Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Help recovering external hard drive


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 mday83

mday83

  • Members
  • 10 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:51 AM

Posted 06 December 2016 - 01:51 PM

Hi all, like the post title says, I've got an external USB hard drive that's acting really weird and hope to recover it. The drive has 2 partitions on it, and one of them shows up and can be used just fine. The other shows up in Windows as "Local Disk," and can't be opened or accessed in any way. Weirdly, any computer that I put this drive into slows to a crawl and runs out of memory. There's another similar thread here right now, and based on that, I've tried Data Rescue PC4, MiniTool Partition Wizard, and Test Disk 7.0. The first two lock up or won't open when the hard drive is plugged in - otherwise, they open just fine. Test Disk 7.0 always hangs and doesn't seem to work on my PC at all. Any ideas? I could try booting into Linux like someone suggested on the other thread but would need to do it from a flash drive as my computer doesn't have an optical drive. Any help appreciated!



BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,287 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:10:51 AM

Posted 06 December 2016 - 02:04 PM

I would suggest booting a live linux disk and take Windows out of the picture. If linux can mount the partition that shows local disk then you should be able to recover your files. 

 

What is the make and model of the computer?

 

If the computer is UEFI then the setting needs to be changed to Legacy or CSM boot in settings.

 

Download UBCD. Burn the iso to disk on any Windows 7 or later computer by right clicking the image and selecting Burn Disk Image. Attach the external drive and boot UBCD and at the menu screen select Parted Magic. 

 

See this guide on mounting your external drive's partitions. For an external the partition may be called sdb2 with sdb1 being the partition you can read but it may be different. If you cannot mount the partition then it's possible to start Testdisk from the live linux disk but lets see if the partition mounts first. If it mounts copy the data from the partition to your internal drive.



#3 mday83

mday83
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 10 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:51 AM

Posted 06 December 2016 - 02:10 PM

Thanks. The trouble, like I said, is that my computer doesn't have an optical drive. Can you point me somewhere that will tell me how to boot Linux from a flash drive? I'm using an HP Pavilion 11-n010la notebook.



#4 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,287 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:10:51 AM

Posted 06 December 2016 - 02:18 PM

Sorry, I missed that last sentence. You can download Rufus and create a bootable USB flash drive. 

 

Rufus Instructions:

Run Rufus with the USB flash drive attached. Select MBR partition scheme for BIOS and UEFI. Leave all boxes as checked. If FreeDos is shown in the dropdown box select iso image, click the icon, and browse to the UBCD iso file. Press Start. Any data on the flash drive will need to be backed up as the drive will be formatted.

 

https://rufus.akeo.ie/

 

Edit: Using a flash drive to boot UBCD would likely give your external the sdc designation where sdb would be your flash drive with UBCD.


Edited by JohnC_21, 06 December 2016 - 02:19 PM.


#5 mday83

mday83
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 10 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:51 AM

Posted 07 December 2016 - 01:56 AM

Thanks so much, this works beautifully and I'm in the process of saving all my data now. Cheers!



#6 mday83

mday83
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 10 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:51 AM

Posted 07 December 2016 - 02:41 AM

...or so I thought. It worked the first time, but now Parted Magic mounts my drives as read only. I am not checking the read only box when I mount them, but they end up that way anyway. This has stopped me from copying anything else. :( Any ideas?



#7 HolyCowz

HolyCowz

  • Members
  • 168 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GMT
  • Local time:03:51 PM

Posted 07 December 2016 - 05:20 AM

Sounds like something is auto running as soon as you plug it in.

Do all the computers you plug it into stay slow after you unplug it?

If so I'd get the computer checked for malware and the external HDD.

 

How much memory do you have installed?

 

1st thing is to scan your pc for malware. (it's the running out of memory that would make me look for malware first)

 

2nd thing I'd do is prevent auto run of any software that's plugged in from usb 

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-prevent-a-usb-drive-from-running-anything-automatically-in-windows/

 

3nd thing i'd do is then once above is done plug the drive back in and scan the drive for any malware.

 

If all clean then we need to work out whats running and why it is using up all memory.

 

I agree that using linux to recover it may be a good idea but I would first make sure it's nothing bad causing the low memory or you'll be running in circles.



#8 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,287 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:10:51 AM

Posted 07 December 2016 - 08:28 AM

With Parted Magic there are no running programs similar to Windows as it's on a live linux disk.

 

Edit: To confirm, is it the recovery drive in your computer read only or is it both partitions on the External drive. If it's the external drive's partitions that are read only you can still recover to the internal drive of your computer or another attached external drive.

 

Are you trying to recover the data to a Windows 10 computer? Do you have another USB external drive to attach to use as a recovery drive?

 

We may need to use a more modern distro to access the recovery drives as read and write but if the recovery drive being used is on a Windows 10 computer post back.

 

In case you do have Windows 10 first  disable Fast Startup in Windows 10.

 

After disabling fast startup shutdown the computer using the command prompt. Press the Windows key + X > cmd

 

Type the following

 

shutdown /s

 

Then reboot the computer with the UBCD and see if Parted Magic detects your recovery drives as read and write and not read only.

 

If they are still read only then download fatdog64 and use Rufus to create a bootable USB flash drive.

 

http://distro.ibiblio.org/fatdog/web/

 

Fatdog64-710.iso

 

Fatdog copy instructions;

Boot Fatdog to the desktop. In the lower left of the desktop you will see your partitions listed as sda1...sda2...sda3...etc. On an upgraded computer from 7 or 8 you will see quite a few. Normally your Windows partition will be on sda3 for Windows but it may be different in your case. Click once on the sda3 partition icon. The partition should mount and a File Manager Window will open. If you do not see your files/folders then close the Window and click on another sdaX icon until you find the partition you wish to recover files to. Once you find your correct recovery partition attach your external USB drive. A USB icon will appear on the desktop. Click once on it and another File Manager Window will open. You can resize and move the two windows until they are side by side by left clicking and dragging the corner and title bar similar to Windows. Once you have both windows side by side highlight the data you want to copy by pressing Ctrl and left clicking or left clicking and dragging a window around your files/folders. You only need to click once to open a folder in Fatdog. Once you have your files/folders highlighted drag them from the USB external drive window to the sdaX recovery drive window. A small dialog window will open. Select Copy and check the quiet box. Don't forget your browser bookmarks or email if using a client. Once all your files are copied exit out of Fatdog. You may want to open a few to see if the copy was successful

 

Note: If you have two internal drives one for Windows and one for data the Windows partitions would be labeled sdaX and the data drive partitions sdbX. 

 

Please post back any questions if the above instructions were not clear.


Edited by JohnC_21, 07 December 2016 - 09:03 AM.


#9 mday83

mday83
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 10 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:06:51 AM

Posted 08 December 2016 - 12:33 AM

I'm on Windows 8, not Windows 10, but I still tried shutting down from the command prompt and the drive showed up as readable again. Thanks so much, I managed to save all my data. I'm just going to reformat the drive - no idea why it was acting so weird.



#10 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,287 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:10:51 AM

Posted 08 December 2016 - 08:39 AM

Your Welcome,

I'm glad you were able to recover your data. As a reminder, always backup the data you cannot afford losing to two devices.

 

Edit: After formatting the drive I would strongly encourage you to test the drive using Seatools for Windows. Do the short and long test.

 

http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/


Edited by JohnC_21, 08 December 2016 - 09:23 AM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users