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External Hard Drive Recovery

I have western digital hard drive that was inside of an external enclosure.  The USB port on said enclosure is broken.  I have hooked it up to 2 different computers and I can see the partitions but I cannot assign drive letters.

I found this so far on the internet:
 
http://superuser.com/questions/624830/drive-and-all-partitions-detected-in-disk-management-but-assigning-a-drive-lett

The second reply in that posting talks about how the controller card for the external enclosure has some of the geometry or partition table info or MBR and I want to know how to get around that.

I have
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ingeniious
Asked:
ingeniious
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3 Solutions
 
pgm554Commented:
OS and size of drive.
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ingeniiousAuthor Commented:
1.5TB and Windows 8.1  

Were you able to read the 2nd reply on that posting?   Pretty sure that is the issue, that the controller card for the external enclosure has some of data that is needed but I of course cannot use that.
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pgm554Commented:
W8 does some goofy stuff with new drives at times because of the security features .
Also check out the bios settings on your win 8 machine and see if they are in legacy sata and not uefi.
Try getting a Linux distro boot disk and see if you can access the partitions that way as a test.
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ingeniiousAuthor Commented:
Thank you, I will try that.
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ingeniiousAuthor Commented:
No joy, Ubuntu and Windows 7 both resulted in same results.  I can see the partition but I cannot assign it a drive letter and access it. Like something is wrong with the partition table. I tried using TestDisk and that did not help either.

I think my only solution is to delete the paritions, create 1 new one and then use RecoverMyFiles to recover data.
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pgm554Commented:
Don't delete anything or recreate ,I would just run the recovery as raw first.

Have you tried downloading WD tools and running their hardware tests?

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=612&sid=3
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garycaseCommented:
You do NOT want to delete anything -- that can complicate recovery significantly.

Attach the drive to a SATA port on another (preferably NON-W8) system, and boot to a demo copy of Boot-It BM [boot to the CD; select CANCEL, then OK; then click on Partition Work]; and post the EXACT details of what it shows for the current partition structure on the disk.    This will likely provide the clues needed to access it.

To create a bootable CD, just download the demo; extract the files; and run the included MakeDisk program.   http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-bare-metal.htm
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nobusCommented:
did you run the WD diag on that drive?  please do so first
http://support.wdc.com/download/#diagutils
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noxchoCommented:
Take a screen shot of Windows Disk Management with the drive connected and post it here.
Also, connect the drive - run GetDataBack http://runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm
and let it scan the volumes on the drive. You do not need to delete the partitions and create new one for data recovery purpose.
As for the link you gave with the post. If the HDD is 3TB then you could consider these answers reasonable because the enclosure has its own driver to emulate the GPT structure. But with 1.5TB disk it is not needed. So most possibly you have partition structure corruption and it is recommended that you copy out the data (if possible) as soon as possible.
Give a chance to GetDataBack. It is pretty smart.
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ingeniiousAuthor Commented:
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ingeniiousAuthor Commented:
Doing a RecoverMyFiles on it and appears to be finding most of the partition as the files have names instead of LostFile9228827.jpg etc.  

Doing this, copying it off, then remaking the partition and testing the hard drive seems to be the easiest.  Thank you for all your comments!
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nobusCommented:
for data Recovery, i found the best  -by far -  is getdataback   http://www.runtime.org/
run the trial, and see what it finds - normally, it keeps the file names
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pgm554Commented:
second get data back.
saved my butt many a time
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garycaseCommented:
Sounds like you're recovering everything okay, so no need to complicate things by suggesting other approaches at this point.    Post back if things change -- remember that the #1 rule of data recovery is DO NOT WRITE to the disk you're trying to recover from ... anything you recover should be written to a DIFFERENT disk.   I presume that's what you're doing with RecoverMyFiles.
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nobusCommented:
i suppose it's not ok, since he said :  and appears to be finding most of the partition as the files have names instead of LostFile9228827.jpg etc
that's why i suggested GDB
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garycaseCommented:
He said the files have names -- NOT just "LostFile..." designations.   In other words, it's recovering the files :-)
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noxchoCommented:
pgm554 - why second? Thirds :) Or do only I see my own comment?
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skullnobrainsCommented:
i'm pretty curious no know what happened with a non-windows OS. the author claims to have used ubuntu. obviously "cannot assign a drive letter" does not apply. gparted should produce decent information.
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ingeniiousAuthor Commented:
I used Ubuntu Live CD and was not able to access the drive in any way nor see it in gparted.  Using recover my files was able to see the lost partitions and recover the data with their files names, that I then recovered off that drive, deleted and recreated partitions, tested the drive and put the data back on.  Thank you for all your help!! :-)
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ingeniiousAuthor Commented:
Thank you so much for your help! :-)
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skullnobrainsCommented:
thanks for sharing your experience. i assume that enclosure stores information (likely RAID data or drive ID) at the beginning of the drive and hence the partition table ends up pushed one or a few sectors away from the regular place. it's always a pain to find external enclosures that don't do such foolish things. good to see you got the data back
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