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Recovering Data from a Non Discoverable Seagate Central NAS Drive


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#1 JensMartin

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 07:04 AM

So... I know that this is not an entirely new problem and I have read previous discussions on this topic but

 

A. I know possible solutions change over time and

B. I have to admit to being fairly ignorant in these matters and really need a very dumbed down step by step guide as to what to do

 

The Problem...

 

I have a 4TB Seagate Central NAS drive upon which I store all of my video files. Suddenly one day for no apparent reason the drive was no longer discoverable on the network (the LED blinks and never goes solid). Now, I have to confess that this has happened before two years ago. At that time, I took the drive to my local PC repair shop and they were able to recover all the data and stick is on a normal 4TB external drive. Stupidly, I then purchased exactly the same Seagate drive again and transferred everything back on to it so that I was back where I started. Now I am back in the same situation and have now discovered that this is a common problem and I really should stay away from these drives. I will be buying something different this time as a replacement.

 

So, again, I took the drive to the same repair shop and asked them to do the same thing again. However, this time it hasn't been particularly successful. They have recoved all of the data (sort of) but the entire folder structure has been lost, all files have been renamed to a generic sequential name and in no particular order and actually, something 25% of the "recovered" files won't play! The whole exercise has been something of a waste of time (and money).

 

So, I now have this 4TB HDD with my "recovered" data and the original drive from the Seagte which has of course been removed from the box.

 

What do I need to do in order to do the job properly that my repair shop failed to do?

 

I am running Windows 10 on an HP Laptop.


Edited by hamluis, 14 November 2018 - 02:10 PM.
Moved from External Hardware to Backup/Imaging - Hamluis.


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#2 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 11:07 AM

The original NAS drive had a large number of bad sectors and any file recovered from it with even one of those bad sectors will be damaged.  Also, some of them were in the folders themselves and, when that is the case, the recovery software names the file for the page number it was found at in the filing cabinet.  However; if you had ever "cleaned up" the NAS, there may be numerous duplicates so that you have more of your videos than you think.

As a note for the future, with computers, you're not safe until you have three copies and one of them is offline.


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#3 JensMartin

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 07:36 AM

Agree with all of that but it doesn't really address the immediate problem of how I get a more stable and structured recovery of the data from the drive. I know this is possible, just need to figure out how.



#4 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 10:02 AM

I have been doing data recovery since 1977 and have seen in excess of 10,000 hard disk drives, FYI.  You are, IMHO, very lucky to have found a shop that knew what to do.

About the only thing that can be done without a clean room is to clone (physical sector-by-sector copy) the failing drive to another of like size and the only software worth a hill of beans either leaves the destination drive with its original content or writes a specific pattern each time it encounters an unreadable sector and moves on to the next with the fundamental concept being to finish as fast as possible.  In short, you get what you get.

Modern drives are themselves a computer and, if you have a full data recovery lab (read tens of thousands of dollars), it is possible to change the "system area" of the failing drive which may or may not alter the results; but, would probably cost 1200 to 1500 dollars, maybe more.

I have been sending the very few that the owner thought was worth that (maybe once per year) to Gillware and so far they are batting close to 1,000.


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#5 JensMartin

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 05:51 AM

To be honest, I rather hoped that the answer to my problem lay within:

 

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/546228/recover-data-on-seagate-central-nas-drive/

 

... I just don't understand large parts of it! :-(



#6 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 08:17 AM

OK, I'll try a little more.....


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#7 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 08:34 AM

Your 4TB hard disk drive is best thought of as a filing cabinet with eight billion pieces of paper and, for whatever reason, the controller for the filing cabinet either started writing bad pieces of paper or could no longer read some of them correctly.  At some point, the manager for the filing cabinet gave up the ghost and said "I can't do this anymore" and that is when the filing cabinet stopped being accessible.

You took the device to a repair shop that, at least, had the wherewithal to photocopy the filing cabinet to another drive which was not failing and to then recover what is really the vast majority of it's contents; but, you need to understand that, once a piece of paper in the filing cabinet gets damaged, what was on that piece originally, is gone.  In your case, this represents several pieces that were within files and several pieces that were "folders" or rather listings of files contained in the filing cabinet.

The only way to improve the recovery results is to first pray that the problem was with being able to reliably read the pieces of paper rather than the drive having written bad ones.  If it's the latter you're sunk no matter what; but, if it's the former, a true data recovery lab may (or may not) be able to recover far more than the local guys did.  You; though, had better be willing to pay the price which I would estimate to be $1,200+ from Gillware or $5,000+ from most other big data recovery labs.


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#8 RolandJS

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 04:39 PM

I was going to ask: where are your backups of your data folders and files?  I was hoping you still had that eartier normal 4TB external drive with the recovered folders and files.  However, you said the word transferred - that was a Move (not a Copy) operation, correct?


Edited by RolandJS, 21 November 2018 - 04:42 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#9 JensMartin

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 01:52 PM

Not entirely sure I follow. My backups of my data from my PC are on a different drive entirely. These video files that were on the Seagate drive were not backed up anywhere. When the repair shop attempted the data recovery, they copied what they found (unstructured and slightly unstable) onto the traditional 4TB drive but the Seagate drive itself is still in its original state as it was when it stopped working.



#10 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 10:13 AM

It's really up to you....

If those video files are worth $1,000+ to you, you need a real and serious data recovery lab.  If they are not, be glad you got what you did.


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