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Western Digital Elements USB Drive Suddenly Not Accessible


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#1 susanrs

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 08:10 PM

Hi, All!

 

I'm using a Western Digital 2TB external hard drive (WD Elements WDBAAU0020HBK) that I partitioned into three partitions (F: G: H:).  (I'm not sure, but I may have originally partitioned this drive using Acronis Disk Director instead of Windows.)  The drive is connected to a Compaq Presario desktop running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit with 4GB of RAM.  I've been using it over the past 2 or 3 years for data storage without any problems... until now.  I hope I can correctly remember the sequence of events, so here goes...

 

The other day, I was copying a large video file from the C: drive onto the G: partition.  The file transfer seemed to be taking an unusually long amount of time, so I clicked cancel.  I tried again a little while later, but received a "Data Error: Cyclic Redundancy Check" error message. 

 

I decided to run CHKDSK from a command line with the /R and /F options.  It detected the file system as being NTFS and listed the correct volume label.  It found a certain number of "unreadable" spots, but then seemed to complete its scan with the message "Stage 2 of 5 completed."  It never moved on to the other "stages".

 

I went to the Western Digital site and downloaded their Data Lifeguard Diagnostics software. It detected the drive and its three partitions, but when I ran the Quick Test, it gave me the following message:

 

"Quick Test on drive 2 did not complete!

Status code = 02 (Interrupted by hard or soft reset), Failure Checkpoint = 106 (Unknown Test)

SMART self-test did not complete on drive 2!"

 

The external drive and all three partitions show up under Windows Disk Management.  The status for each says "healthy" and the correct "used" and "available" partition sizes are listed.  The weird thing is, for "File System" it now says RAW... and I'm pretty sure I originally partitioned them as NTFS and CHKDSK identified them as being NTFS.

 

Now, when I try to access any of the partitions I get the following error message:

 

"F:\ is not accessible. The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error."

 

I've tried the drive in another computer, but I am still unable to access any data (and there's lots!)

 

I know there are programs out there (like Recuva, GetDataBack, RStudio, etc.) that can recover accidentally deleted files, but I didn't accidentally delete the data on this drive.  So, it doesn't seem to be the same situation.  Besides, I'm a little afraid to use them.  (Many data recovery companies say doing so can actually make the problem worse and/or damage the drive itself.) 

 

So... does anyone know what I should do to access the files?

 

Thanks in advance for your help!!  :-)



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 08:38 PM

Hello, In Disk Managment is the whole drive is listed as RAW or just partition G:?

#3 Frozwire

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 12:43 AM

Testdisk/Photorec is a good tool for recovering data from hard drives that are in RAW state. But it would be much safer if you can make an image of your drive first and then do the recovery attempts from the image that you've got to preserve the structure of the original drive from any further damage.


Edited by Frozwire, 09 October 2014 - 12:46 AM.

"Encryption...is a powerful defensive weapon for free people. It offers a technical guarantee of privacy, regardless of who is running the government... It's hard to think of a more powerful, less dangerous tool for liberty...” - Esther Dyson


#4 susanrs

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 01:42 PM

Hey, JohnC... hmmmm... now Disk Management is reading the drive as NTFS. Strange! It's reading ALL partitions as NTFS.  WTH???

 

In the far left column it says Disk 1, Basic, 1863.01 GB, Online.  The next columns show the partitions:

 

External F: (Data) - 350 GB NTFS, Healthy (Active, Primary Partition)

External H: (Music) - 708.09 GB NTFS, Healthy (Logical Drive)

External G: (Video) - 804.92 GB NTFS, Healthy (Logical Drive)

 

Interestingly, the drive letters are listed out of order.  Not sure whether that's important/relevant.

 

Frozwire, I'm not sure what you mean about making an image of the drive first and then recovering from the image.  How would I run TestDisk or GetDataBack recovery programs from an image?  I do have a program called Acronis True Image.  It allows me to create a "disk clone."  I've never used it before, but will it create the kind of "image" you're referring to?  If so, are there any special settings I need for this sort of operation?

 

Thanks, guys!


Edited by susanrs, 09 October 2014 - 01:50 PM.


#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 02:27 PM

You can access all the data on the drive now, correct? If you have the capacity, I would do a disk image of the drive using True Image or Macrium Free which I prefer. Beside doing a clone which is from one device to another, it also lets you create an image of the disk. I believe True Image also lets you create a bootable disk that you can use in case the computer does not boot. If you cannot do that, I would recommend you at least burn your most important data on the drive to DVD's or upload to the cloud. If the data is personal, you can always encrypt it first. In fact, I would recommend you start copying your most important data before doing the disk image.

 

The image Frozwire was referring to is a dd-image using dd-rescue on a bootable linux disk. Because dd-rescue creates a sector by sector copy and at the same time would try to recover any data from unreadable sectors of the external drive you would need another drive with at least the capacity of the external. With this image, you would able to use tools like Testdisk or Photorec to try and recover the data thereby not trying to do the recover on the drive itself which could further stress it.


Edited by JohnC_21, 09 October 2014 - 02:28 PM.


#6 susanrs

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 03:13 PM

Thanks for the quick reply, John.  Nope, I still can't access the data.  When I go to Windows Explorer to access those partitions, I get an error message:

 

F:\ is not accessible.  The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error.

 

Then, when I went back to Disk Management, to see what it was showing, it lists G: as RAW.



