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2.5" Portable WD Passport, clicking, restarting, can not start up windows

Hi!

My WD Passport 160GB 2.5" usb powered portable drive turned sour today. Before I had some problems saving documents, get message like, "disk is full" etc, but by unplugging and replugging, it worked fine. This is also a normal problem with this drive, and may be due to high power-requirements compared to the usb port. Today suddenly the computer froze. When I restarted, I got a BSOD. I rebooted, same BSOD. I tried another machine, and a laptop, same BSOD. I tried my home desktop computer, no BSOD, but restarted after windows logo with the green loading bar (XP).

I took the drive out of the case, and found it is a SATA drive. I connected it to the computer by normal power cables and sata data cable. Same problem. The disk makes a clicking sound when I power it up. I then read a post suggesting to cut the 12v yellow power cable, so I did that, as it only needs 5v. I thought it would just not use the 12v, but anyway, now I cut it, but still the same. Hope I didn't do any bad by having the 12v on for the first 10min of trying.

I tried to boot with "the ultimate boot cd", but then i could not recognize the drive, so couldn't diagnose. However the drive does show up in the BIOS.

Please, anyone got idea of how to proceed? I can't boot with this drive, so I guess I must try some boot-cd tools, but I don't know what and how.. ?


simen
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simen041200
Asked:
simen041200
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2 Solutions
 
rindiCommented:
Freeze the drive in the freezer in an airtight bag for maybe 1 hour, then try to connect it again and access the data. If no go, get HDDREG and use it to try to repair the disk. This takes a long time but could repair the disk enough for you to recover the data. After using HDDREG, run Getdataback on the disk to scan it and then register it to copy the data off.

http://www.dposoft.net/
http://runtime.org
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simen041200Author Commented:
rindi,

It's in the freezer! Will report back later.  cheers! :)
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simen041200Author Commented:
no luck on that one. fired it up while still cold. actually, first it wouldn't spin. Then after a minute, i tried again, and it did. but same boot problem. and i can hear the weak but distinct clicking noise about 3 to 4 times during the startup, until the last one where it forces restart.

late over here in Norway now, so I'll put it back in the freeze for a second attempt tomorrow.

What will be next test, to heat it in the oven at x temperature?

s
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rindiCommented:
No heat. Also a 2nd freeze probably won't help. Try the other two utilities, and if they don't help I'm afraid the only other options would be to get an identical disk and use the controller board from the other disk on the broken one, or, more likely to help, look for a recovery agency in your area.
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simen041200Author Commented:
Yes, no luck on the 2nd freeze. Another controller I don't think will help, as it's a SATA drive, and I already have connected it to the MB connectors, not the usb.

Will try HDDREG and Getdataback and see how it goes..

Thanks!
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simen041200Author Commented:
Oh, didn't realize these tools were not free.

Anyone got alternative freeware tips?
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rindiCommented:
No, these two are the best, and although not free, they aren't expensive. Getdataback you can run the trial version to scan the disk. If it the scan doesn't find your data, you don't have to buy it, as then you won't be able to recover any data.

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simen041200Author Commented:
Actually I was able to find the data with this boot-cd tools:

http://www.ntfs.com/products.htm

The data was in an "unallocated" part of the drive. However, I did not recover the data, as I found it smarter to try to make a copy to another drive with another tool, before recovering or doing any changes on the existing drive.

So I was going to search for such a tool, but when exiting, I couldnt boot to my normal 3.5" disk anymore. Got the "NTLDR is missing", as I've started a new thread:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/Q_22902677.html

So now I have to fix that one first, but still appreciate comments on this problem, which I'll get back to as soon as I can.

I'm not reluctant to buy recovery software, however I find it sensible to try freeware first, as I think it is much good out there for these type of problems.  
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simen041200Author Commented:
Ok, been busy, but still going to extract this data.

2.5" SATA disk, only accessible in DOS. Should I run a repair/undelete on the drive? I can see file names with some software. Or is there another way that lets me repair but instead of writing on the disk it will repair to another location. In that case I could be able to test without doing further damage...

any advice?
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nobusCommented:
if you can backup - do it first
then run a chkdsk on the drive
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simen041200Author Commented:
I can not access in windows, cause pc doesn't boot to windows with this drive connected.
I've connected it to internal SATA connection.  

By booting with "the ultimate boot cd" I can:

Under "Active NTFS Reader" I see the following on this drive:
- Unallocated
- Logical J:
- Unallocated
The first Unallocated space starts on sector 63, and is 30GB. This is the space I need recovered.
J: looks more accessible, as if I don't need recovery, but has no important data.

Under "Active Uneraser" I can see file structure and file names of all files on the Unallocated space. All the data I'm interested in. However, the question is, how do I recover it, in the safest way. I could of course run a recovery process on this space, but could it destroy it?

The uneraser is also not free. What I need is some advice on what tool is best to proceed with from here. Something free would be preferred, unless some features I need is not available in free utilities.

