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Secondary HDD not working/detected (formerly external HDD)


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#1 Boooster

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 04:43 AM

Hi,

 

I have used a WD Elements 2 TB external HDD for all my backups and it's no longer working when I connect it via USB.  I can see the physical drive, but there is no information and when I click on it it hangs indefinitely.  I've read about that issue extensively, it being very common (well, more accurately the constant blue flashing light) so I finally decided to take the physical HDD out of the external frame and connect it internally via SATA cables.  Now, I realize that the drive may be gone but I have a lot of important photos there that I would hate to lose so I want to try everything to recover this. 

 

My current computer has a SSD 128GB (Windows OS installed here), and a 1 TB standard HD.  When I connected this one I received an "A2" error from from MSI motherboard (related to not being able to detect a drive) but was able to move past to Windows Boot up.  During the "Windows Starting" screen it now hangs indefinitely as long as the WD HDD is plugged in.  Here is what I tried:

 

1.  Unplug WD from sata, let windows load up, then plug it back in.  In this case nothing happened - not showing up in device manager even when forcing a scan for hardware changes.

2.  I've tried using a different SATA port - same issue

3.  Restarting the computer and going into BIOS I can see it is detected in one of the SATA ports.

 

Can anyone suggest something that can hopefully lead me to know 100% whether the drive is dead or I can recover the photos?

 

Thanks

 

EDIT:  forgot to mention (if it matters) - I'm running Windows 7 64


Edited by Boooster, 22 September 2015 - 05:02 AM.


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#2 ranchhand_

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 07:36 AM

> Your main computer:  laptop or desktop? Please give make & model if a retail unit.

> Is your main computer running good, or are there problems with it?

> So....you only have a 1TB HDD in your main computer to transfer data files to?

> On your 2TB backup drive...about how much data is on there to get off?


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#3 Boooster

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 07:44 AM

Main computer is a desktop - self-built.  MSI motherboard, i5-5670k, 8GB RAM, running great.

 

I have a 2TB external HDD (another one) that I bought in case there was a way to make an image of the data and copy it to the new external HDD (something I checked up on but wasn't successful with). 

 

The 1TB HDD in my main is a secondary and where I store the majority of my files aside from OS and essential programs. 

 

On the old WD 2TB drive, I have around 500 GBs of data that I'd like to get off (if I can...)



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 08:06 AM

Sometimes linux can pull files off a drive where Windows fails. See this guide on using Parted Magic.

 

You can download the iso here.



#5 ranchhand_

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 09:24 AM

Since you don't have a corrupted partition, a distro should work as long as the drive doesn't mechanically fail.

You might find Reatogo a bit easier to use; burn to a CD/DVD and reboot; this takes a long time to load so be patient. When loaded, you will see the familiar Windows XP desktop; look for your drive icon and click on it.

Since you have problems booting when the problem drive is connected, try plugging in the USB port after the distro is loaded and running. Hopefully it won't freeze the computer.

If no joy with the first two, try Knoppix; I use that successfully all the time to pull data off a problem drive.

Download the ISO from . Use this link: click on the word "KNOPPIX", not "Here". This way you bypass all the Eula and stuff.  Here KNOPPIX_V7.2.0bootonly-2013-06-16-EN.iso 2013-06-24 23:00 12M


Edited by ranchhand_, 22 September 2015 - 09:33 AM.

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#6 Boooster

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 09:28 AM

Thanks guys - I'm looking into this now.

 

Ranchhand -if Knoppix is the most reliable wouldn't it be best to just start there?  Also, I already took apart the external HDD so it will be a SATA connection (not USB).  Hope to report back a success here :)

 

EDIT:   Tried Knoppix with no success - couldn't get into the Graphical interface so it seems to be more complicated.  Currently downloading Parted Magic and will try that - if not i'll try Knoppix again


Edited by Boooster, 22 September 2015 - 09:59 AM.


#7 Boooster

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 01:34 PM

SUCCESS!

 

I just copied over 66GB of photos (so far) using Parted Magic - it took ~3 hours and towards the end was taking 1-2 minutes per file (I assume due to bad sectors) so I will be running it overnight to get the rest.

 

Thank you so much for your help - without it I would have lost years of photos.



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 01:45 PM

Good to hear. Have you tried opening some of the photo's to see if any are corrupted?

#9 ranchhand_

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 04:14 PM

Great! Use whatever works for you!


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#10 Boooster

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 01:02 AM

Yep - that was the first thing I checked, especially since some files took so long.  Some of the photos that took a long time move over are indeed corrupted.  Still, better than losing everything.



#11 Boooster

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 04:43 AM

Ok, I've gotten the majority of the files off but certain folders seem to have an abundance of corrupted files - when trying to transfer it takes 1-2 minutes per file adn I'm talking about 3MB photos here.  Also, when starting the transfer it starts at 20-30MB and quickly drops down to 300Kb rather quickly.

 

Is there a way to speed this up at all?  The last folder group I have is 20GB and it's estimated at 30-40 hours transfer rate...



#12 ranchhand_

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 07:51 AM

It may be that when the drive started to fail it did corrupt files; the only thing I can suggest is to try the other two distros. You probably will have the same problem but it's worth a shot. Just out of curiosity, what problem were you having with Knoppix? The load is mostly automatic, there isn't really anything to do except watch it. That is why I suggested the first two; folks who are not acquainted with distros find these the easiest to use with an easy to understand GUI desktop. It sounds like you may have had a bad burn on your ISO.


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