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1TB internal HDD inaccessible (seen as RAW)


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#1 The Man from Oahu

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:49 PM

Hi guys,

 

this is my first post here, hope someone can help me.

 

My computer:

- MoBo: Asus A8N32-Sli Deluxe

- CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+  2GHz

- RAM: 4 x 1GB DDR 400

- HDD 1: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB (System drive)

- HDD 2: Western Digital Blue 1TB

- Graphics Card: ATI Radeon x1600 Pro 512MB DDR2

- PSU: Enermax Liberty 500W

- DVD drive

- O.S.: Windows XP SP3 32bit

 

A couple of months ago, the secondary 1TB drive (WD10EZEX, less than 1 year old) became unstable (very slow, inaccessible at times). It doen't make any strange sound, btw.

I have CrystalDiskInfo always running on my pc, the health status was good, S.M.A.R.T. values ok. 

Anyway, I checked it both with the WD utility (Data Lifeguard Diagnostic, quick and extended test) and HD Tune (Health and Full Error Scan), the drive passed all the tests, but it was still unstable.

In a few days the pc became extremely slow (e.g. 15 minutes to boot the O.S.) and almost frozen. In other words, completely unusable.

I tried to disconnect the faulty (or supposed so) drive, the pc returned to work normally.

As soon as the drive was reconnected the pc froze again.

The only way to access it was Safe Mode or via Ubuntu on a USB thumb drive.

I realized the first thing to do was to backup all the data, but I didn't have another empty drive, so I disconnected it and left it into the case. In the meantime I have used the pc with only the first drive.

Finally I got an external HDD so I started the backup process.

The first attempt (in Safe Mode) was a failure (freeze), probably because I tried to copy a large amount of data. I tried Ubuntu and it worked, but at an extremely slow transfer rate (around 15MB/s).

Due to this I was able to backup only part of the data, then I disconnected the drive again (so that I could use the pc). Today I reconnected it to continue the backup but Ubuntu failed to mount it. After a while It gave me an error message:

 

 

 

Failed to mount '/dev/sdc1': Input/output error
NTFS is either inconsistent, or there is a hardware fault, or it's a
SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware. In the first case run chkdsk /f on Windows
then reboot into Windows twice. The usage of the /f parameter is very
important!

 

I rebooted the pc in XP Safe Mode and ran the ScanDisk utility (both options checked), but it didn't anything apparently. Then I tried to check the drive properties and I noticed that the used space is zero and it is seen as RAW. I disconnected it again and here I am.

 

First thing first, is there a way to recover the data on this drive?

After that, how am I supposed to proceed in order to understand what the issue is and if the drive is faulty or not?

 

Thank you.

 

P.S.: English is not my native tongue so please excuse me for possible mistakes.

 

 



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#2 wpgwpg

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:55 PM

 Get an enclosure for the drive, put the hard drive in the enclosure, and plug it into a USB port.  You could try it on multiple computers if need be.  

 

Good luck.


Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:11 PM

I believe your file system is corrupted and not due to a failing hard drive as you stated it passed all of your tests. Please Download Parted Magic. This is the last free version. The latest version is a $5 download. See this link. If Testdisk can find the partition structure, which I doubt, you can use it to copy over your files or write a new partition table. If TestDisk does not find your partitions, the only other options on a RAW drive is to use the following.Note: There is a Windows version of Testdisk which you could try before using the version on Parted Magic.

 

Free - PhotoRec which is part of Testdisk. This will scan the drive and recover your files but all names are Generic with the correct extensions. You would have to open the files and rename them accordingly.

 

Option 2 would be to use the Paid Active@file recovery and do a SuperScan. Peo version is $35 with the promo code.

 

Option3, the most expensive is to use DiskInternals Partition Recovery. This would analyze the disk and try to recover your file structure, It costs $150 but there is a trial download to see if the software works. You would need the FAT32 or NTFS version depending on how the drive was formatted.



#4 hamluis

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 01:38 PM

FWIW:  RAW Hard Drive - http://html5.litten.com/how-to-fix-external-disk-drive-suddenly-became-raw/, What is RAW file system - http://www.raw-file-system.com/ .

 

Louis



#5 The Man from Oahu

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 02:53 PM

Thanks for replying.

 

@JohnC_21 & hamluis

I had already seen that link before my post but, as far as I understand, the author assumes that the disk is accessible via a Linux LiveCD, which is not my case.

