Hard Drive with Bad Sectors

Posted on 2007-11-15
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have a hard drive here with a ton of bad sectors. Windows sees the information but I can't access most of it. Spinrite freezes during the recovery at .14% (yea .14 not 14). The drive passes Ontrack's Quick Diagnostic's Test but fails the Full Diagnostic Test. I've tried recovering the information with Ontrack but it hangs when it reaches a bad sector.

I'm contemplating opening it up and disassembling the drive and then reassembling it to see if that gives me enough life to recover the information. Is there anything that can be done before I give this a shot?

Its a 2.5" Toshiba brand hard drive.
Question by:thewzard
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LVL 14

Accepted Solution

bmsjeff earned 250 total points
ID: 20295945
Try one of the following utilities.

Get Data Back is a great program.

Some Free Programs

Let me know if you have the same result.        

Expert Comment

ID: 20297160
Yes boot your computer with an external operating system I mean Knoppix on CD it is a whole operating system on CD (download the iso image from here and burn it on CD on a working computer) boot your computer with the cd and retrieve your data from your hard disk on a USB memory stick or so. And to my opinion disassembling the hard disk will not repair the bad sectors so what you can do as a last resort is a low level format but this is very exhausting to the hard disk and carries the risk of loosing the whole hard disk for ever.
LVL 92

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 20297195
you can try the HDD regenerator - it works in some cases :
The Eight Noble Truths of Backup and Recovery

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Author Comment

ID: 20298237
I left GetDataBack running over night but it's only 4% into the recovery. I'll come back once its finished.

Author Comment

ID: 20298855
Pardon my ignorance but how does running Linux make retreiving the information easier? If there are bad sectors on a hard drive isn't the os insignificant? I've never done a low level reformat, I'll google it and read up on it.

I might just put it in the freezer if it keeps acting up =)

Still running GetDataBack. Its a pretty neat program by the way.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 20298924
Is it still at 4% or has it progressed?

Running Knoppix is a way to boot to an OS independent of the drive.  You would then move the data that you can to another drive, via usb or another attached drive.

It would be the same as pulling the drive and placing it into another computer to be able to boot.  
I assume you have already done that since you are using GetDataBack.

Author Comment

ID: 20299277
Oh I'm sorry I should have clarified. I placed the drive into a 2.5" External enclosure and attached it to a spare PC running Windows XP via USB.

It still shows 4% on the progress bar but it's still going through different sectors. I guess its just going to take a while or maybe the progress bar just isn't reflecting the true value. Either way, I'll just wait.

I'm anxious for it to finish though because I want to try HDD Regenerator. I was reading up on their site and I must admit I'm sold.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 20299518
You may need to use a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter rather than the USB enclosure if you are going to use HDD regenerator. I seem to remember that it does not support USB.

Expert Comment

ID: 20300896
I thought u wanted to retrieve your data from your HDD but if you do not have any important data on it and still want to use it the do the low level format or choose whatever option you like suggested here. a low level format exhausts the hard disk it works by writing zeros all over the HDD, it takes a sometime to finish and after that it might reapir it or you might loose your hard disk forever. It is available as an option in BIOS.

Author Comment

ID: 20304688
Yes, I definately need the data on the drive. Hard drives are too cheap for me to go through all this trouble over a simple drive.

I'm only 8% through GetDataBack. This is going to take a while. I'll go buy a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter today, thanks for the heads up.

Author Comment

ID: 20314041

Author Comment

ID: 20329866
I accidently caused it to stop at 55% ;(

Assigning points, thanks all for the help.

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