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.