I have a Seagate 2.5" eSATA internal HDD from a laptop which crashed about two years ago, and I am trying to recover the data stored on it. The drive will not boot, nor will a system restore work. I have tried many methods with very limited success. I bought an adapter for usb-to-sata, but most programs freeze or hang up when I try to scan the drive for files and Windows 7 can't even seem to see the drive behind the adapter.
I have had some success using Paragon Rescue Kit 11. I put the HDD back in its original laptop and ran the Rescue Kit from a bootable cd-rom. I attempted to repair the MBR and boot from the HDD, but this did not work. I tried the file transfer utility, and after a painfully long wait, it was able to read the drive. I actually managed to transfer a folder over to an external harddrive, but I received many error messages saying certain files were unreadable and thus were not transferred. It also does not seem to have found everything on the drive.
As far as I can tell from reading the screen when Rescue Kit 11 is trying to find the drive, it keeps attempting to read the same spot over and over again. I am not sure if it eventually succeeds or just gives up. This leads me to believe that this is also what is causing the other software I have tried to freeze for several minutes and then (sometimes) eventually detect the drive. In general everything takes a huge amount of time to read it. However, when running the file transfer utility, I saw it hang up over and over again while returning errors, then suddenly copy an entire gigabyte with no issues at all. I don't know if this problem is physical or if the data is just corrupt, but there are no clicking sounds and the PCB is freshly cleaned with no signs of burnt components.
So are there any suggestions for how to recover my data? Or thoughts as to what the problem could be? I have not tried any sort of partition recovery for fear it will make things worse. I also have not tried any imaging software yet, since at the slow rate the drive is reading, creating an image would take days. It would be great if I could simply make an image and then clone it onto a physically functioning drive, if in fact mine has only physical problems.