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Phil

Data recovery from failed drive

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I'm trying to recover data from a friend's hard drive that suddenly failed to boot. It's a Samsung SATA. I've got it connected directly to the motherboard of my computer as a slave. It is seen in the BIOS, Device Manager, and Disk Management, (as an empty drive) but not in Windows Explorer. I tried giving it a drive letter, but don't have the option in Disk Management. Initializing didn't help.

 

I tried hooking it up USB, it isn't seen.

 

The drive spins, and doesn't make any unusual noises. I tested it with HDTune, the SMART data is all OK, and a sector scan showed no bad clusters.

 

I've tried:

 

Spinrite: computer froze.

O&O Format and Recovery: Scan started then computer froze.

A couple of other recovery apps froze too, and some just didn't see the drive.

GetDataBack found a few things on the first run, but not much, now it just freezes the computer.

I installed Ubuntu on an attached drive, it couldn't see the drive.

 

So I'm about ready to throw in the towel, but thought I'd run it by the hardware experts here first.

 

Is it possible that password protection on the drive limits what can be seen/recovered or do the recovery apps look beyond that?

 

What would be happening to cause a recovery app to lock up?

 

Anything I've missed here?

 

Thank you in advance.

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Sometimes the circuit board on the drive can crap out, and if replaced, data will still be intact. You may be able to find an IDENTICAL drive model and put the circuit board from the working drive, onto the failing drive. The process is not super technical, and anybody comfortable building a PC, can do it. I'm not talking about taking the drive/platters apart, just the circuit board on the outside of the drive. I've performed this operation once and was able to recover all data on the failed drive.

 

If this works for you, be sure to recover your data to another drive, swap the parts back and RMA the failing drive.

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I agree with the circuit board swap. I have had success with that before. If that doesn't work it sounds like a job for Drive Savers.

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I'd try the circuit board swap, but the odds of laying my hands on an identical Samsung drive seem slim. :unsure:

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I'd try the circuit board swap, but the odds of laying my hands on an identical Samsung drive seem slim. :unsure:

 

 

I have googled model numbers and serial numbers before and had success. Ebay has always been a reasonable source. You may want to check with samsung. They may have one lying around they can sell you as refurbished.

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Thanks for the help, but I think I'm not willing to go that far. I think the drive's owner might pay, but once we enter the realm of pay for recovery I'd rather they went with a pro. I can't with any confidence tell them that they'll get their data back with me. I'm happy to work for free for the learning experience, but at the end of the day I'm just a guy dicking around with computers, not an experienced recovery guy.

 

One thing I might try is to image the whole drive then open the iso up to get files. Unfortunately I don't have Acronis True Image, and the freeware Seagate version doesn't have an "ignore bad sectors" option, so I guess I'll Google for some freeware. Any thoughts?

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I use Clonezilla for my home cloning solutions. I've never attempted to look inside the image though. It appears to be saved as a tar.gz, and there are plenty of options for what type of compression should be used when creating the image. It's linux based, and has a friendly wizard to walk you through the cloning process.

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Pretty weird that the drive is visible in XP but the data is not.

 

You may want to open up Windows XP Recovery Console and try to fix the MRB of the drive, that may restore the data table...

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Hello, just recently I had a similar situation, my drive failed to boot and I had 2000 installed on an older drive, windows would recognize it but was not able to access the drive. I tried so many things but it just didn't want to read the files, I was sure it was corrupt and almost reformatted. But then I tried this mini Linux OS, http://www.puppylinux.org/home, it's really easy, just burn to a CD and it launches from there.

 

I think if the drive is corrupted there is something on the windows files that prevent it from being read which is odd, because even though I was using a USB to SATA connection, it still failed to read, even though it would ignore any files like that regardless I assume. It turns out some data was corrupt, but inside Puppy Linux I was able to back up all my important files to an external drive, it may or may not work, but it did for me and if it does for you then great.

 

Anyways if there's data that you must have on that drive, if this doesn't work then keep trying, don't reformat it just keep trying to recover until the drive blows up in your face, lol.

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One thing I might try is to image the whole drive then open the iso up to get files. Unfortunately I don't have Acronis True Image, and the freeware Seagate version doesn't have an "ignore bad sectors" option, so I guess I'll Google for some freeware. Any thoughts?

You can download a fully functional trial copy of Acronis from their web site. You can give it a whirl without having to pay for it.

Edited by Nemo

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