Portable Hard Disk issue - corrupted - need free repair!

Okay, trying to help out a Student, he had an LG external USB hard disk, which he reported 3 months ago, was giving him crc errrors, he did not take advice at this point, and back it up, then he dropped it and broke the usb external connector, and since, it displays the following

I have removed and placed in a SATA 2.5" to USB converter and the following appears.

Issue:-

1. Windows reports, You need to format the disk in drive H: before you can use it?

Do you want to format it?

See screenshotFormat Disk?
2. Location is not available

see screenshot

location
3.  Chkdsk does not fix, and reports:-

The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is LG External HDD Drive.
Corrupt master file table. Windows will attempt to recover
master file table from disk.
Windows cannot recover master file table.  CHKDSK aborted.

I have tried lots of software to try and recover files and folders, to no avail. I've tried ZAR 9.2, GetDataback for FAT and NTFS, R-Studio, Recuva, Reflect, testdisk.

Please post comments and suggestions, and any software you have personally tested.

No Google Monkeys here please!

Points awarded for software that recovers the files and folders for FREE.

This student does not have any cash to purchase software to recover files, and we are not funding this exercise, other than the free pro bono support already given.

It is very possible that this disk is beyond recovery, and these options of sending the disk to Kroll Ontrack have been suggested to Student, however, it's unlikely he will have the thousands of pounds needed to perform this recovery.
LVL 128
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAsked:
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Sorry, you have 100% data loss.  Going rate is $500 - $1000, not thousands of dollars.
Even powering it up adds further risk.

Kroll  is extremely expensive.  Pretty much every large city has local data recovery firms these days, and you should be able to find a much better deal with a local firm.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
David, Thanks for your time to respond.

Unfortunately, this student has no cash, for recovery, we suggested this approach before, we had a look at the issue, and "check" if any FREE software could recover his files.

Most local firms in our area (cowboys!), that he spoke to would offer the same deal, but they would charge him, an hourly rate, to use free software from the web!

One local firm, suggested they would charge £45 an hour, minimum of 4 hours, with no guarantee of recovery, and would use  R-Studio, and also charge him for the software!!!!
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GustaveteCommented:
use the program "7-data card recovery" ,
Works perfect for me!! , you need to recovery all the data and then format the disk, there is not another way...

good luck!!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
@Gustavete

Not tried that one, I'll give it a go....

It's NOT FREE!!!

Please see OP!
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DavidPresidentCommented:
A dropped hard drive that previously gave CRC errors that says it needs to be formatted isn't likely to be repairable with software.  Software can't fix heads that are no longer aligned.  Software can't fix little pieces of ferromagnetic material that are probably bouncing around inside the sealed canister.

Running the HDD and attempting recovery with any software risks a head crash and damaging the drive to the extent it can't be recovered, even by a pro.  If there is no way you will ever be able to do professional recovery, then go for it.

Just be warned that not only are the odds against you, but this HDD should never be trusted with data again because it was dropped to the point where it "lost" the data to begin with.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
@dlethe Yes, Student has been informed of such.

Only recovery is required if possible, disk will be destroyed afterwards.

even if some files can be recovered, but it's looking unlikely, hence my post here, so state to student, "Best Experts in the World" have also advised this!

Tough Luck and Sorry, you should have made a backup!
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
In my opinion, if the heads are damaged, you may further damage the platters by turning it on.

It sounds like you don't have much more to lose. Why not try buying an identical replacement on Ebay, open both units up and swap the platters.  Connect the new one to a Pc and see if it reads the old platters.

Yes, the chances are slim it will work, but it may be the lowest priced option you have.

Let me know if it works.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
@TG-TIS, Yes I would, if the student wanted to part with any CASH, he does not!
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DavidPresidentCommented:
The student has no cash and wants somebody to fix the drive for free?  OK, I'll write what everybody is thinking ...

This student needs to get a part-time job.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Yes, hence why we said, we would "look" quickly, because we are good like that!

