SSD Failed

Morning all. A problem I've been working on for a week to no avail. Last Friday, I awoke to find my computer (Win 8) frozen. I had to hard restart by holding down the front power button for 6 seconds in order to proceed. After that, I would progress to the 8.1 loading screen, but the circle of dots would just spin forever. I attempted to use a recovery USB to fix the MBR (which I assume was borked), but the recovery USB would not load. I then made a new install USB with Windows 8.1 (would not load, just would go to a black screen) and then with 10 (same issue). The drive, by the way, was recognized by the BIOS just fine and, when I wasn't trying to recover it, would go to the loading screen and just hang there. Of course, I couldn't get into safe mode, given the impossibility of doing so from a cold start.

I ended up pulling the SSD and putting it in an external enclosure and using another hard drive I had laying around as the bootable; windows 8.1 was installed and works fine on that hard drive (and has since been upgraded to 10, as I don't trust the other HDD anymore). I scanned the broken SSD with HDD regenerator (found no bad blocks). Recuva freezes when I select the disk to scan. In My Computer, I see the disk (divided into K and L), but when I try to open the disk, I get an error that the "location is not available" - screenshot attached. In disk management, when I try to convert to a dynamic disk, I get the error that "the operation is not supported by the object."

The drive is a Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) purchased new from Newegg 1/2011 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148348). I was running 8.1 pro when this happened, but the box has since been upgraded to 10 pro. Motherboard is an ASRock Z77 Extreme 6. Not sure what other information might be useful, so let me know what I can provide.

At this point , my main goal is to recover my outlook pst file and my dragon user files (so I don't have to re-train). Any thoughts? I appreciate any suggestions.
open-disk.jpg
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jkegPhysicianAsked:
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KimputerCommented:
Most recovery programs rely on the hardware working properly (or at least, just enough to access some bits). In your case, it's a pretty high level failure and I doubt even in a lab they could get much from it. A well proven data recovery company (hopefully no cure no pay) is your only way, and it will cost you dearly.
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jkegPhysicianAuthor Commented:
My question on that front would be why HDD Regenerator was able to see the disc and scan every sector, finding no problems, but no other program will even start to work with the disk. What is HDD Regenerator doing that the others aren't, cause it's accessing the disk?
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KimputerCommented:
That's a GOOD question! Only the writer of that program will be able to tell you that for sure.
It could be that some bug made the file system unreadable (because there were bytes written to it, but not the correct ones). That would mean, HDD generator test each individual block, while Recuva (and Windows of course), tries to interpret the content based on those few misplaces bytes, and doesn't know anymore what it means and just stops operation.
One way to test is to do a full format again, after which you may notice it's working again (writing/reading files). This is of course not an option you want.
Therefore, try a few more data recovery programs that DO NOT rely on the file system (raw scanning). To my knowledge, Testdisk does not require a file system (while Recuva does). Please try it first and report back: http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step
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jkegPhysicianAuthor Commented:
With testdisk, when I select the partition on the disk, I get the error, "Can't open filesystem. Filesystem seems damaged." Trying a deeper search to see if another partition structure will let me load the files...
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KimputerCommented:
If it loads the files, it should also be possible to recover the files! Have enough space on ANOTHER disk available.
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rindiCommented:
HD Regenerator shouldn't be run on SSD, only on conventional disks.

Use the SSD's manufacturer's diagnostic utility to check on it's status, and also check the firmware is up-to-date (most of those diagnostic will check the firmware revision and offer to upgrade it). Sometimes firmware upgrades can fix issues with SSD's.

If the diag tells you there are errors, and the firmware upgrade doesn't help, replace it, reinstall the OS or restore it and the data from your backups.
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
Unfortunately, that's the type of problem that ends with the eternal question:
When was your last backup?

Even if you manage to get the pst off of that disk, you would have wasted enough time to cover for the cost of a NAS or cloud backup plan.

The SSD should still be under warranty, so after seeing the errors you can simply send it to be replaced/repair.

HTH,
Dan
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... The SSD should still be under warranty, " ==>  Not likely.   The drive was purchased in Jan 2011, and the warranty is 3 years.

There may be some hope if this is an issue that can be corrected with a firmware update.    The last firmware release for that SSD was version 7.   Note, however, that the v7 firmware update only works to move from v6 to v7.    If you're running an earlier version, you have to do intermediate updates.

e.g.  if your drive has version 1 firmware, you have to update to v2, then to v6, and then to v7
...     if you have v2, you need to update to v6, then to v7
...     and if you already have v6, you can simply update to v7

The firmware updates are all available at Crucial's web site.

You can tell which version the drive currently has by looking in Device Manager and checking the Device ID of the drive.

If updating to the latest firmware doesn't help (or if you already have the latest firmware); there's little you can do unless you want to pay for professional data recovery.     Professional recovery is NOT inexpensive ... many companies average over $1,000 for a recovery.    One of the least expensive, yet still very good, data recovery outfits in Gillware [ https://gillware.com/ ].    They'll provide a free estimate of the cost; will provide a pre-paid mailer for you to mail in your drive; and don't charge anything if they're unable to recover your data.    I don't know the pricing for their SSD recoveries, but for traditional drives they can often do a complete recovery for under $500.
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nobusCommented:
here a free tool to test the SSD :  http://ssd-life.com/eng/SSDLife-Freeware.html
the best recovery tool i know is GDB :  https://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
As said by rindi, running HDD Regenerator on SSD drive is not a good idea. With extensive access commands it can even ruin your SSD drive. And it did not work with your drive but with its controller only. It sent the commands and pretended as if it checked the sectors.
You need to scan the drive either with GetDataBack or with any tool designed for USB stick data recovery.
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jkegPhysicianAuthor Commented:
Testdisk was able to find the partition that was "hidden" from windows and I was able to copy all of my data over to another internal HDD. Luckily, everything else (other than the pst and the dragon files) are backed up. Gotta figure out a way to back up the pst while Outlook is running. Thanks, kimputer, for the testdisk suggestion!
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
Any decent backup program will be able to backup open files using shadow copies.
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