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Hard drive failure


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#1 cptnick

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 07:54 AM

Our Toshiba laptop failed suddenly on us last week. I can't boot into safe mode, you just get black screen with cursor. I pulled the hard drive and connected it via SATA usb adapter to another computer but was still unable to access the disk. I tried again on another computer running Ubuntu and it couldn't mount the disk to access it. I went back to the other windows computer and tried running chkdsk on it, it fixed some bad clusters but ultimately ended in error overnight. I'm running it again right now and its fixing more bad clusters. My question is, is it possible to get this thing fixed enough with multiple runs of chkdsk to move important files? Or am I wasting my time?

 

Thanks for your response,

Mike



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#2 ranchhand_

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 09:48 AM

I will assume that you do get POST when you first power-up the laptop and can access your BIOS. Please correct me if I am wrong.

To attempt to retrieve your data:

You can try a virtual boot disk to access the hard drive (if it is still mechanically running). Go Here and download Reatogo. Burn the downloaded ISO to a CD. Make sure your laptop BIOS is set to First Boot Device = CD, insert the disk and reboot. Be patient, it takes a long time to load. When loaded, you will see the standard Windows XP desktop and an icon for your hard drive. Click on that, and hopefully you will see your HDD and contents in the familiar Windows Explore tree structure. Browse to your data, and drag & drop in onto a flash drive or burn to a DVD (I think you can, I can't remember exactly if it has a burning utility or not). You may even be able to access the internet. Remember that this is running from the DVD drive so responses to command clicks will be slow, be patient.

There are other boot disks such as Hirens and Knoppix, but I have found this is easier for folks to find their way around in.

If you want to test your HDD directly:

*Download Seatools For DOS (free) from my link; in the site screen click "Seatools For DOS" link, then accept the Eula and download. Burn it to a CD. Reboot with it in your drive. In the screen that appears, first check that SMART has (or has not) been tripped. If Seatools reports that it has been tripped that is a bad sign. Next click the upper left corner of the screen for the long test and let it run. It will notify you either Pass or Fail. This is from Seagate Corp. but will test all other drives, not just Seagate.

Wish you the best!


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#3 cptnick

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 03:10 PM

ok thanks Ranchhand, to give you an update, I have been running chkdsk via the usb adapter for about 4 hours, this is the 3rd attempt. The first 2 times quit with error in step 4 after going through and fixing about 20% of the bad clusters. I'm up to about 40% at this time. I'm encouraged by this though I'm not sure if it's real progress? I will make the boot CD tonight and I'll post back probably in 24 hours. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

thanks, Mike



#4 zingo156

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 11:53 AM

If you can get chkdsk to finish, you might be able to get some or all of the data. If a computer is not shut down properly, sometimes linux will be unable to mount the disk normally, there are commands to force mount but I would recommend you continue with chkdsk. If your chkdsk finishes successfully, you can try to mount it from linux and try to pull the data off of the drive. Linux and windows sometimes handle problems with hard drives differently. If you can not get all of the data from one OS or the other, I would recommend trying both.

 

One thing about failing hard drives, when trying to recover data or even just running chkdsk might cause the drive to fail completely, it doesn't happen all that often but I recommend if chkdsk finishes, you pull data off starting with the highest priority data. Choose what data you need the most and go for that before getting other data that is less important. Depending on how bad the drive is, you might have to copy single files at a time rather than entire folders.

 

I prefer using linux and grsync for failing drives if a chkdsk will finish correctly. The linux quick copy paste method has not been as effective as grsync for me. Parted magic (linux distro) has grsync built in. Unfortunately newer builds now cost money. You might be able to find an older build that is still free. You might be able to add grsync to your build of linux with a command. I know it exists for linux mint which is still free and available:

 

Linux mint: http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

grsync for linux mint: http://community.linuxmint.com/software/view/grsync

 

DDrescue is another tool you might look into.


Edited by zingo156, 28 November 2014 - 12:10 PM.

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#5 cptnick

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 03:02 PM

thanks for your help guys. Another update: I was able to get chkdsk to finish, but the results are still the same. Ubuntu can't mount the drive and Windows can't detect the drive. I keep getting a CRC error. I decided to run chkdsk one more time before I read your post. It's still finding bad clusters here and there. After chkdsk finishes running I was planning on trying Reatogo.

 

Would Spinrite possibly help this situation?

 

thanks,

Mike



#6 ranchhand_

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 04:28 PM

> Did you try Seatools for DOS? Result?

> If you have so many bad clusters that it takes hours and several attempts for chkdsk to chew through them, that is not good. I suggest that you get your data off that drive first and then try to "fix" it after that.


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#7 zingo156

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 12:50 PM

Spinrite might help, however from the sound of both windows and linux failing to even see the drive, I wouldn't give it much hope. I had one drive that spinrite ran for nearly a month and after it finished I was able to get a very small amount of data. You can try it. You might also look into recuva, Rstudio, GetDataBack. Does windows see the disk from Disk Management?

 

If you really need the data and nothing works for you, I would suggest sending the drive in to Drive Savers, Ontrack data recovery, or some other data recovery specialists.


Edited by zingo156, 30 November 2014 - 12:52 PM.

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