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Error reading partition table disk 1 sector 0


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#1 2cantech

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:31 AM

Greetings:  Wonder if anyone can assist me with a data recovery problem?

 

XP machine with 200GB hard drive. 

 

As the machine is old, the power button broke, and the owner was having other issues with software operation, so I opted to move the hard drive to a newer machine.  Pulled the drive, and using IDE to USB adapter in laptop was finally able to see the drive. 

 

Using Spinright to attempt data recovery, the error message is "error reading partition table disk 1 sector 0".

 

The sector 0 error makes me think virus.  Is there anything to be done to recover the owner's data?

 

 



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#2 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:58 AM

Hi

 

I don't think it is due to virus. I suspect bad sectors in the HDD surface. You will have better luck by attaching the HDD to an IDE port and then running Spinrite. Programs like Spinrite are using the SMART commands directly to interface with the HDD. Using a USB case will limit the functionality of these programs. 

 

Spinrite FAQhttps://www.grc.com/sr/faq.htm

 

 

SpinRite provides complete interaction with IDE-interface PATA (parallel ATA) and SATA (Serial ATA) drives, and it can also be used with any other type of drive — SCSI, USB, 1394/Firewire — that can be made visible to DOS through the addition of controller BIOS or add-on DOS drivers. To obtain the best performance, IDE drives can be temporarily removed from their external USB or Firewire cases and attached directly to the PC motherboard.

Edited by Anshad Edavana, 31 May 2013 - 11:02 AM.


#3 2cantech

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 04:23 PM

Coolmax_USB_2.0_To_SATA_-_IDE_Converter_

this is what I am using to connect the ide hard drive to the laptop.



#4 Platypus

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 07:09 PM

As Anshad has observed, low level utilities like Spinrite perform operations on the drive by directly addressing the drive controller hardware, and having the drive attached to the system as a USB mass storage device doesn't give this the best chance of being effective.

 

The biggest problem with sector 0 being unreadable is that it can also be assumed to be unwriteable, so cannot be repaired. The safest approach for a situation like this is to have another good drive available, and image the faulty drive across to the good drive, using a sector-by-sector approach and choosing to ignore errors. That way the problem can be addressed as a corrupted file system on a sound drive, rather than trying to dodge the problems happening in a faulty drive.

 

Once the drive contents are exactly transferred to a drive which doesn't have a faulty sector 0, it may be possible for recovery utilities to reconstruct the partition table that resides in sector 0, and make the drive accessible. One of the big dangers with trying to recover the original drive is that recovery is an intensive process which is likely to cause further harm to a failing drive. Of course there could already be more of the drive unreadable, but having sector 0 unreadable brings the analysis to a halt. Forcing a sector-by-sector copy of the drive is also a way to find out the extent of the damage - if imaging software reports a high proportion of faulty sectors that cannot be copied, it's possible that there is simply too much damage to the platter surface to allow recovery. For example if the Master File Table has much damage, recovery could be impossible.

 

Recovery is more likely to be successful if the drive was a single large partition. That way recovery software can reinstate a default partition table allocating all the drive space to a single partition and attempt to recover the file structure by locating the file system metafiles such as the Master File Table and trying to work back from that information to rebuild the file system. Having multiple partitions makes this much more difficult to do.


Edited by Platypus, 31 May 2013 - 07:12 PM.

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#5 2cantech

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:33 PM

could you recommend software for the imaging process?

I have tried hooking up this drive to 2 different desktops, and neither desktop can even see the drive.

 

The laptop could not see the drive until the spinright disk was in the dvd drive at boot.

 

how does one create an image of a drive one cannot see?

You think the right imaging software will be able to see and copy the drive?

 

My client's data is hidden on this drive somewhere, and I would really like to get it back for her.



#6 Platypus

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:34 PM

What brand is the drive? Some hard drive manufacturers have support software for their drives, some have little or nothing so you have to rely on third party utilities.

 

When you say the laptop couldn't see the drive, do you mean it did not appear in the POST equipment list, BIOS setup or Device Manager, or it was there as a device but the OS didn't see it as a mountable drive, ie no drive letter, didn't appear in My Computer etc?


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#7 2cantech

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:41 AM

Thank you Forum Addict.

 

It is a Maxtor hard drive.

 

In the BIOS, Boot to USB devices is disabled.

 

The Maxtor drive is shown at POST as a USB drive

 

In the Device Manager, under Drives, it is listed as "Disk Drive" on USB Mass Storage device.

 

However, the operating system does not see it, there is no drive letter, it does not appear in My Computer.



#8 Platypus

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 03:53 AM

Good, thanks - sorry I had momentarily overlooked that you had only ever accessed the drive via the USB adapter. That all sounds normal for a drive in its condition.

 

A Maxtor drive should function with the free Seagate DiscWizard software:

 

http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/discwizard/

 

Seagate owns Maxtor, and the Acronis TrueImage software that is badged as DiscWizard is made available to manage Seagate, Maxtor and Quantum drives. It will only operate if one of these brands of drive is found in the system. However if there isn't one of these brands already in the host computer, the one in a USB adapter may not be recognised as qualifying. This can be a limitation - I have found drives on a USB3 port have been recognized OK though.

 

DiskWizard is stated to clone damaged file systems, the help says:

 

"Using the As is method, Seagate DiscWizard also transfers unsupported and damaged file systems."

 

If the drive is ID'd as a USB drive, imaging software should be able to copy or image it.

 

If there's a problem getting the Seagate software to recognize a qualifying Seagate brands drive, there are other well regarded free imaging programs such as Macrium Reflect:

 

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

 

I just haven't had occasion to use these in order to know if the free versions support copying a damaged partition. Other members like Anshad may have more direct experience with them.


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#9 2cantech

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 06:42 AM

This is for the record.

 

Today, I downloaded DiscWizard, and tried to install it on the laptop but installation failed because the laptop has a WD hard drive, and the laptop no longer finds the Maxtor drive.

The drive spins, then stops, spins, then stops and makes "zip" type sounds.  After several minutes of this, it just stops spinning.

 

I also downloaded and installed Reflect.  Reflect is only able to see the WD drive.  It would appear that I am SOL and the drive is FUBAR.

 

I sincerely appreciate your help with this, and will be that much more informed the next time this occurs. 

Perhaps I will be ready for it sooner, and be able to retrieve the data before the drive totally dies.

 

I plan to return the drive to the owner and offer them the option of sending it out to a company that specializes in data recovery. 

Usually, if they are unable to get to the data, there is no charge.

I consider this exercise a valuable lesson.  Many thanks.



#10 Platypus

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:31 AM

The drive spins, then stops, spins, then stops and makes "zip" type sounds.  After several minutes of this, it just stops spinning.

 

I also downloaded and installed Reflect.  Reflect is only able to see the WD drive.  It would appear that I am SOL and the drive is FUBAR.

The behavior of the drive is a bad sign. Very likely it indicates it's one of the drives that loaded part of their operating firmware from the platter, and a portion of the platter magnetic surface that includes this and the boot sector has flaked away or been destroyed in a head crash. The drive will repeatedly try to initialize, then give up after a period. The most notable drive of this type was the IBM DeskStar ("DeathStar"), and if that was the problem it was terminal.

 

For what it's worth, WD also provide the TrueImage software, which will work with another brand of drive if there is also a WD drive recognized (as you could be cloning it to the WD). But with a drive showing those symptoms, I agree it's probably a lost cause.


Edited by Platypus, 03 June 2013 - 07:35 AM.

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