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laptop sata hard drive not recognized

Posted on 2011-04-27
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi,

I have a hitachi hard drive from a toshiba laptop that recently was removed from the laptop coz it wouldnt start up due to a hardware failure according to a friend of mine who gave it to me to fix. Its an sata connection so i tried to connect it to slave connection of one of my  desktops and drive is recognized physically in bios and in windows but when i go to view it the drive reads as having 100% free space and files cant be seen on it.  First of all, is this even possible to do and is it possible that drive is not being read properly coz i am  viewing it from an xp machine and the drive had windows 7 on it? I just need to get the data on it so i can transfer to his new laptop, thanks.
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Question by:dankyle67
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by:rindi
ID: 35479217
You can scan it using getdataback, and if that tool finds the files register the utility to copy the data from it.

http://runtime.org
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Author Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 35479329
ok thanks will give it a try.  Do you think the drive is not recognized in drive management since it is windows7 laptop and i am  viewing it on an xp machine?  
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Expert Comment

by:NuttingCDEF
ID: 35479347
I've had good results getting data back from corrupted discs using DiskInternals Partition Recovery.
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by:dankyle67
ID: 35479529
ok i ran the getdataback utility and it identified the drive but when it went to scan it, kept getting i/o errors and then the pc shutdown few minutes into the process.  Most likely the drive is damaged it would guess or any other ideas?  thanks.
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by:David
David earned 400 total points
ID: 35479722
just to be sure, you're not BOOTING this disk, right?  

Also, so you know, this process DOES destroy data and make it effectively impossible to ever recover again.  Reason is that this will reallocate bad sectors. If a pro gets the disk and $500+ from you, then they can most likely get 100% of the data.

Just keep that in mind. You are going to be left with anywhere from 0-95% of what is on the disk, and this is a ONE-WAY trip.
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Author Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 35479766
No not booting from disk or else i would not have been able to download the utility.  My question again is in theory, does connecting this laptop sata hd on a desktop make any difference or would putting it into an external laptop drive case make more sense?  I've done this with regular desktop drives and no problem but never attempted this before however the hitachi drive is recognized by the bios and windows explorer but it says drive is not formatted do you want to format when trying to double click on it.  
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by:dankyle67
ID: 35479778
also, wanted to calrify that when you said process will destroy data, did you mean if i tried booting to it or something else?  thanks
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by:David
ID: 35479847
A bit over-simplified as there are other permutations, but this is most likely ...

THe disk doen't show data, but does show make/model information.  Make/model info can be queried with the disk spun down.  You don't even need to have a working motor to get that.  In your case MM appears, so you can pretty much eliminate all of the electronics.  This leaves media & motors.  If it was motor, bearings or something like that, you would most likely hear something.

Since you get "no data",  then either the first few partitioning blocks were unreadable, and were either zeroed or are still unreadable , but if that was the case, then the getdataback would skip right over it and show you at least pieces of files.  

Very, very high probability this is a total loss. One way to make it 100% sure ...Does capacity in BIOS report as Zero?  If so, 100% probability of data failure, so a recovery lab is ONLY alternative open to you, and if you don't have $500+ then throw disk in trash can and move on.

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Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 1600 total points
ID: 35481369
you can view the data of a W7 disk from an XP system
best connect the disk directly,  not via USB
some freeware recovery softs and 1 commercial:
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm      pc Inspector -FREE -
      http://www.piriform.com/recuva/download/standard            FREE  -  Recuva
http://www.stellarinfo.com/                              Stellar

i have also used HDDRegenerator with good results : http://www.dposoft.net/
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Author Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 35482653
In the bios the drive reads as 500g in capacity so at least theres a possibility data can still be recovered. I will try some of the suggestions from nobus, thanks. So it doesnt matter that the drive is a laptop drive and installed directly on a desktop sata connection internally?  
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by:David
ID: 35482841
It must be connected directly.  Just because it reports capacity doesn't mean that there is at least a reasonable chance.  The deal is if it DOESN'T report capacity, that there is zero chance.   You need a recovery lab if you want your data.  
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Author Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 35483288
Ran the pcinspector software on the drive and could view the data.  This is obviously a good sign since all the other utilities i tried before cant even open or view any drive information.  I can see all the windows folders and documents and settings etc.  Will run the file recovery feature now and see what happens.  Much cheaper than the 500 for recovery lab if it works.  The data is not that critical anyway my friend said so really doing this to see if i will have a good utility for down the road when data is important for one of my clients.  Will let you know if it works.
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by:nobus
ID: 35483986
note that - even after recovering all data- you 'll have to open it in order to see if it is actually ok.
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Author Comment

by:dankyle67
ID: 35484258
Hi, just finished the recovery using pcinspector and was able to get all the documents and pictures.  Yes i did check it to make sure it was ok and copied it to another drive and will give back to my friend later today,  He will be pretty happy i'm sure thanks to your help.  This software worked and was free, not a bad deal.  I will probably buy the full version as it also monitors your drive to warn you of impending drive failure which is always better than waiting for the actual disaster to strike.  thanks again for all the help!
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 35484326
Most BIOS have an option (S.M.A.R.T.) which can be turned on and off. If that is turned on you get those same warnings whenever you boot the PC. If there is no such option, and the PC isn't really old, you can assume it is turned on anyway. So for that you don't really need an extra software utility which has to run in the background and eat resources. Also, SMART isn't capable of catching all faults, some drives will just stop working in one blink and not warn you before hand.
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by:nobus
ID: 35484992
did you get all your files OK?
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