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Weird Hard Drive Issues


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#1 isezgrr

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 06:37 PM

Hello there,

 

I'll start with the TL;DR. My brother has a hard drive with a few hundred dollars in Bitcoin on it, and we aren't able to access it.

 

System Specs:
Drive: 2TB 7200RPM Toshiba HDD

OS: Windows 10 Home v1709

GPU: AMD Radeon 7770

CPU: Some garbage Intel processor

Mobo: Some garbage Dell thing 

PSU: Corsair CX500W

RAM: 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3

 

The Problem:

I have (my brother's) 2TB 7200RPM HDD. It contains, among other important files, several hundred dollars in Bitcoin. The Electrum wallet is being used. My brother, being stupid, has no backup of the drive. He also lost his Electrum seed (basically the password). We need to access either the Electrum application or the Electrum chrome extension on the drive. Problem is, I can't do much of anything on the drive. I can boot and see the desktop. I cannot open the Windows start menu. I can open some programs using the WindowsKey+R method. I cannot open Electrum.exe this way. I cannot connect to any WiFi whatsoever. Ethernet will not work. The computer doesn't even recognize the USB network adapter. My abilities are very limited. When I open the File Explorer, I can see some files, but others have vanished. Most notably, the C:\Users\August\Appdata folder. When I WindowsKey+R '%appdata%', I am able to access the C:\Users\August_Donovan\Appdata\Roaming folder, but it is under the user 'August Donovan', which is not present in the C:\Users file. I cannot open any taskbar programs by clicking on their icons. 

 

What I've tried

Unplugging it and plugging it back in again.
 

I figured it was a corrupted drive issue. I plugged in my emergency USB Drive and opened Portable Recuva to start cracking at it. And, after hours of searching, nada. I could not find any files (deleted or not) that had anything to do with what I needed. 

 

Next I thought it was a missing directory. No clue how I'd fix that, but the other issues with chrome and the start menu suggest otherwise.

 

Figured I might as well run a Malwarebytes scan for the hell of it. There was some adware and a few PUP's, but nothing that could've caused the problem. I'll attach the Malwarebytes scan report.

 

I double checked all my previous steps, but still nothing. In the mean time, I bought him a backup drive for Christmas, but I've got nothing. That's why I'm here.

 

Thank you all, even if you just read this. Or if you didn't read it and you're just looking at this because it's bolded. Or maybe you can't read. 

 

 - isezgrr


Edited by isezgrr, 26 December 2017 - 06:42 PM.


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#2 ranchhand_

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 07:39 PM

Try to access your data using a Linux based distro that runs virtual

Download the ISO of Fatdog; in the site, scroll down to "Fatdog 64-720", download and burn to a DVD disk; boot from it and your HDD (or SSD) icon will be on the desktop. Click on it and try to access your drive and data.

If no joy, do the same with Parted Magic, and Hirens Boot CD. With Hirens, let it boot and choose the 1st option at the top of the options menu, the virtual XP.

Let me know how it goes.


Edited by ranchhand_, 26 December 2017 - 11:12 PM.

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


#3 isezgrr

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 07:50 PM

Should I run multisession on the DVD-RW? Also, the download link on the fatdog page you send me seems to be an index. I'm a total noob when it comes to Linux so sorry in advance to ask dumb questions.


Edited by isezgrr, 26 December 2017 - 07:51 PM.


#4 ranchhand_

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 10:53 PM

Sorry...they must have changed the web access. Sometimes us geeky people fail to communicate in common sense language. Please re-click on the link I provided above; I edited and changed the link.

Multisession question: I am not sure what utility you are using to burn the disk, but just go with the default. Multi-session will work fine. If you have a normal DVD or CD (not a RW [re-writeable] disk that option will not appear. RW disks enable you to erase and re-write over the same disk, that is why you have the option of multi-session or non-multi-session. A regular disk will not allow that.
If your computer will not boot the disk, enter the BIOS screen and set your computer to First Boot Device = DVD or CD, 2nd boot device = Hard Disk Drive.


Edited by ranchhand_, 26 December 2017 - 11:14 PM.

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#5 isezgrr

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 11:35 PM

Alright... I've got other work to do tonight but I'll try that in the morning. Thank you, kind stranger, for your time.

#6 bles16

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 11:57 PM

starts with a hirens Boot cd disk. start Windows XP mini

#7 ranchhand_

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 11:19 AM

bles16:  please read carefully my Post #2. When replying, it is wise to read all the previous posts before replying so that you do not repeat what is already there and possibly confuse the issue.


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#8 isezgrr

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:24 PM

Tried Fatdog. No luck there. Moving on to Parted Magic.



#9 isezgrr

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 01:41 PM

No luck in Parted Magic or Hiren's either... Keeping in mind my inability to connect to wifi, open the start menu, or even recognize the USB wifi adapter, do you think this is bigger than just a corrupted file or two? Any other thoughts? Wouldn't it be cool to give him his drive back as a birthday present (Jan. 15)?



#10 ranchhand_

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 10:10 AM

So....are you interested in pursuing this further or not?

[EDIT]:  What I meant is that I have one more utility that sometimes works in very difficult circumstances, but it is a bit more involved in usage. Interested?


Edited by ranchhand_, 28 December 2017 - 10:38 AM.

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#11 isezgrr

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 03:49 PM

Yeah i intend to continue working... As I said there's quite a bit of money on the drive. Have you seen anything like this before (chrome/start menu/Wi-Fi inaccessible)?

Edited by isezgrr, 28 December 2017 - 03:51 PM.


#12 ranchhand_

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 12:10 PM

Can you boot the problem drive into Windows (I assume you can, but I want to make sure). Once into Windows, can you install and run programs normally?


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#13 isezgrr

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 12:26 PM

I can boot Windows on the drive. I can use programs on a flash drive, and maybe install from one, but I cannot access chrome on the drive in order to download online programs.



#14 isezgrr

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 07:36 PM

Alright ranchhand_, I'm ready to start with Paragon. Just let me know when you're online and ready. I'll be on for at least another few hours.



#15 ranchhand_

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 06:37 PM

Put the DVD in the drive and reboot. Paragon will start; you are now running vm from the drive.

In Paragon's opening screen click on the Transfer Files option;

> Click Next;

> In the Source menu on the right, click the dialogue box down arrow, then select the problem drive from the list.

NOTE:  if the problem drive is not listed, we can go no further. Paragon must "see" the drive in order to analyze it. If it does not, we will have to use a drive tester to try and discern if the drive failed mechanically or not.

>IF Paragon "sees" the problem drive, hopefully you will see your data files listed in the window below. Investigate all the folders, and note any folders and individual files listed that may be of interest to you.

>Select any folders or individual files that you wish to salvage, and click the green arrow on top pointing to the LEFT pane. The selected folders or files will appear there.  Keep going until everything you want is there.

>Note the "data size" counter; make sure your salvaged files total size is not greater than your receiving drive space (for obvious reasons).

>Click "NEXT".

Done. Your salvaged files are transferred to the receiving drive. I suggest a flash drive, or possibly burn them to a DVD (although I have never used that option).


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





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