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Failing HDD, How to save my data

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#1 Carloslim


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Posted 22 December 2016 - 01:09 PM

My external* HDD started having trouble in accessing data.
Some time later, it also started clunking, but kept working neverthless. chkdsk showed no errors.
But now when I connect the drive, I cannot access data, explorer.exe crashes, accompanied by occasional clunking.

I have not disturbed it since then to prevent any further damage.
Hoping that it will run one more time, I have ordered another drive to back up the data.

What would be the best procedure to transfer data to the new drive, assuming the failing drive works at least once. Which software is recommended, and what steps should I take to ensure that the drive doesn't go to idle state once it starts working, there is no unnecessary read/writing occurring, and that the time gap between connecting the drive and starting the cloning process is minimum etc.

(sorry being slightly paranoid, but a lot of data is at risk, and it's rather optimistic of me to assume it is going to run once more)


Currently, I'm planning to use AOMEI Backupper to make a sector by sector clone. Please comment on the process and recommend changes to make the process more safe?


I have read that freezing the drive might allow data to be read from a failing drive, is this true? (gonna try this if it doesn't void warranty and everything else fails)


*Internal 2.5", 9.5mm HDD, using as external with a SATA to USB case. I cannot open up the drive as it is still in the warranty period.


Thanks in advance

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#2 Kilroy


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Posted 22 December 2016 - 01:25 PM

Welcome to Bleeping Computer.


I'll give you the bad news first.  You best chance of getting the data was when the drive first started giving you trouble.


The freezer trick is one of the last resort things to try.  It contracts the parts in the drive.


Others may be able to give you some things to try, but myself I'd send it off to the professionals if the data is worth $1,000 or more to you.

#3 Carloslim

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 01:35 PM

Thanks for the reply :)

I realize that what I'm doing now should've been done when I heard first clunking and the drive was still working.

Luckily the data is not that valuable, and most of it can be downloaded again, but it will be slightly inconvenient. I might lose some photos and docs though. Will wait for some more suggestion.

Edited by hamluis, 23 December 2016 - 10:24 AM.
Removed unnecessary quotebox - Hamluis.

#4 toofarnorth


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Posted 23 December 2016 - 02:20 AM

if the drive is clunking you might damage it more by powering it up

if you want to save the data sending it off to a data recovery company like ontrack is what you should do

and.. whatever you do, dont open the drive.
if you do the recovery company will charge you extra and the chance of recovery drops

the heads are floating a few nanometers above the platter. imagine the damage even a single little spec could do




#5 shadow_647


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Posted 23 December 2016 - 07:08 AM

My self i use this vs dead drives, sadly the work out it gives then can kill the drive too, depends what kind of damage were talking about.

You need a floppy drive to use this software, speaking of that i should get my self a external USB floppy, theirs still a lot of good DOS software out their for when it comes to fixing computers, people now don't know how to code like the old timers, they need too much space to do what someone can do with 1.44megs.




Hole installer is 170k and was made in assembler.




Ps this is not for SSD drives, and clicking sounds are known as the click of death when that happens its over.

Edited by shadow_647, 23 December 2016 - 07:44 AM.

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