Wierd Hard Drive Problem

I have got a 300GB Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm SATA hard drive that i am trying to recover data off of.  I ran a bunch of Hardware tests before determining that this drive was failing and all the test came back good.  I then proceeded to boot up with a Live CD in hopes of recovering the customers data and even the Live CD Crashes.

So i fully remove the drive and put it in an ESATA dock that i have and as soon as my computer tries to access anything on the drive,  Mine blue screens and restarts.  The following is the errors that i am getting regardless of what system the drive is in.

Problem signature:
  Problem Event Name:      BlueScreen
  OS Version:      6.1.7600.
  Locale ID:      1033

Additional information about the problem:
  BCCode:      50
  BCP1:      FFFFF98005980000
  BCP2:      0000000000000000
  BCP3:      FFFFF8800125F340
  BCP4:      0000000000000000
  OS Version:      6_1_7600
  Service Pack:      0_0
  Product:      768_1

Normally i would just tell the customer that the data is unrecoverable but i have never seen a drive act quite like this and would just like to know if any one knows.

Like always, any ideas will help, and thanks ahead of time.
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Failing drives can do just about anything, from sending bad information to certain ATA commands, to locking up on others.  People put way too much confidence in the ability for add-on software to repair bad hardware.   Data is not "unrecoverable".  It is unrecoverable via software that interfaces with the SATA port in your case.  A professional recovery firm done by a lab who has the appropriate equipment can certainly get data back.

You need to suggest professional recovery services.
david1986Author Commented:
Ok.  I will keep that in mind.  They just paid to have data recovery from their 1TB External drive so i don't think they will want to go that rout again.  any idea as to why it would cause the blue screen.  I have a recovery dock that i use, so when the HD is hooked to my system, my system is already up and running.  I flip the power switch to the dock and just about like clock work about 5 seconds and boom theres the blue screen and restart.

Like i said, i figure that there was no way to get the data back with out sending it off but still curious as to what exactly is causing this BSOD
madunix IT Specialist Commented:
look @ wiki
it could be device drivers or malfunctioning hardware, incompatible DLLs or bugs in the kernel physical faults such as faulty memory,  overheating ..etc

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Some eSATA devices/controllers go through a nasty protocol conversion, or worse, have embedded RAID.  You need to make 100% sure that nothing is converted, no commands are being spoofed, and there is no SATA->SCSI bridging functions.

The native drivers are simply not capable of dealing with all permutations of errors.  They are only designed to provide a stable O/S in event the hardware is working fine.  So gut feeling, unless you have a bridge chip that is doing some translations somewhere, then you need to write this one off as a situation where you need to interface the drive to a diagnostic board (cost around $10000) and software to even understand the nature of the problem.  

It could be something as simple as voltage level is too high due to a component failure.
david1986Author Commented:
Is it possible it's a software issue -- i.e. attempting to load a system file that is causing issues?

The reason I ask is that the hardware diagnostic tests pass...

I'm just not sure that the hard drive is truly even bad.

Any ideas?
No, hardware diagnostics do not necessarily pass ... just the diagnostics you ran passed.   Boy if I had a nickel for every time somebody said diagnostics passed, when, in fact, the HDD had a problem that was not picked up by the diagnostics they ran ... :)

Did you even run the firmware-based extended background self test, or perform full destructive read/write media test, dump out all the SMART error logs ?
madunix IT Specialist Commented:
get knoppix live CD and rescue the data
.. and I just *know* you haven't hooked up a digital oscilloscope and made sure that you weren't getting sawtooth or sine waves intermixed with the square signal waves that would indicate something as basic as a  capacitance (likely power supply or voltage regulator) issue to a clocking problem which means the board has to be replaced.

Software-based diagnostics are an important part of the recovery toolkit, but they can only take you so far.
This is what I would try:  

Connect the drive directly into a running computer, preferably running XP Pro - at least SP2.  (USB translators are not equipped to handle drive problems as well ans the system Bios.)  Make sure that the sata port you plug it into is a higher number that your boot drive is plugged into so it doesn't try to boot on the bad drive.  Boot the computer and before the OS boots, go into the bios setup and make sure the drive shows up in there.  Some Bios' let you chose which drive to boot from - Make sure you are not booting from the "bad" drive.  Save & restart.

