HELP!! Hard Drive Issues

I have a Western Digital Hard Drive that I need to get some photos off of. The laptop it came out of will not boot so I took it out & put it in a external HD enclosure. My Win 7 computer will recongnize the recovery partition for a few minutes then it will recognize the main partition & ask to format the drive then a few seconds later, boom both partitions go away with no error. If I go into computer mgt & then disk mgt, I see the 280gb drive but it will not initialize, i get the error "cyclical disk error" when I try to initialize it. I have the EaseUS Data Recovery software I normally get data off of drive with but it has to recognize the hard drive to mount I at a loss with this drive or can someone recommend any other way for me to get the data off with some type of software?
LVL 15
Who is Participating?
Emmanuel AdebayoConnect With a Mentor Global Windows Infrastructure Engineer - ConsultantCommented:
This CRC (cyclic redundancy check) error is usually encountered when trying to read data from a damaged disk. In your case it might be that the surface is scatched or dirty.

Were you able to run chkdsk /R command.

Check the state of the drive by download WD's data lifeguard utility from this will report if there is any issue with drive.

You can use JFileRecovery
You can try It may be that you'll have to consider using a software data recovery company. Depends on how much you want your data recovered
Christopher Jay WolffWiggle My Legs, OwnerCommented:
In the days of yore, I was taught how to use DOS Norton Utilities for disk recovery, because it used to do sector by sector reading and writing any where you like.  You could change one bit if you wanted to (and could do the math), and displayed split pane view of HEX and ASCII of your disk.  It also used to have the option for best guess on file recovery when FAT was damaged so you could still reassemble your files.   Here are some with yours included.  I've not used them yet.  Maybe someone else here has.  If it were me I'd try DiskPatch and Disk Repair.  Heard a lot of good things about Acronis.

Sometimes you have to disassemble the drive and actually repair the armature or something.  Some "clean room"  companies will take the platters out for you, and mount in another drive to recovery any magnetic data still on the platters.  I'm looking at this for an old drive of mine.  Cost is about $700, if they get data.

It may also be worth contacting WD as some OEMs offer data recovery.
Christopher Jay WolffWiggle My Legs, OwnerCommented:
I forgot to mention I had a friend who disassembled his own drive without a "clean room" on his home basement workbench, fixed the armature or a broken wire or something, reassembled it and it worked for another few months he said.  Good enough for data recovery.
btanExec ConsultantCommented:
Pls clone the target HDD before any of the recovery attempt, have a write blocker or minimally do not have write to this HDD anymore, take it offline. Work on the cloned version but if there is hard ware failure then the cloning is likely not even accurate.

suggest check out the testdisk which is specialised in recovery of "lost" partition. Please see the step by step

If this hard disk's primary partition contained an operating system, it would most likely no longer boot up - due to its corrupted boot sector. If the hard disk was a secondary (data) drive or you can connect the drive to another computer in its secondary channel (usually where a CD/DVD drive is connected), the following symptoms would be observed:

Windows Explorer or Disk Manager displays the first primary partition as raw (unformatted) and Windows prompts: The drive is not formatted, do you want to format it now?

[You should never do so without knowing why!]
A logical partition is missing. In Windows Explorer, that logical drive is no longer available. The Windows Disk Management Console now displays only "unallocated space" where this logical partition had been located.

Another is the PhotoRec searches for known file headers. If there is no data fragmentation, which is often the case, it can recover the whole file. PhotoRec recognizes and recovers numerous file formats including ZIP, Office, PDF, HTML, JPEG and various graphics file formats. It also come with step by step to recover deleted files or lost data from a reformatted partition or corrupted file system.
Christopher Jay WolffWiggle My Legs, OwnerCommented:
LOL!!  Those look like good ones.  He even put in a "Paranoid" setting I saw on  PhotoRec!!
btanExec ConsultantCommented:
Yap that is more of trust but verify :)
also to share testdisk there is the "Deeper Search" to extend scan into each HDD cylinder. "Normally", if the system is too badly damaged to be repaired or to allow file undeletion, then have to go into PhotoRec.

See its support page to further get help. there is also an supporting forum for these tools
Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
If you're still reading from the damaged hdd, you're most probably killing it and reducing your chances that professional help will be able to recover data.

If the data is not important and you want to try your hand at recovery, clone the hdd and play away.
The best tool available for recovering data is getdataback (, but it will act the same as the one you have tried using now.

Install the disk internally, and not via a USB device. that reduces extra problems that such a device can introduce. If you still have problems, and the data really is valuable and worth the $$$'s, send the disk to a professional recovery agency, as anything you try will reduce the chance of recovery.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
If the drive connected internally wont be detected properly then stop all attempts to get the drive fixed by yourself. You risk to make things worse. Get to the data recovery shop nearby and let them recover your data in a clean lab. They will find exactly same drive to take the parts from and replace the logical board with working one. Since then it must be possible to recover the data.
The description of your problem to me sounds like a physical problem with the hard disk, and not a logical corruption of the data or partitions.

If that's true, then all of the suggestions here telling you to run chkdsk, clone the disk, or run various recovery utilities are hurting you more than they are helping. The disk is damaged. None of these utilities can help you if the hard disk is failing to physically read the data off the patters.

If you care about the data you need to send it in to a data recovery company that can safely disassemble the disk in a clean room and recover the data off the platters. It's going to cost you around a thousand dollars, give or take.

Anything else you are just tinkering with the disk, further damaging it and slowly destroying your chances of recovery.
i agree with Frosty here
if the data is needed, you have to fork out money
here some links of data recovery services, ask for their recovery policy and fee :                        data recovery Company                                 "           "                   "                     "           "                   "
Christopher Jay WolffWiggle My Legs, OwnerCommented:
Everyone is telling the truth, but I wanted Wantabe2 to understand options.  At the risk of piling on, I want to clarify what I was beating around the bush with earlier.

A good explanation of growing defects on hard disks that cause CRC errors is...

The old old Norton Utilities had to ability to allow the user to add a grown defect to the bad sector map when the drive doesn't get it done, if you know what you're doing, although you lose one file, or part of one file.  So if Wantabe2's disk can be seen and not initialized, it's possible his CRC error is a grown defect in his boot area.  If a disk utility has the right abilities, it allows the user to give read and write commands on a sector basis, and allows control of the armature like "Park the head," "Move the head," etc.  

Currently I cannot test the above programs as my Windows laptop is down, and I'm using a Surface RT with ARM.  Does anyone know one of the above programs has this ability? It would be great to know.  I found one in beta for MAC about 5 years ago, but haven't seen one for Windows since the old old Norton.

Thanks for listening.
Christopher Jay WolffWiggle My Legs, OwnerCommented:
And if you go outside, these people claim to offer free analysis and if they don't recover data there is no fee.  They are the US rep for Global Data Recovery Alliance.
wantabe could you please share the resolution or outcome with us?
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.