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 03:52 PM

Download the Windows version of Testdisk v6.14. See this guide. Do not write anything. Go to Analyze > and post an screenshot of the Testdisk window. Then select Quick Search and when finished post another screenshot.  Make the Testdisk window active and then press Alt+Prtscrn. Paste into Paint and then save as a jpg. For some reason you cannot attach a file in the External Hardware Forum so you will need a hosting site.

 

 

The SMART test failed but you may get a result with GsmartControl

 

Question. Do you have another empty 2TB external drive?



#8 susanrs

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 05:12 PM

I don't have another empty 2TB external drive, but the data on the existing drive isn't using all 2TB of space.  None of the three partitions is even close to being full.

 

Thanks for the link and instructions for TestDisk.  Version 7.0 is the one they have available for download now.  (Hopefully, it'll work just the same as version 6.14)

 

hmmmmm... now THIS is interesting.  Right AFTER I finished unzipping testdisk-7.0-WIP... but BEFORE I clicked on the executable testdisk_win.exe... Windows 7 popped open a little window that says...

 

"Do you want to scan and fix external (Video) G:?  There might be a problem with some files on this device or disc.  This can happen if you remove the device or disc before all files have been written to it."

 

It's giving me two options:  

 

"Scan and Fix (recommended): This will prevent future problems when copying files to this device or disc."

 

or

 

"Continue without Scanning"

 

I can also just X out of the window.  What should I do?  Should I let Windows scan and fix it?  Or might that make it worse???



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 05:51 PM

I beleive Scan and fix will be using Chkdsk. I can't say if it will get worse or not. It will look for corrupted files and but anything it can't fix in a found.000 folder as chk files. Chkdsk can fix things but there are other times when it can make things worse. It's a decision you will have to make. Testdisk v6.14 is on the same page as v7 which is a beta version.

#10 susanrs

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 07:34 PM

Okay, John.  I downloaded and installed version 6.14.  Here are the links to the screenshots.

 

http://s44.photobucket.com/user/susanrs626/media/test-disk-screen-1_zps4edd0e88.jpg

http://s44.photobucket.com/user/susanrs626/media/test-disk-screen-2_zpsdf99bd04.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/susanrs626/test-disk-screen-3_zpsc97bc13e.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/susanrs626/test-disk-screen-4_zps2825e6e4.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/susanrs626/test-disk-screen-5_zps0c113ee3.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/susanrs626/test-disk-screen-6_zps425bd6e8.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/susanrs626/test-disk-screen-7_zps5cf1c53d.jpg

 

and just in case it helps, here's a screenshop from Windows' Disk Management:

 

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/susanrs626/disk-management_zpsca0fbcc5.jpg

 

Thanks for all your help!



#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 07:46 PM

Have you done a deeper search? If not, do not do that just yet. In the screen 6 there are a number of partitions. Highlight each one and press the "P" key. Can you list your files? Which of the partitions can you list? It looks like you have an extended partition with logical partitions on the drive which makes it complicated.



#12 susanrs

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 08:29 PM

No, I haven't done a deeper search yet.  I am able to get a list of folders and files in each partition except the last one that's highlighted in this screenshot:

 

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/susanrs626/bad-partition-1_zps40ba7a71.jpg

 

When I try to access it, I get the error message shown in this screenshot:

 

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/susanrs626/bad-partition-2_zpsc28b8a15.jpg

 

The interesting thing is... if you look in the first screenshot... right above the partition that's highlighted, there appears to be an exact duplicate of that partition.  I can get into that one and see my folders and files.

 

In fact, looking at that list that appears in the "bad-partition-1" screenshot, there are five things listed. I can view folders and files in the first line... the second line gives me a "bad partition" message... the third line I can view folders and files... the same for the fourth line down... but the last line (the one that's highlighted in that screenshot) gives me a "bad partition" message.  I actually only have three partitions on this drive, though.  So maybe that's one of the problems?


Edited by susanrs, 09 October 2014 - 08:38 PM.


#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 08:46 PM

The partititon table is corrupted. The two partitions that are identical indicate that. The second partition in the list is the extended partition. You will not get any data from that. Only the logical partitions of third and forth. The fifth is a partition that will have to be deleted later.

 

You can copy over your most critical files to your internal drive. You list the files with the "P" key and then use the ":" key to select the files you want. The upper case "C" key to copy the file. The default location for the recovery will be the folder you extracted Testdisk to. I would recommend you copy your critical files first. Copy them to a DVD or upload them to the cloud. Once your most critical files are copied then we can see if we can recover the partition table. This always has a chance of something going wrong.

 

Once your files are copied. Start Testdisk again. This time continue with the deeper search. At the beginning of TestDisk, select Create Log File. It will take a long time to do the deeper search, maybe five hours. Post a Screen Shot of the partition structure after the deeper search.

 

Edit: If you could borrow a 2TB drive from somebody, you could copy all the files and folders before we tried to recover the partition table.

 

Edit Edit: When you do copy over the files, open them and see if they are corrupted or not. Some may not open.


Edited by JohnC_21, 09 October 2014 - 09:10 PM.


#14 susanrs

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 09:02 PM

Thanks very much, John!  Will try it now (with fingers crossed!) and will post results here!


Edited by susanrs, 09 October 2014 - 09:10 PM.


#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 09:14 PM

You can copy entire directories. Highlight the directory and select it with the ":" key. Then copy with the upper case "C". The directory should copy over. I can't remember if it copies the directory with included files or just all the files in the directory. Can you confirm which it is? The recovered directory will be in the TestDisk Directory by default.






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