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Windows 7 Span - 1 failed drive


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#1 Bryan Mohr

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 03:29 AM

One of my clients has a Windows 7 machine with 4 drives internal, all SATA. She has one drive setup as a boot drive, while the other three are spanned using Disk Manager to create a 5.5tb drive.

Everything was working fine for a long time until yesterday when she booted the machine and it said it had to check the spanned drive for errors. I guess there were a lot of errors found. Then she decided to start trying to move stuff around off the span because she didn't have a backup and there is some very important data on it. The moves were going fine for a couple hours until the 500gb Seagate Barracuda drive disappeared from BIOS, rendering the full span useless. So, she brought it to me.

I've tried the usual tricks, freezing it, cussing at it, hitting it with a 10 pound sledge, etc... No, but seriously, I did make sure that it was kept very cool while booting up and had a fan blowing on it constantly. I never could get it to rejoin the span so I decided to try and just clone the drive and then do a firmware update (I guess this Seagate is kind've famous for this problem). The first attempt using clonezilla worked for about 10% in then just repeated "BUG" warnings. The img never continued creating. So I rebooted and tried using Easeus, that got about 2mb copied off of it, then quit. After rebooting, if that drive is now plugged into a SATA port, NO other drives are seen at all during POST. Not the DVD Drives, not the target SATA drive, nothing else connected to SATA will be recognized if that Seagate is connected to SATA. So, I used a SATA to USB and connected it that way, everything booted up, Easeus was happy to give me another 2mb, then quit. Rebooted again and tried another USB port on the back of the machine. Now the Seagate doesn't even show the serial number or capacity anymore. But Easeus will still copy 2mb and quit.

At this point I normally would have told her ... tough luck. Teach you to keep backups. But, there are pictures and videos of her child that had passed away. And I guess a LOT of important documents. So I've got to do everything I can to try to get this data recovered for her. She also doesn't have a lot of money so I can't suggest that she take it to a recovery professional. There's no way she'd be able to afford it. As much as I'm sure she would like to.

So, I've got the firmware, but there are warnings that specifically say NOT to use it in a RAID environment. So I'm guessing that this would qualify ... kinda'.

There are many logic boards available for this drive for about $50. Has anyone used that method? Any luck?

Or there is a specialized tool listed on eBay for like $17. Anyone used that?

Or does anyone have any other ideas?

A couple other notes, when I first got it earlier today, Disk Manager was showing it as "Healthy" but with errors. It showed it as "RAW" and the size was reported correctly. I haven't checked Disk Manager since it decided to disable everything else on SATA ports while plugged in. I've just been doing everything with Hiren's.

 



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#2 rotor123

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 08:36 PM

For what it is worth I have used the "Replace the Logic Board" to revive a drive. I had two drives of the exact same model and revision. One was dead and the other had bad sectors. So I figured what the heck, Nothing to lose. It did work. I did to see if it would work. I then Zeroed the drive and tested it to see and the results were good.

 

I would suggest that once (if) you get it going you back up everything. Kill the Span and have individual drives instead. Create a reliable backup strategy for you client.

 

Good Luck

Roger


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#3 Bryan Mohr

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 10:39 PM

Hi Roger,

 

Thanks for the input. So far that's the direction I'm leaning. And yeah, that's why I said that a span is a "kinda'" RAID. I really just consider a span an invitation to lose your data faster with each additional drive. So yes, if I'm able to recover the data, I will definitely be strongly suggesting either going with a 1 drive letter per drive solution, or a true fault-tolerant RAID. But for now, recovering the data is the highest priority.

 

Bryan


Edited by Bryan Mohr, 27 August 2013 - 11:02 PM.


#4 rotor123

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:24 AM

If replacing the Logic board does not do the job and You are willing to spend the money then the next step is Data Recovery.

 

One other Possibility That I would do first before anything else is check with Seagate and if this is one of the drives that had the bad firmware and see if they will fix the drive with data recovery.

 

I did remember seeing this in the past. It is from last year so I do not know if they still do this. Worth a try.

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?p=33572584

Seagate 7200.11 Bad Firmware - Free Data Recovery?

I have a Seagate 500GB 7200.11 hdd that has the BSY firmware issue where it would spin up ok but wasn't recognized in the BIOS.

I called Seagate support and they said my drive was eligible for free data recovery so I boxed it up and sent it to them yesterday.

My question is will they just fix the firmware issue and send my drive back to me like it was before I had the problem or will they recover what data they can and put it on a replacement drive?

Has anyone else used the free data recovery from Seagate? if so how did it work out for you and how long did it take for you to get your drive back?

thanks

 

Update:
Sent them the Drive on Monday the 21st. They received the drive today the 23rd and emailed me to confirm the drive was in fact inflicted with the bad firmware, fixed, and ready to ship back to me.
They said they flashed the firmware and made sure all my files were still ok.
Said they had a image of my hard drive that they would keep for 14 days in case something happened to the drive after they ship it back to me.

 

Good Luck

Roger


Edited by rotor123, 28 August 2013 - 08:25 AM.

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