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Can't see hard drive, it makes spinning noises


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#1 bludshot

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:29 AM

Seems one of my hard drives is going (gone?) bad on me. It mostly doesn't show up in Computer Management, but sometimes it will show up for a split second. One time it fully showed up when I loaded computer management, but when I went to click on it to give it a drive letter computer management crashed.

 

It sort of whines, sounding like it is spinning up, and then does some very quiet tick tick tick noises (fairly normal hard drive sounding ticks), but it just does that over and over again.

 

What's the best method for trying to see what's on the drive?



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#2 zingo156

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:45 AM

If the drive will not stay visible in disk management, you will likely have trouble trying to recover data or see data at all. Generally the tools I use are: get data back (not free), recuva (free), testdisk(free but harder to use for a beginner), Rstudio(not free, maybe they have a free trial?).

 

If the disk is seen in disk management, any of the above tools should be able to perform a scan of the disk and possibly show you files on the disk.

 

Is this drive an external usb connected drive? Is this an internal sata connected drive?

 

Sometimes usb controllers in external enclosures fail, removing the drive from external enclosures and attaching them directly to the sata or ata connection might work fine.

 

If the drive will not stay connected, most likely you would need to send it in to a data recovery center, Drive Savers or Ontrack Data Recovery are 2 examples. This service is never cheap, generally costing ~$1000 or so.


Edited by zingo156, 12 June 2014 - 08:46 AM.

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#3 badr0b0t

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:10 AM

How old is the hard drive?

It's probably nearing the end of it's life. I had a 1TB drive which just died on my after transferring my files to another hard drive. I was just preparing it to be used in another PC but after installing it, it just stopped working. I ran scans and everything and switch ports, etc. That was it. It's only about 5 years old. The symptoms are the same you mentioned above. Won't appear on Disk Management, it gives ticking sounds, etc.

 

You better start transferring your files before it completely dies on you.


Edited by badr0b0t, 12 June 2014 - 09:10 AM.

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#4 bludshot

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 06:36 PM

It's an internal drive, but if I plug it in to sata, it pretty much kills windows. Windows will take 2+ hours to boot (if it boots at all) and then once in windows, it now seems to make explorer freeze, making windows unusable. So I have it plugged into an external USB 'toaster' now and it doesn't cause that problem.

 

Yeah... it won't show up in computer management now, it just keeps playing the external device connect sound and then the disconnect sound, over and over. So photorec won't see it either.



#5 OldPhil

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 05:33 AM

You can try one last thing, put it in the freezer for an hour or so.  Then plug it in to try to pull the data, works some time always worth a try.


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#6 zingo156

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 07:29 AM

It sounds like the drive is in pretty bad shape... You can try the freezer trick I have had it work but very rarely for me. If you plug the drive in through sata directly to the mainboard, can you see the drive in the bios? You could try to run something like MHDD or Spinrite to disable bad blocks and then try to recover data in windows again. My guess as of now is that you wouldn't get much if anything.
 

Also if you intend to send the drive in for professionals to recover data, do not run MHDD or Spinrite to disable bad blocks.


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#7 Netghost56

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 09:16 AM

I've used EaseUs Data Recovery (free to try) on a drive that had failed and been formatted. Managed to 'see' several layers of deleted files. Unfortunately, out of 200+ documents (what I was trying to retrieve), I was only able to salvage 15. The rest were gibberish.



#8 bludshot

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 05:04 PM

You can try one last thing, put it in the freezer for an hour or so.  Then plug it in to try to pull the data, works some time always worth a try.

 

Funny you should say that, last night I put it in the freezer for 4 hours and then tried it haha.

 

Yeah, I tried banging it on a table (lol), shaking it, turning the power on and off a bunch - you know, things that would make a good drive bad, but things I didn't mind trying to shock this thing into working, in case it was a stuck arm or I don't know. I wouldn't normally do that, but I already backed up everything on it that I care about weeks ago - I just wanted to see the folder structure to remind me what else was on it. I should have done tree /A > edrive.txt and saved that in my backups then I wouldn't need to try to remember.

 

In mint linux it would keep showing up for a split second in "Disks" utility (mint's 'disk management'), similar as it was doing in Vista. Then I shook it a few times and got it to stop doing the loop, and it actually stayed in Disks permanently. Which sounds good, but, it wouldn't mount (all I really did probably was disable the drive via the accelerometer (if these drives have that?), or just... from shaking it out of whack, so instead of properly failing and looping to try again, linux tried forever to mount it and it wasn't able to fail properly and loop again because the drive stopped responding or something.

 

Yeah, it's completely dead. If I needed stuff on it I guess technically there is more stuff to try like replacing the pcb from another working drive (lol?) or opening the drive up and man handling the read arm etc. And as fun as that sounds I don't think I will waste any more time on it.

 

thx






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