Let Windows boot, it may say it needs to repair a drive - Let it do the repair if it does.  It will probably take a while - 15 min - 1.5 hours.  Then try to access it with win-Explorer.  If it doesn't show up in win-explorer, R-click on My Computer and go into Manage, Storage, Disk Management and see if it show up there.  If it does then you can assign a drive letter from there (R-click on the drive and Change Drive letter).  Then try to access it.

One more item to be aware of - When the drive is plugged into computer do not mount it into the computer - just have an insulator - card stock, small-bubble wrap, anti-static bag -  to rest it on.
When the computer is turned on:

1) Is there a rhythmical clicking coming from the drive?  If so, self recovery is probably not possible.

2) Does the drive not seen to spin-up or is delayed in spinning-up?  If so, hold the drive in one hand while turning on the computer.  Just when the computer's fans come on, quickly twist the drive to the right and then back as fast as you can (about 1-2 inches measured at an outside corner of the drive) - kind of a twisting jerk.  You should feel it spin up.  Then check it in the bios & windows as described above.  

Sometimes hard drives going bad have a hard time spinning up.  This motion will help the disk "break free" from the stopped position and spin up before it times out.  Just make sure that the drive does not hit anything solid when you do this (like the computer case) and you have enough cable length to do this without disconnecting one.  This sounds crazy but many times it works.

The drive may fail to get past any one of these steps and if it does,  you probably need to look into professional recovery.  At least you will have done all you can with what you have.

Good luck!


Firmin FrederickSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
Hi David! I'm liking the comments left for you I'm hoping I'm no too late to add my 2 pennies worth?!

I notice from your original post you're quoting from what appears to be event logs? Presumably after the BSOD, you've disconnected the HDD in question, booted into Windows and then checked the logs?  Therefore you are unable to access this drive IN Windows?

Thing is:

1. Bad sectors throw up BSOD errors such as page fault, bad IO, unable to read sector, CHKDSK thows up orpaned files and bad sectors the list goes on

2. a "clunking" or "clicking" HDD is usually indicative of head crash or bad sectors

3. continuously "attempting" to spin up but visible in BIOS or visible in BIOS but not spinning is likely to be a failing/failed controller board

4. BSOD while Windows loads because of errors talking to the firmware of the HDD is indicative of corrupt or failed firmware/controller board - take note of the BSOD message may will indicate what the problem MAY be

5. booting a Linux live OS with the HDD as SATA 1 or higher (not 0) may give you an environment less sensitive to the faulty HDD and allow you to run native Linux HDD tools and lots of Linux pre-installed Environment boot disks have loads of HDD test tools

So data recovery from a drive with bad sectors = specialised/professional (sorry customer) most of the other scenarios CAN potentially be resolved by replacing the controller board either from the manufacturer (good luck) or from buying an identical working drive with a manufacture date within 2 weeks of the drive in question (something I read/saw on the internet)

I hope this gives you some food for thought.
Out of curiousity, was the drive exhibiting the same behaviour (BSOD and restart) in the customers computer?

I do not know if your Esata dock uses power drawn from your computer's power supply or a power supply of its own (as you said it occurs about 5 seconds after you flicked the switch I am guessing it has its own power supply.  As a troubleshooting step, I would try to power the HDD from a source other than the computers own powersupply eg, external powered USB case (if you are not doing this already).
I would be either running windows with up to date antivirus software on the computer, or some sort of bootable recovery CD with utilities (like BartPE).  I have had these sort of problems (reboots when connected directly to the motherboard in the past with some old IDE drives and was not able to access them until I connected to them this way.  I had suspected in these disks the circuitry may not have been 100%, and may have been putting a bit of current or electrical signal down the power connector to cause the reboots.  

I would also hold down the shift key while you plug the disk in (USB), to stop autoplay running, in case there is some malware doing an autorun to trigger the problem.

I would also try it running windows in safe mode before attaching the drive.

I would also be better to get the actual stop error message (rather that what is in the event log).  To get this you need to stop the coputer rebooting after a BSOD so you have time to snap a photo, or write it down.  You can change the setting in Control Panel

In Control Panel > System > Advanced system settings, (on the left), Accept the "Windows will need your permission to continue" if it appears, then click the Settings button under "Startup and recovery". In the new window, remove the tick for "Automatically restart" under System failure.

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david1986Author Commented:
I never did pinpoint the exact problem, but the steps given were great for troubleshooting.
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