Data Recovery

Hello Experts,

I have a Seagate 750GB SATA HDD that I need to recover data from. The HDD powers up fine and when connected to my computer via SATA to USB Converter Windows will list the Drive letter in "My Computer" but I cannot connect to it. I'm prompted to "Format the HDD before I can use it" message. I have tried using TestDisk but TestDisk tells me that the file system is corrupt. Is there anything else that I can use to fix the corrupt file system to recover my data? Is there something in TestDisk that I can try to fix the corrupt file system? I tried running a chkdsk from command prompt but I get a message that the drive is in a RAW format and that chkdsk does not except that RAW format.
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asp_net2Asked:
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rindiCommented:
Try photorec (the same manufacturer as testdisk) to scan the disk for the files, and if they are there copy them off. Or scan the disk using getdataback. If it finds your data, register it so you can copy the data off. With getdataback you are more likely to get the correct directory structure, as well as the filenames, which with other software usually is hard.

http://runtime.org
ChopOMaticCommented:
Recommend trying these two. I know RMF will allow you to see what it will recover before you pay for it, and I think GDB will, as well.

GetDataBack

RecoverMyFiles

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asp_net2Author Commented:
Rindi/ChopOMatic,

I ran photorec from testdisk already and that did not retrieve any data. I also ran getdataback and it displayed a ton of error messages "I/O Error 'Unknown Error (23) read sector
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rindiCommented:
Then first connect the disk to an internal SATA port of the PC, not via USB, and scan it again. If that doesn't help, either send it to a professional recovery agency, or dispose of the disk, or if it still has warranty, at least get a warranty replacement.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
I/O Error Unknown Error (23) read sector

Seems like the disk surface is damaged and unreadable.

Get SeaTools from here http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/ and run it over your disk.  Use the short test.  If it fails that your drive is toast.

Your best bet then is to try a data recovery agency but that will cost.
ChopOMaticCommented:
asp, you can't assume that because one (or two) different tools failed, that the next one will. Try RMF. If it doesn't work, try SeaTools as dbrunton suggests. You could also try imaging the disk using dd and have the imaging process run in reverse. There's also a tool out there called SpinRite that's been around a long time and some people swear by it. If all fail, and the data is important enough, send it to a data recovery shop. On that front, I personally know Scott Moulton at MyHardDriveDied.com, and if there's a smarter hard drive guy on the planet, I haven't found him.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
I would not trust those errors till I connect the drive directly to sata imterface and scan it again with GetDataBack plus scan it with SeaTools from Seagate.
nobusCommented:
i agree with noxcho here; the usb protocol does not have a good error support
connect the drive directly to a sata port  -  and rerun the tests, and recovery softwares

of course if the drive is not functional - none will work, or only partially
asp_net2Author Commented:
All,

Thank you all for your help with this topic. I currently have the HDD slaved out to my desktop computer now and I'm currently running photorec. I started it on 11-3 at 5pm EST and it's currently on Pass 1. Not sure if it's suspose to take this long or not, feedback welcome on that. So hopefully I will have an update either today or tomorrow on the status. At least now that I don't have the HDD connected to a USB converter it appears to be doing better without a lot of the errros I was getting before while having it connected via USB but I'm just concerned that it's taking this long when I saw Pass 0/10 and it's currently on Pass 1 now. Does it take this long normally or should I stop it and try the other applications that have been mentioned in this thread?
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
I would run GetDataBack on it instead of photorec. This GDB from runtime is the best tool for data recovery available for wide usage yet.
ChopOMaticCommented:
I'd be running something other than photorec myself. I've been doing this for many years and long ago settled into RMF and GDB as my go-to tools in situations like this.
rindiCommented:
All the tools will usually take a long time. It depends largely on the size of the disks, the amount of data to recover, and the extent of the damage on the disk.
rindiCommented:
Photorec really is very good at recovery, it's advantage over GDB is that it is free and OpenSource, but like I mentioned earlier, GDB is more likely to give you the correct directories and file-names, while with Photorec after recovery you will often have to go through the recovered data and reorganize it
asp_net2Author Commented:
The size of the HDD is 750GB. I'm not sure how much data there is. I'm also not sure if photorec pulls all data by default or if I need to specify somewhere exactly which files types I'm looking for. Should I stop photorec when I get back home and try the other software options or let photorec go until done?
rindiCommented:
Just leave it running.
ChopOMaticCommented:
I'd stop it if it was me, but then again, time is money to me or my clients on this stuff and I'm always gonna go with what I consider the most efficient path forward as my first approach. With a failed/failing hard drive, I typically run RMF first, then GDB if needed. (Assuming I was unable to capture a forensic image, which is actually my first approach.)
nobusCommented:
since a normal format on a working disk of this size can take over an hour, i would not expect very soon results, if you use this tool or GDB (which i also prefer for it's ease of use, and results)
don't be surprised if it takes more than 24 hours, or 2 days, depending on the amount of data, and damage

