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Drive failure imminent, trying to save a little data

Posted on 2007-11-17
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I recently moved and during the move, my only casualties were the two data drives in my media center PC.  One SATA drive snapped it's SATA connector off, but super glue fixed that.  The other drive must have some internal damage.

Upon boot, I got the windows consistancy check message and I let it check.  The check went on for days, but finally ended up making it through step 1 and 2 with a list of things it found.  After step 3 however the process finally locked.  Although the message says:

Security descriptor verification completed.

But the system locks there.  I power cycled and let it check again, steps 1 and 2 fly by, but locks at that security descriptors complete message again.

If I skip the check, then windows runs VERY slow and the drive is constantly being pegged.  The drive shows up, but cannot be accessed.

I have a couple data recovery programs, but they don't see the drive.

I know this drive is toast, but I'm wondering if there isn't some trick to trying to at least read it for a bit.  The check disk was able to do step 1 and 2, so it can't be completely dead yet.

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:archaic0
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Accepted Solution

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multithreading earned 84 total points
ID: 20305687
There are a bunch of companies that will -try- to get the data off for you. For a job like this you are easily looking at $1,000 or more depending on the state of your drive. You could try it yourself, by opening the drive as a raw device, and following the directy entries yourself, but that is going to be a huge project, especially if you've never done system programming before.

If the data isn't worth days of effort and a few thousand dollars, you are probably at the end of the road, I'm sorry to say. Moreover, you may be at the end of the road even with that kind of outlay of time and money. Maybe someone else will chime in with a better idea.

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Author Comment

by:archaic0
ID: 20305698
Currently I'm using the ultimatebootdisc to do some checks, but everything so far is passing.  I haven't found a way to 'repair' the partition information though.  I'm in the middle of a surface check right now of the drive and it's passing so far.

The drive can't be THAT bad if I can complete a surface test, right?
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LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:Mark
Mark earned 83 total points
ID: 20305794
I've used HDD regenerator with success on drives like this.
http://www.dposoft.net/#b_hddhid
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Best Practices: Disaster Recovery Testing

Besides backup, any IT division should have a disaster recovery plan. You will find a few tips below relating to the development of such a plan and to what issues one should pay special attention in the course of backup planning.

 

Author Comment

by:archaic0
ID: 20305896
I downloaded their trial, but it's failing to burn the boot cd.  Could it be a trial limit or maybe just doesn't like my writer?
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Author Comment

by:archaic0
ID: 20305974
Got it burned.  Will try it when the surface scan is finished.  over 50 percent through and no errors.  That make me think that there isn't any physical damage to this drive... does that sound plausible?
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Expert Comment

by:Mark
ID: 20305989
From your previous descriptions, I think the computer got a bang of some sort. That can lead to all kinds of anomolies on a hard drive as they are sensitive to g-forces.
The HDD regenerator trial will only repair the first damaged sector it finds. This may give you an indication whether it can help.
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Author Comment

by:archaic0
ID: 20306007
Well at the moment, there aren't any damaged sectors, but maybe just the partition table or FAT table is to blame.  What tools might repair those two things?
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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 83 total points
ID: 20307284
i would test the disk with the manuf's tool, it will give you it's status :  
http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
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by:Computer101
ID: 20943537
Forced accept.

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