a WD essential passport 1TB.

I think it has been corrupted by a virus. The symptoms are the following...

· It is no longer detected by the WD smartware software (therefore I cannot recover my data in this way).
· It appears in my computer only with a letter, not the name i assigned it. it also shows up empty, when its not!
· It doesn´t appear in Disk Management.
· It does appear in Device Manager, but says everything is working properly.

I have tried many things: uninstalling and reinstalling the drive; running countless data recovery programs but none seem to be able to access the drive!

I am using Windows XP and would be very grateful of any help or advice you can give me!

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#2 petewills

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:27 AM

There may be a simple answer, but if you get no suggestions, download a Linux distro, e.g. Linux Mint, burn the ISO, boot your computer from the CD or DVD and see if anything appears on the external drive. The Linux OS will display all connected drives and you should be able to see your data, without interference from Windows.

#3 James Litten

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:58 AM

Hi La Ambalina

I might be able to help you.

Sounds like you have tried a lot of stuff already but usually can't see the drive.

We can make a boot CD like Petewills mentioned that will allow us to take a closer look at the drive and maybe repair it.

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.


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

#4 la ambalina

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:12 AM

Wow, thanks so much for this advice. I am looking into it right now. But the only thing is that I dont have a disk drive, am I able to put it onto a flash drive??

Thank you!

#5 la ambalina

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:30 AM

Ok, I can already see that I can put it on a flash drive.

Will reply with the all the information when it is done. :)

#6 la ambalina

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 09:09 AM

Hi James!

Soooo, here are the results... not looking good! :(

First, when I clicked on the disk health, the drive didnt show up. I unplugged it and plugged it back in. After a while a red drive appeared which was mine. An alert popped up that said:
"ALERT: The drive is reporting that it will FAIL very soon. Please run backup as soon as possible" (wow, thanks for telling me NOW! haha, wish I could back it up!)

Then, I tried to perform tests, it thought about it for a while then said:
"Cannot run short self-test. Device open failed, or device did not return an identify device structure"

I tried to perform the tests a few more times, but no luck. I tried to rescan for devices but then the drive disappeared!

Sooo, there werent any messages in the error log but i took this photo of the data in attributes:

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/?ui=2&ik=41d281c324&view=att&th=139bacd7e76f73c5&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=f_h70i54lw0&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-B-yjFZFGf81c3wCEQDMQT&sadet=1347458820566&sads=kCq0Qo5DoiJvWqXHoOCtcfHZq4g&sadssc=1


Let me know if you have problems seeing the image, I had a few problems trying to upload it.

Well, hope something can be done about the data on my drive.

Thanks,
Ambalina

#7 James Litten

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 10:04 AM

Hi

I can't see the picture but all I need for now is to know 2 of the attributes. What are the raw values for attribute 5 and attribute 197 ?

Did the drive show up at all when you ran fdisk -l in the terminal?

James

#8 la ambalina

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:44 PM

James,

The raw value for 5 is 372 and for 197 is 3.

As for fdisk -l ...I dont really know what I am looking for...I have a photo of it but if the last image didnt work, how can I upload this one?

Thanks
Ambalina

#9 James Litten

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:06 PM

Hi Ambalina

I have asked others how to get your pictures posted. In the meantime, those numbers do indicate significant damage to that drive. How much data do you think is on it and is it very important?

Please turn it off and disconnect it for now.

James

#10 James Litten

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:43 PM

Okay, here are some instructions for using PhotoBucket to post images. Let me know if you have difficulty with it.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic14738.html

Also, I have had people post pics to their Twitter. If you can do that and let me know where it is, I'll host it and put it in this thread.

James

#11 la ambalina

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 05:14 AM

Ummm, I dont have twitter...but I do have photobucket!

Hopefully this link works

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa293/ambermaytakephotos/P1070170.jpg


I have a lot of data on there...and yes it is important! What more can I do to save my drive :)

#12 James Litten

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:43 AM

I don't think that the drive is being detected. It looks like a 160GB hard drive and a 4GB flash key are attached.

I'd like to see the other picture that you tried to show me first.

Have you ever taken the drive out of the enclosure (that would cause problems because WD encrypts these with a chip in the enclosure by default)?

Does the external drive seem to power on and sound like it is spinning? Does it make any other sounds?

Does the connector where the USB cable connects to the drive seem loose?

James

#13 la ambalina

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 11:12 AM

Ok,

Here is the other picture I took:
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa293/ambermaytakephotos/P1070168.jpg

I have never taken it out of the enclosure and the cords seem fine.

When I plug it in the light goes on and starts to flash and something is moving inside. It doesn´t make any clicking noises though.

Also, now the WD software I have installed on my computer has crashed and wont open. If I try to open it is says "it has encountered an error and has to close"

hope you can help!

#14 James Litten

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:07 PM

Here is the problem.

We see the drive as /dev/sdc in the program for viewing the SMART data about the external drive. However, when we list all drives connected to the computer (that's what fdisk -l does) we see /dev/sda(your main internal drive) and /dev/sdb(your flash key that you booted from) but no /dev/sdc(the external drive)

What I would normally ask you to do is to get a drive that has at least 1.1TB of free space on it or another drive that is empty and as large or larger than your 1TB drive (a 1.5TB drive is a safe way to go). Then we would make a rescue image or clone of the bad drive and proceed to recover the files from the image or clone.

If fdisk does not see the drive then it may not be possible to make the image/clone.

Let's try this.(I'm testing a little trick here so please try to follow these instructions as closely as possible)

Turn everything off. Plug the external drive into a different USB port if you can (the same as you have been using is okay if there is no other).
Plug in your USB key
Boot the computer into PartedMagic again.
Open a Terminal window (like you did before to run the fdisk command)
This time type
testdisk
and press ENTER
Choose No Log and hit enter
You should now see a list of drives
If you see your external drive listed then continue. If you don't see it listed, STOP here and press q to quit and shutdown the computer, unplug the external drive and let me know.

Select the external drive and choose Proceed and hit enter
It should automatically have Intel or EFI GPT selected (if not, select Intel and let me know) hit enter
Select Analyse and hit enter
Select Quick Search and hit enter
Say 'Y' if it asks if the disk was made in Vista/Win7 (even if it was made in XP say 'yes')

If you see what looks like a normal partition, highlight it and press
p
and see if you can see your files and folders there. Press
q
a bunch of times to back out of TestDisk.

If you see anything different or have questions, stop and ask. Let me know what happened.
James

#15 la ambalina

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 02:55 PM

Ok, I did everything you said....no problems, only thing I never saw anything about Intel or EFI GPT but everything else was exactly as you instructed.

My drive was there...but when I did the quick search, it showed a partition and at the bottom left of the screen said "no partition is bootable"


About the cloning, I have a second partition on my laptop, couldn´t I use that?

Thanks




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