Is chkdsk safe to use? Don't even know if I can use it, as the drive letter doesn't exist in this space.

I also need a program that can copy whole folders, not only single files, as it's many many files..

?
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simen041200Author Commented:
Sorry, I was wrong, that was not "the Ultimate Boot CD", haven't tried that yet actually. any hints on tools and procedure forward?

Thanks!
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nobusCommented:
if it is making clikking sounds, i doubt you will be able to recover the data; a good recovery Cy is needed then :
http://www.gillware.com/

some recovery links to try :
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm                  pc Inspector -free
http://www.runtime.org/                                    GetDataBack
http://www.stellarinfo.com/                                    Stellar
http://www.recovermyfiles.com/                              RecoverMyFiles
http://www.bitmart.net/                                    Restorer 2000
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/                        Easy Recovery
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html                        Restoration
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/activeundelete.html                        Active undelete
http://www.handyrecovery.com/download.shtml                        Handy Recovery
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/smartrecovery.html                        flash recovery
http://www.ontrack.com/                                    ontrack
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simen041200Author Commented:
Thanks for suggestions nobus!

I moved a bit forward yesterday, with the following procedure:

I booted with "Ultimate Boot CD v4.1.1", and used the Data Lifeguard v11.2 to make a copy of the partition to an empty partition on a 3.5" drive. Then I thought it was fixed, and disconnected the 2.5" trouble-drive, and booted the computer. Surprised to get the same problem again, not able to boot into windows, stopping exactly at the same place, after the loading-bar. Now due to the copied partition on a totally different drive. I guess this should mean something, but what? And how to proceed..

Tried to boot into XP Recovery Console, but that didn't work. Gave me BSOD in the last part, after clicking "R". With following BSOD message:

A thread tried to release a resource it did not own.
*** STOP: 0x000000E3 (Ox89a17368,0X89c1B020,0x00000000,0x00000002)

Hope this will give your experienced minds some hints or good ideas...  ?

Trying to find a boot cd with chkdsk for NTFS, but no luck yet.

cheers!
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nobusCommented:
>>   Surprised to get the same problem again,  <<   not surprising, you did not change anything to it.
>>   Surprised to get the same problem again,   <<   was that from the XP install cd?  you can still try to run a repair :  http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

btw - did you backup the data already ?
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rindiCommented:
You can try to make a UBCD4WIN and then use that to enter the recovery console.

http://ubcd4win.com
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nobusCommented:
above should read :
>>    Tried to boot into XP Recovery Console  <<   was that from the XP install cd?  you can still try to run a repair :
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simen041200Author Commented:
Sorry I may not have explained it too clear..
I copied data over to a partition on a 3.5" drive. Now I have the data two places. Then I planned to access this drive. So I disconnected the 2.5" problem-drive. But I now got the same boot-up problem still. So it's not due to the drive itself, but due to the data it contains.
Can not boot with the 2.5" drive.
Can not boot with the 3.5" drive, which contains the copied partition.
Note that my windows installation is on a 3rd drive, and I can boot normally with this alone, but with one of the others connected, I get the identical boot problem, and can not access XP recovery console (BSOD). Yes, that was from the XP install cd..
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nobusCommented:
that is normal to me- you copied a corrupt partition, so neither one works.
if you have the data, you can wipe the partition, and install from fresh
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simen041200Author Commented:
Ok.. initially I was suggested to freeze the drive, as it was assumed some mechanical failure. However that was a premature advice I can see now. But no, I don't have the data. Allthough now I have it in two places, which gives me the freedom to do whatever recovery attempt without risk of loosing the source. So now I want to run a recovery on this partition, but how do I do that? I guess it must be possilbe to run a check on this partition, and find and delete the sectors that contains errors?
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nobusCommented:
to run a recovery soft, you install it on your primary drive (boot drive) of a working pc.
Then you hook the bad drive as slave to this PC, or as master on the other ide channel (disconnect all cd drives)
then run the recovery soft
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simen041200Author Commented:
Yes, that's what I need to do.. but that's exactly where I am a little stuck.. Because I am pretty novice on these recovery software, so the problem now is to know which recovery tool is good for this type of disk-error, and how to install/run it..  May be obvious to you, but for me it is so many tools to choose from and difficult to know the right one..
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simen041200Author Commented:
Finally found a useable boot cd. Ran chkdsk and afterwards XP boots fine with the 3.5" drive connected.  Made backup. Then ran chkdsk on 2.5" drive. Now this one is also ok, and can be connected by usb as normal.

That took an awful lot of time and trouble to find out. But at least I'm left with the data I wanted. For the WD Passport disk; this I will return. It's waay too unstable.
 
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nobusCommented:
>>  so many tools to choose from and difficult to know the right one   <<    among the best are GetDataBack and Stellar, but you can try any one for yourself (one can work when another does not) since they all have a free to try system - you only pay for the actual recovery, but they show what they can recover
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Computer101Commented:
Forced accept.

Computer101
EE Admin
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