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External 3TB Hard Drive Corrupt Files

Posted on 2014-11-13
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Last Modified: 2016-06-26
I have a 3TB Western Digital hard drive which I can view all the file/folders on yet when i open any of the files regardless of file type it states the file maybe corrupt.

In Windows 7 I ran a chkdks from the command-line which did repair some index yet it error out stating it was not able to recover the MBR table due to lack of space. Yet 1.5GB of free space is on the drive.

1) Does an external drive have an MBR?
2) Are they an GPT tools in windows which I should use?
3)  I was able to open some files after the chkdks but not all of them
4) It sounds like the partition table is messed up is my only option to use a recovery software..

suggestions...
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Question by:compdigit44
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dbrunton earned 167 total points
ID: 40441582
>>  1) Does an external drive have an MBR?

Yes.  Or a GPT.

>>  3)  I was able to open some files after the chkdks but not all of them

Were the contents of the file you were able to open OK?  Or some parts OK and others bad?

>>  4) It sounds like the partition table is messed up is my only option to use a recovery software.

Something is screwed but not necessarily the partition table.  

Try the Western Digital software Western Digital DataGuard http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=612&sid=3 and let it test and diagnose your disk.  Short test first and if that proves OK then do the long test.

If that proves OK you can try software like GetDataBack https://www.runtime.org/  Free to try and you pay if you want full functionality.  Trying it may give you an idea of what is wrong with the disk (assuming the Western Digital tests prove OK.

Now do you have any idea of what happened before this disk started playing up?
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by:epichero22
ID: 40441590
I would try running Recuva on it:

https://www.piriform.com/recuva

See what you can retrieve.
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by:Merete
ID: 40441747
I've seen similar with one of WD My Book, does your drive create a virtual CD rom as well.
When you plug it look Computer.
When I bought it I didnt realize there are different USB WD. I'll never but a WD My Book again.
Windows has trouble with some of these and will flag it as bad for no reason.
Could be how the USB releases " the safely remove,"
 it takes longer for windows to release the 3 terrabyte, could be background indexing or anti virus software scanning it.
I bought get data back ntfs for this reason, stung by windows I fully recovered all my files then let windows run a quick format .
It now runs fine but I still have my get data back, it's one way guaranteed to always have access to these drives just incase.
Every drive I saved from all my old computers has passed through Get Data Back successfully.
It has a full functioning trial to test.
https://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm

One question inside these folders how many folders are inside folders? How deep do they go?
Is this windows 7? no long names issues?
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 40441972
" Yet 1.5GB of free space is on the drive."

You realize that's about 0.05% of the disk space free??  Your recovery software really has little chance of backing up files and writing repairs to the drive without damaging some of the existing data.
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by:nobus
ID: 40442036
is the drive external, or internal connected?
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 167 total points
ID: 40442130
CHKDSK does not repair MBR. Maybe it was referring to MFT? If yes then your data is corrupt and there is almost no way to repair it. As MFT corruption is a really bad sign.
Does the "bad file" notification come on all files? Are you able to copy these files to another drive and try to open them from there?
If it does not work on other drives as well - then I guess you need to reformat the drive.
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by:Eirman
ID: 40442344
Is the any way you can open the caddy and remove the drive?

Many of these more recent caddies are spot welded together and you may need some to use a drill
and some other tools to force it open.
WARNING: This mechanical vibration could make matters worse, so consider it as a last resort.

If you can connect the bare drive direct  to a PC with a sata cable you may have more success
with the earlier suggestions.
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by:compdigit44
ID: 40442533
Great replies everyone yes i was referring to the MFT. If this is an external USB volmne, how can it have an MBR/MFT?

If I were feel up space, do you think CHkdsk would be able to fix the MFT?
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by:noxcho
ID: 40442600
MBR is a Master Boot Record which contains the information about the partitions. Their type, size and file system they are formatted in.
The similar to MBR partitioning types are GPT and Dynamic disk types.
MFT is a Meta File Table. It contains information about the data bits allocation in the file system. MBR refers to the whole disk and MFT refers to the file system of a partition.

So one drive can have one MBR. But one drive can have more than one partition and each partition will have its MFT.

The problems with MFT are normally the worst problems you could have with file system. MFT has information where and which bits of data are stored on the file system.
What you can do in this case is to avoid using CHKDSK at all. Try to take full RAW image of the whole drive and then mount this image as virtual disk. Try to run CHKDSK on it. But not on original drive yet.
How important is the data on this drive for you?
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by:compdigit44
ID: 40442674
Thanks for the reply...  So the MFT can exist on a GPT good to know.

HOw would make the external drive a VDisk help to run chkdsk? What about recover softewar like others have mentioned.
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by:noxcho
ID: 40442703
Data Recovery Software looks as well in MFT for the data allocation. Otherwise it will see only blocks of data with no way to see what type of this data is. Like if you have a .jpeg file of 9MB which is saved in different sectors - the MFT contains information where are all blocks located.
Depending on MFT corruption you can have either some chances to recover the data or no chances at all.
In any case it is worth trying to run GetDataBack on this partition. www.runtime.org
Get a trial version and let it scan the drive. If it finds data which is readable then you are lucky.
If you take a copy of your physical drive and mount the image as virtual disk then you can try on it various fixes like CHKDSK /f.
The good thing is that these changes will not be done to original drive and thus somehow the changes of CHKDSK are revertable. In short - the "fixes" should be applied to image but not to the physical drive. If the fix works on VDisk then you can apply it to physical drive as well.
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by:compdigit44
ID: 40442728
so data recovery at this point is  very slim... ??
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by:noxcho
ID: 40442793
Sorry to say this but yes. Anyway, you do not need to give up yet. That's why I asked you - is this data really important? If yes - then try it with GetDataBack, you can also try to open the box and connect the drive directly hoping that problem is in USB board of the drive. But if the drive is still in warranty then do not do this.
If data is not important and you can live without it - reformat the drive via Windows Disk Management. For future - clone the data to another disk as well. Such problems are not avoidable, unfortunately.
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by:marsilies
marsilies earned 166 total points
ID: 40442958
Download HDDScan and run a S.M.A.R.T. report on the drive. If any attributes show up as red, the drive is failing:
http://hddscan.com/

If the data on the drive is very important, and you have no backups, I'd stop messing with the physical drive and make an image of it ASAP. To make an image, you'll need a drive with more capacity to store the image, so likely a 4TB drive.

To make an image, you'll want to make a RAW or "full" image of the drive with all sectors.

I've normally used ddrescue from a Linux live CD for this:
http://www.forensicswiki.org/wiki/Ddrescue

However, this can be intimidating for some users. I've never used it myself, but it looks like HDClone offers a similar "SafeRescue" mode on their Basic and above versions:
http://www.miray-software.com/products/applications/hdclone.html
http://www.miray-software.com/public/documents/HDClone_5.0.3_Manual.pdf

Some other options include HDD Raw Copy Tool, DataRescue's DD, and Roadkil's Raw Copy, although none of these appear to have imaging methodologies as robust as ddrescue's and HDClone's.


OSFMount is freeware that can mount of raw image files in Windows:
http://www.osforensics.com/tools/mount-disk-images.html
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by:nobus
ID: 40443064
you can also try HDDRegenerator, it has fixed many drives for me : http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html
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by:compdigit44
ID: 40443146
Thank for all the great replies everyone!!!
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