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What do these HDD failure symptoms sound like (possible data recovery)?


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#1 OfficeJerk

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 10:07 PM

Hi

I was running a laptop which developed a power issue and would not progress further than the black and white startup screen upon boot without entering a continuous rebooting loop. So I removed the internal HDD which is a Seagate Momentus thin 320GB and hooked it up to a functioning desktop through sata usb cable and tried to copy some files across.

I noticed that this process was taking a lot longer than usual as It was taking over an hour to transfer a 100mb video. So after the video finished, I removed the drive safely from the desktop and connected it back to via sata usb to begin the long process of copying my files, but when I did this, I could no longer access the drive in windows explorer. I constantly get the following message: E/ is not accessible, the request cannot be performed due to an I/O error.

I have tried various data recovery software but they either cannot locate any partitions, or once scanning has finished, say there are no files to recover. The drive letter and the correct name of the disk are the only pieces of information left when vieweing the drive. Its also worth mentioning that upon inspection in device manager, it lists the drive as a RAW device now, when it was previously NTFS. Also, i can see the 'System Reserved' Drive right next to the E drive and that shows normal file size and can be accessed but there is no viewable folders. The HDD is making very quiet sounds which only can be heard if you put your ear right up to it, sound clip here - http://vocaroo.com/i/s1xlxhDy1QOd

I have also connected it up to HDSentinel and it produces the following report:

Failure Predicted - Attribute: 5 Reallocated Sectors Count, Count of sectors moved to the spare area. Indicate problem with the disk surface or the read/write heads.
There are 2395 bad sectors on the disk surface. The contents of these sectors were moved to the spare area.
The drive found 1423 bad sectors during its self test.
There are 1423 weak sectors found on the disk surface. They may be remapped any time in the later use of the disk.
5580 errors occured during data transfer. This may indicate problem of the device or with data/power cables. It is recommended to examine and replace the cables if possible.
Replace hard disk immediately.

What are your thoughts?

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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 12:16 PM

The drive is failing, no doubt about it.

 

Personally I own a copy of SpinRite and would run a level 2 scan to see if the drive could be repaired sufficiently to get the data off.  Since is an expensive piece of software and no guarantee to get your drive back to working order to pull your data I don't know if that is an option.  I recently used it to repair half a dozen 3TB+ drive that were showing as RAW when a failing drive caused the other drives connected to the same controller to become corrupted.  GRC does offer a 30 day money back guarantee so you can get a refund if it doesn't work for you.



#3 mjd420nova

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 06:57 PM

Failing???  No, failed.  Those bad sectors were increasing and the slow operation was created by the clock track also being affected.  Then it failed when it couldn't be found.  I would suspect those files  you were able to be transfer mat be corrupt. 



#4 OfficeJerk

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 09:49 PM

The drive is failing, no doubt about it.

 

Personally I own a copy of SpinRite and would run a level 2 scan to see if the drive could be repaired sufficiently to get the data off.  Since is an expensive piece of software and no guarantee to get your drive back to working order to pull your data I don't know if that is an option.  I recently used it to repair half a dozen 3TB+ drive that were showing as RAW when a failing drive caused the other drives connected to the same controller to become corrupted.  GRC does offer a 30 day money back guarantee so you can get a refund if it doesn't work for you.

I have heard good things about SpinRite.. I wouldn't mind giving it a go, but the only thing I am concerned about is potentially running the drive further and making it impossible for a professional data recovery company to extract what they can from it. if this software wont complicate things for a data recovery company providing it fails to extract the data, I wouldn't mind giving it a go and purchasing it.

 

 

Failing???  No, failed.  Those bad sectors were increasing and the slow operation was created by the clock track also being affected.  Then it failed when it couldn't be found.  I would suspect those files  you were able to be transfer mat be corrupt. 

No doubt professional data recovery could still be able to recover at least some of them again...



#5 mjd420nova

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 02:25 PM

It might be possible to do a bit recovery but it mostly depends on what failed.  If it was just the heads or maybe just a data buffer, the data should remain intact.  A working donor drive, a clean room and it might be okay, good enough to copy the files.



#6 OfficeJerk

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:15 PM

It might be possible to do a bit recovery but it mostly depends on what failed.  If it was just the heads or maybe just a data buffer, the data should remain intact.  A working donor drive, a clean room and it might be okay, good enough to copy the files.


I never dropped or harmed the device in anyway so it couldn't be a head issue.. I've had a HDD drive fail which had head problems but that's because I dropped my laptop while it was working. That constantly made a loud tapping noise when ever it was connected to power.

Judging by my story and the sound clip I uploaded, does anyone have an idea as to what exactly in the HDD could be causing the problem?

#7 OfficeJerk

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 08:43 AM

Bump



#8 Platypus

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 09:35 AM

I never dropped or harmed the device in anyway so it couldn't be a head issue.

 

Of course it could be a head issue, if a head has failed due to a wire fracture or solder connection that was previously intermittent, or a head preamp has failed. In this situation a platter transfer into a donor drive could gain access to the data. On the other hand the continually seeking symptom can simply be degradation of the platter magnetic surface, and it has got to the point where the operating firmware on the platter is damaged, and the drive loses functionality.

 

Possibly the most capable open source utility for drive analysis is TestDisk:

 

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

 

If it cannot gain access to the drive contents, professional data recovery is probably the only hope, with the attendant costs.

 

Edit: if the cause is surface degradation, ceasing to run the drive is vital, as every attempted access can just make it worse.


Edited by Platypus, 21 August 2015 - 09:43 AM.

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#9 UPI

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 06:34 AM

I would highly recommend against running Spinrite. Yes I have read the stories about the miracles it performs, but it's "data recovery" puts a lot of stress on the hard disk and may push it over the edge. If you want to use it for maintenance/disk checking/refreshing etc., that's fine.

 

If you want to recover the data, and if you want to try that yourself, reduce the amount of hard disk access to a minimum. Best way to accomplish this is either to image or clone the disk. You will need a disk cloner/imager that won't crap out on bad sectors.

 

There are free Linux utils that can do this, ddrescue for example.

 

DiskPatch can clone a disk to another disk and it will try to jump over bad sectors during the first 'pass'. During a second pass it will try to read those skipped areas. iRecover can do the same, but instead of cloning disk to disk, it does disk to image file. These programs aren't free and can be found at www.diydatarecovery.nl

 

Hope this helps.






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