Student on a Student VISA, and cannot work legally in the UK! e.g. he is here to study, and hence any employment, would be a breach of his UK VISA!
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Without any cash, I don't see a way to recover the data. It's too bad a backup was not taken.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Yes, agreed, just wondered, if anyone had come across a super free software product which works!
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DavidPresidentCommented:
A person on a UK educational visa is allowed to work 20 hours/week during the term and 40 hours/week during holidays.  

Source:
http://www.workpermit.com/uk/student.htm
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
@dlethe I'll mention to him get a job, but I think his VISA conditions are different!

Anyway, no cash, very little can be done.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
P.S. the nature of the problem absolutely eliminates any consumer recovery software. Those products make sense with filesystem corruption due to a small number of unrecoverable read errors.

This HDD was dropped and unless the drive is fine and only managed to destroy physical block #0  (Odds are hundreds of billions to one against) then the HDD needs the guys in bunny suits and a recovery lab.

(Yes, have him check into the visa.  Obviously this is just a web site and rules vary.

But this HDD would likely fall under educational expenses/school supplies, so I expect even if there were Draconian conditions, a human in the Visa office would throw him a bone and agree that a job with the intent of purchasing a replacement HDD would be reasonable waiver)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
@dlethe You've not met our UK Border Agency folk, if you do not have exactly £7,500 GBP in your bank account, at VISA application, e.g. 1p short, and you application is rejected!

If Students do not regular sign register every day, they risk being evicted from the UK!

Student get's no expenses or scholarshop,  Student is self funding University Course!
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JohnnyCanuckCommented:
One option you can try is to use Clonezilla to clone the drive to another drive.  Clonezilla will continue cloning even if if encounters a bad sector.  Once cloned you can try recovery on the newer drive.  The newer drive must be larger than the original drive.  Get Clonezilla here -

http://clonezilla.org/

Instructions here - follow disk to disk instructions.

http://www.clonezilla.org/clonezilla-live-doc.php

If Clonezilla won't do it, then the drive is a write off.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
I've currently attached direct to SATA interface and I'm imaging but there are many errors...it states 93 hours to complete a 320gb  disk not sure much data will be recovered if any.
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nobusCommented:
what i would do is this :
- connect the disk directly to a sata cable, not over usb...
- then run the disk diagnostic for the disk model; you can find these on the ubcd :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD
 i suggest the UBCD  to run some diags first - to be sure about the basics
go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
 
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page


to be complete, here's how i handle bad drives :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Okay some success, I noticed that the disk appeared to get very hot, so using some freezer spray, it would seem this would "calm down the disk" and the disk was able to be read better, and recovery could be made of files (with no names, but better than nothing!). It soon started to heat up again, after freezer spray wore off, so we looked for a solution to cool the disk permanently whilst connected to PC!

later we dumped the disk in a small freezer fridge, to cool the disk down to 1/2 degrees C, this appeared to be successful and gave us a good read, and we managed surface scan, of entire disk in 2 hours, and recovered 80GB and 18,000 files using Testdisk. Some read errors were detected by not as many, when it was hot.

So a fridge freezer, and testdisk solved the day, Student is happy that some files have been recovered successfully, although he's got some sorting todo.
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nobusCommented:
...which would not be necessary if you spend some cash and use Getdataback  -the best i know..
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Student had no cash! he could spend other than on food!
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nobusCommented:
a student without cash  - that takes no advice  (3 monthes ago) is not worthy of help
better drown him...useless to help these out
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
this was in July 2013!

We are always very charitable! hence why we do EE!
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nobusCommented:
he had no money in 2013 - or he had this problem then?
sorry - i simply don't understand
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
this is an old posting.....just tidying up and closing.

see original post date. On 2013-10-09 11:03 AM
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nobusCommented:
oh jeez...never noticed that
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Hey no problems!
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nobusCommented:
yes -you have none - i have them it seems...
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