 

@JohnC_21

Leaving aside the money factor, which of the three options is more likely to be the most successful one? And which one is less risky?

 



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 05:03 PM

Even though linux would not see the drive as mounted, Testdisk can detect a disk attached to the computer. if it can detect any partitions is another matter. You may want to try the Windows version at least. The $150 Disk Internals is probably the best option for recovering the partition. It does have a trial download to see if it can recover the partition. Next would be Active@filerecovery. That also has a trial download to see if it can recover your files. Probably the best bank for the buck.



#7 The Man from Oahu

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 05:22 PM

I see.

I think I'll give the Windows Testdisk a try and see what happens.

If it doesn't work I will ponder one of the not-free alternatives.

I'll be back as soon as I have news (good or bad).

Thanks.



#8 hamluis

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 05:44 PM

I've used the Active program before with good results, along with Get Data Back-NTFS...if you want to try programs which cost but allow you see whether data can be recovered before you throw the cash in.

 

But I've also had success with some of the free atlernatives.

 

Depends on situation, frustration-level...as to what you try.

 

Louis



#9 The Man from Oahu

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 05:57 PM

Thanks Louis.

 

My main concern is to recover as much data as possible.

I just don't like the idea of "stressing" the disk by a trial-and-error process with several programs.

Anyway, I think I'll give Testdisk a try at first and decide the next move according to what happens.

Thanks for your tips.

 

Bye.



#10 The Man from Oahu

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:26 PM

Ok, here I am again.

Yesterday I re-connected the disk and booted the pc: drive not detected by the BIOS.

Reboot, this time it was there.

Started Testdisk (Windows Safe Mode), it found the partition and listed all the files.

I tried to copy some files but, despite the copy was apparently successful (very slow though), there was no file on the destination drive.

So I quit Testdisk and tried to access the disk via Windows Explorer. Lucky me, it was accessible. I was able to copy the data I was most interested in (not the rest, since the slow speed), then I turned the machine off and disconnected the disk again.

I think I will make another attempt to save the rest of the data as soon as I have the time.

Since the beginning of troubles with this disk I noticed that when I am working with it (copying files etc...) high CPU load (50%) and slow transfer rate are two constants.

Now what is making me crazy is the randomness of the thing. I mean one day the drive is not seen by the BIOS, another day is seen as RAW, another day is accessible (but slow).

Any suggestion to pinpoint the problem and/or how to proceed?

 

P.S.: one thing I discovered is that the drive is an Advanced Format one and the partition is not aligned, but I doubt this is the cause since it must have been unaligned since I installed the disk.



#11 wpgwpg

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:08 PM

 When you are able to access that drive, you should run chkdsk on it and let it check for and attempt repair of bad sectors.  This will not cause any data to be lost, and will likely speed up access to your files.  What I believe is happening is that you're spending a whole lot of time in error recovery caused by bad sectors.  Chkdsk will usually help that a good deal.

 

Good luck.


Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#12 The Man from Oahu

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 04:51 PM

Thanks for the tip, I'll try.

But I remember to have made all sort of tests on this disk before it became unmanageable and there wasn't any bad sector.

Besides, I don't think this would explain the BIOS not seeing it (or seeing it randomly).



#13 wpgwpg

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:17 PM

 The BIOS will see it intermittently if you have marginal sectors in the area of the file system.  That's why I recommend chkdsk because it will substitute alternate sectors for any like that.

 

Good luck.


Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#14 JohnC_21

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 07:35 PM

If this is an internal drive that goes RAW off and on, I wonder if it could be some kind of hardware issue with the SATA port? Maybe putting the drive in a USB enclosure or using a USB adapter would give a better result.



#15 The Man from Oahu

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 08:21 AM

@wpgwpg

I'll give it a try as soon as I reconnect the drive and see what happens.

 

@JohnC_21

It's an internal SATA drive.

In the first days of troubles I tried to connect the disk to other SATA ports (even the one where the 500GB disk is connected to).

I even changed the cables (data and power).

The 500GB disk seems to work regardless the port, the 1TB DOESN'T work regardless the port.

So I don't know if there is something wrong with the motherboard but I am almost certain there is something wrong with the disk.

 

Problem is this now: I need either to put this disk back to work or to buy another disk but if I don't spot the real problem I could end up on the same path again and have two unusable disks, which would make very... unhappy.

 

The enclosure suggestion was given assuming a faulty SATA port, am I correct?


Edited by The Man from Oahu, 20 June 2014 - 08:21 AM.





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