ALL data recovery methods are slow, by their nature, and way they have to work for recovery
asp_net2Author Commented:
All,

Sorry for not posting lately. I was trying to hold off until I had something to share with you all. I prematurely stopped the scan when it was recovering some files that I did not need such as .dll files and other files (i know stupid move). I got impatient, won't happen again.

So I connected the HDD back up to my desktop and ran photorec from TestDisk this past Thursday 11-5. This time i only selected the files that I need to recover such as .txt, .doc and .xls. I'm attaching a few screen shots that i tool on my phone, one was two days ago and the other was today.

The one thing that I'm really concerned about and not sure if it's a bad thing or not is that it has been on Pass 0 since Thursday and if you look at my screen shots I took you will see that the Reading Sector and Error reading sector are identical. Not sure if that means ever sector that it's trying to recover means that there are errors. Please see the screen shots. As of today it appears that it's going to take 252 hours to complete. What are all of your thoughts?Screenshot two days agoScreen shot taken today
asp_net2Author Commented:
Also, when I restarted photorec I saw two different types of HDD's to select. There was dev/sda1 or something like that with the correct file size of my HDD that I need to recover and then there was E: with the file size. I selected E:. Should I have selected the dev/sda1 option instead?
rindiCommented:
The sectors aren't identical.

It also looks as if it is going to take more than a week to complete, which is a bad sign, I think your only option is to send the disk to a recovery agency if the data is of any importance (but since there doesn't seem to be any backup, I doubt very much it is that important).

I'm not sure what you mean with the selected disk, a screen shot of that could have helped.
ChopOMaticCommented:
I've given my recommendation a couple times, asp, which is to try an alternate tool like RMF or GDB, both of which have a GUI and will make the process easier to understand if you're not crazy fluent in this stuff.

And when you have the option, run the process against the physical disk instead of a volume (drive letter).
asp_net2Author Commented:
ChopOMatic,

What is the difference between the physical disk and the drive letter? They both should the correct size of the drive and I myself was not sure on the difference between the two. Should I stop the scan and try the physical disk which i believed was listed as dev\sda1 or something like that.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
A volume or partition is a logical drive (virtual drive) created from the space of physical drive. One HDD can have more that one volume. So the search should be done on entire surface of the drive, not inside of some logical volume. That is the message of Chopomatic.
But try really GetDataBack. Even a trial version. See what it does report.
asp_net2Author Commented:
Hi noxcho,

Ok, so I stopped photorec and when I clicked on stop it started running Pass 1 which ran for 5 hours and did not recover one file. I then tried GetDataBack as you suggested and attached is a screenshot that i want to share with you.

GetDataBack
asp_net2Author Commented:
@noxcho,

I was also getting a lot of these errors when I started running GetDataBack, so I chose the option to "Ignore all".

I/O Error 'Unknown Error (23)' Reading Sector 0 on Disk 1 (RT #663). I kept getting the same error but the number listed for "Reading Sector" and (RT #) would change to different numbers so that is why I chose the "Ignore all" now it's just running.
nobusCommented:
it seems it cannot read your disk also
at this point, if the data is needed - give the drive to a recovery service
asp_net2Author Commented:
What would cause that nobus? HDD powers up fine and computer detects it fine.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
It may power up find and be detected fine but the disk surface can still be damaged and unreadable as well.

It is only when the surface needs to be read do errors occur as in the operating system trying to load or data being read off the surface.

Have you tested the disk with the SeaTools util from here http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/ I recommended earlier.  Use the short test.  If it fails that your drive is toast and both GetDataBack and TestDisk and Photorec won't work.  In which case you need to use a data recovery service.
rindiCommented:
If the data on the disk is really worth it, your only option is a recovery agency. The more you try yourself, the worse it will get, and that will also make it harder for the agency to recover the data, and that will increase the price for recovery.
nobusCommented:
it says always the same, when trying to read your file system, or files : error1117 - unknown error
this means the disk is not functioning (reading at least)
you'll probably find the same by testing the drive with the seagate tool
what causes it?  can be many : scratched surface, bad head, distance of head to platter, electronic failure in read circuits...you name it to know more details, you need the manufacturer tools - which are not obtainable for us (hard or soft)
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