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Backup data on  a damaged HDD

Posted on 2004-10-20
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Hi you all, I´m in a big problem this time, apparently one HDD i have is damaged at least in the MBR sector, the problem is I have lot of data valuable to me and I´m unable to access to the disk in order to burn all this files in Cds.

I already tried to connect this HD to different PCs as slave disk, but when i turn on the PC the BIOs loading page display a message similar to this:

"Pri-Master Atapi incompatible"

Or something like this and it seems to enter in some kind of conflict with the primary master HD because windows XP (machines where i tested this have windows XP) is unable to start and BIOS can´t detect even the primary master device.

Well that´s all for the background of the problem. Now I need to now if there is a technique or way to save all the data in the apparently damaged Hard Drive because is really important to me.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:Veneno
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by:Callandor
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Are you sure the jumpers are set correctly?  If you can't connect it as a slave, there is very little hope for it except to get a quote from a company like Ontrack Data Recovery services.  You might be able to rescue it if the problem is the controller electronics, in which case you can get an identical drive and swap the controller board from it.  Otherwise, the only thing left is the expensive rescue.
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by:Veneno
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I pretty sure the jumpes are not the problem because i tried as cable select and slave, so i have done this procedure several times in diferent machines.

One curiopus fact is that I installed well this HDD once and i formatted as NTFS and put my data on it.

But the next time i turned on the PC then suddenly appaered this problem.
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by:eccs19
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Have you tried running the damaged hard drive on the second IDE controller? (remove any optical drives you may have connected, and run the drive all by itself with nothing else attached to the cable)  It's possible to have 2 drives complain about eachother.  
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by:Veneno
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Update for my problem

Hi again, eccs19 I have to notify you that your suggestion partially worked, I coneected the HD to the second IDE (where the CD drives are) and I could at least initialize the PC, now the problem is that Windows XP is unable to recognize the Disk.

When I turn on the PC saids that secondary master and slave have ATAPI incompatible, so I wonder What the hell is an ATAPI? and What does it mean ATAPI incompatible?

And by the way I forgot to tell you a fact, I was saving a large five to the Hard Disk of the problem and then the electricity failed in my neighborhood (during this operation) then when I turned on the PC again then this problem appeared.

I hope this extra information could help you to asist me to tell what happened t0o the drive and which possible solutions I could take.

Thanks in advance again.
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eccs19 earned 168 total points
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I would have to say that if the power died at the time of the hard drive death, then it's a good chance that it's just the HD controller is shot.  When it comes down to power issues, it can cause lots of strange things to happen.  I would say that if the information is that important on that drive, I would look at seeing if you can get the drives electronics replaced.  It may be a very good chance that the data is still on the platters, you just have to hope that new electronics (new controller) will fix it.
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by:DanCh99
DanCh99 earned 166 total points
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just to add a little
ATAPI = Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface.  It's just a standard that allows CDROMs to work on an IDE interface.  

As your drive has problems, it isn't being detected properly, and hence giving the errors you see.  

What eccs19 is suggesting is that you find a working ***identical*** model of your disk (ebay??) and carefully remove the electronics below it, and then transfer them to your duff drive.  This will be the external circuitry that you can see - nothing from inside it!

Ontrack will do it too, as Callandor says, but it will be up in the thousands for them to fix it.

One final shot would be a NTFS boot disk, but if XP can't see it, this is unlikely too either.  
try
http://www.ntfs.com/boot-disk.htm
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by:Veneno
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First of all thanks for the new comments apported by DanCh99 and by the way: Callandor, you seem to be one of the big guys of experts exchange, so i would really appreciate if you could apport something else to this problem.

I know that bring my HD to an especialized company would be very expensive, in order of thousand of dollars, so this is not an option at least for now.

But I have something new I figured out a couple of days ago, but I´m not an expert so maybe this idea is just not possible. I forgot to tell you some details; the last time I used the damaged Hard Disk I was saving data on it from my system drive (C:) I was doing this in a simp,e CUT and PASTE operation, since I did this I haven´t written new data on the damaged drive (D:).

So I was wondering if it´s possible to recover the data in the original C: drive, if there´s a software or utility to do this, in my kwoledge some traces of all the files should be there because I haven´t put nw data on the original drive since my problem began.

If nothing else it´s possible my only hope is the hardware replacement solution, bTW thanks eccs.
The problem is that is going to be hard to find an identical device, since mine is discontinued, it´s a FUJITSU MPG420AT 20.4 GB capacity.

Well, again thanks in adavance and have a great week. CYA
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by:eccs19
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I would agree with Danch99.  I think you should be able to get one of those drives dirt cheap on E-Bay.  It may be the easiest / cheapest way to POSSIBLY recover your data.
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 166 total points
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If you can't get the drive recognized in the BIOS correctly, no software is going to help.  The controller board replacement is a cheap exercise to recover your data compared to a professional recovery company.
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by:DanCh99
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are you sure that model number is correct - I can't google it anywhere?  I'd keep looking - 20gb drives are the kind of size that are just getting too small for folk now, so they upgrade and sell the old one.  

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by:Veneno
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Hi again, excuse me for no writing soon but I was away of PC for a while.

I have some news for all of you.

First I´m a little bit disappointed because maybe I couldn´t get undestand by you.

If you just tell me that there ar eprograms like "savemy files" i could save lots of my information, unfortunately since callandor said that there were nothing to do I write data on system disk just before I discovered there are applications that could rescue deleted data on discs. Read again my last comment if you don´t undestand what I´m talking about.


And for DanCh99 I just checked again the serial number of the damaged HDD and in fact is MPG3204AT 20.4 GB capacity so if you could find a vendor for this part let me know it asap.
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by:Callandor
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My statement was conditional: " If you can't get the drive recognized in the BIOS correctly", so was this true or not?  If your BIOS recognized it, then you can use a data recovery program like GetDataBack (www.runtime.org).  I am sorry for the misunderstanding, it happens with this imperfect form of communication.
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by:rindi
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Veneno,

No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
Split: Callandor, eccs19, DanCh99

Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.


Rindi
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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