External Hard Drive Error

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Hello Experts
I have Western Digital external hard drive, now all of sudden when I plug the hard drive it gives me the error

You need to format the disk in drive G: before you can use it.

I ran chkdsk, using the command chkdsk g: /f /r however it is processing every file as follows

File record segment 1 is unreadable.
 0 percent complete. (1 of 148480 file records processed)
File record segment 2 is unreadable.
 0 percent complete. (2 of 148480 file records processed)
File record segment 3 is unreadable.
 0 percent complete. (3 of 148480 file records processed)
File record segment 4 is unreadable.
 0 percent complete. (4 of 148480 file records processed)

I'm no sure the what's the status and what to do now
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dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.

Commented:
Download the Western Digital Data LIfeguard Diagnostic  http://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?p=171&lang=en and see what it makes of your disk.  I suspect your disk is dead.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
The status is that your drive is getting bad. Do you have valuable data on it?
If not then - reformat it.
Another question - does it have a separate power supply? Or does it get the power from USB cable?
Sometimes the lack of power can lead to such errors. Thus try to connect the drive to another PC and see if it behaves there the same.
If yes - then the drive is bad. Or its USB controller is bad.
In last case you need to disassemble the box and get the drive out of it. Connect it then to one of SATA connections in your PC and scan the drive with its manufacturer made tools (Seatools for Seagate and WDDiag for WD).

Author

Commented:
Thank you experts for your response.

Yes I have a very very valuable data on it.
I've used WD diagnostics tool and it says Too many bad sectors after scanninng.

I've connected the HDD to the laptop using USB to ATA cable. This hard drive was removed from the another laptop and that laptop has gone bad.
This hard drive worked with this cable I guess 2 to 3 times and then it started giving this error.

Author

Commented:
Also I connected this drive on another PCs but it behaves the same
Principal Software Engineer
Commented:
At this point the best path forward, imo, is to send it to a professional disk recovery company such as Kroll Ontrack and see what they can make of it.  Kroll's consultation is free, but expect to drop at least a couple hundred bucks if they work on it.

When a drive is reporting "too many bad sectors," it's well past "I'll just run a file recovery tool on it."
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems Engineer

Commented:
There is a slight chance that it will behave better is you connect it directly to a PC....
Yes i mean crack the case and get the drive connected normally (sata+power)..
Don't try to run chkdsk just see it is seen by the system and take whatever you can.
If it behaves the same then its time for data recovery depending on the value of your data.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Commented:
Side note:  Many recent external drives no longer present an IDE or SATA interface.  The USB interface is built onto the drive.  In these situations, direct connection is no longer possible.  This is regrettable, as most of the external drive issues I've seen were in the little IDE/SATA-to-USB interface board.

If you decide to crack open the case, Google for how to do it first.  There's no space to spare in most cases so it's overly easy to damage the drive controller or the interface.
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems Engineer

Commented:
Interesting about the USB interface....i have to admit i haven't  seen one....but its has being some time since i cracked opened my external drive...
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems Engineer

Commented:
Well its true ....WD made a PCB which essentially integrates SATA to USB bridge on PCB....
There is way to connect it to Sata Interface but its not for the faint hearted.....

Author

Commented:
So currently the hard drive is connected to my laptop using USB to ATA cable, I'm running chkdsk so shall I stop this chkdsk check or keep it running until it completes?
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Commented:
If the drive is throwing hard errors, in my opinion it's profitless to run CHKDSK against it.  And if CHKDSK decides to tamper with the structure, you could end up worse off than you are now.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Don't do a chkdsk on it. You can corrupt the data forever. Especially if the crosslinks are present on the drive (means that links in MFT and actual bits are in different places).
Either take the drive our of the case and connect it directly to a SATA cable of a PC or let a professional recover your data.

Author

Commented:
I plugged the hard drive to another PC, however after plug I turn on the PC but it stuck at Starting Windows Loading Screen.

Please advise.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Did you plug it into the USB or to SATA?

Author

Commented:
I connected with SATA to a PC

Author

Commented:
I tried on another PC as well, the windows stuck at Starting Windows Screen as soon as I removed the defective hard drive I can login smoothly
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Then stop trying to access this drive. It is really bad. And if the data is important - you have to pay some $$$ for data recovery service.
Check if you find one in your city. Or contact these: www.gillware.com

Author

Commented:
I cannot send it anywhere it has very confidential data on it.

Author

Commented:
Is there a way I can reformat the drive and  recover the data using ?
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer
Commented:
Let me echo noxcho's comment above:  

"Then stop trying to access this drive. It is really bad. And if the data is important - you have to pay some $$$ for data recovery service."

Author

Commented:
Can you please advice the best tool to recover the data from HDD after reformat, no problem is if is paid ?
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
If the system won't even start with this drive connected - how do you plan to use a recovery tool?
Sure there is on - GetDataBack www.runtime.org
It is the best one. But it needs your drive to be well recognized and detected by system.
What about backups? Do you take backups of your important data?

Author

Commented:
When I can the hard drive using USB to ATA, the PC detects the hard drive but it prompts to format before using it so I format I will loose data and then I will need a software to recover data.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
If the system fails to start once the drive is connected then formatting will fail as well.
But try GetDataBack - its trial version can show if the data could be recovered from unformatted drive.

Author

Commented:
Thanks, I will try now
Another this HDD has 3 partitions G,H and E. G and H has data. E was system reserved. E partition is detecting properly and working fine. The issue only with G and H partitions

Author

Commented:
I installed Get Data Back. After installation at launch screen I get the error " Error 23 reading boot sector on Disk2 (RT#296)

Author

Commented:
@noxcho You were right I cannot format the drive as well
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
So, either you accept it as lost and treat this as a learned lesson or you pay money for recovery. No other way.

Author

Commented:
I can pay for recovery but I want to recover myself, is it possible ?
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Nope. You would need a clean lab (clean of dust), a similar drive with similar firmware where with special tools you could move the plates from this drive to a healthy one. But yes, first when you know where exactly the problem is.

Author

Commented:
I'm using now eassos partition guru to repair bad sectors lets see whats the outcome
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
But you should understand that repaired sectors will loose the data forever...
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
you can try recovering the data
here's how : install tyhe drive as 2nd drive in a working pc - do NOT boot from it
install GDB for recovery : http://www.runtime.org/

do your recovery

i have repaired many drives with HDDRegenerator :  http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html      

here's how i handle bad drives :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html

Author

Commented:
Thanks Nabos
So shall I start with GDB or HDDRegenerator ?
Of course you could always revert to your backups?

Author

Commented:
I don't have backup that is the issue
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Always backup data first
then try HDDRegenerator - it has repaired many drives for me, and i never lost anything

Author

Commented:
Ok will try HDDregenerator
Do I need to purchase first ?
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
you can run it - if it finds an error, it will only repair 1 sector
but you can already see if it repairs 1 sector - then buy it

Author

Commented:
Thanks
Shall I connect the defective HDD to another PC using USB to ATA cable or SATA cable and power?
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
by sata cable and power works fastest and best for all soft and hardware

Author

Commented:
Thanks I've already started scanning the drive using bootable HDDRegenerator
Let see how it goes
I hope it will recover my hard drive.
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
If the data is worth over $500 stop the HDD REGEN NOW!!
You need a data recovery lab.  Many give free estimates.  It is most likely you are out of spare sectors. That means any attempt to read sectors that can be repaired puts disk at extreme risk of catastrophic drive failure.

In addition,  the problem is twofold, both physical data loss AND corrupted filesystem.  HDD regen has absolutely no idea what blocks were already marked bad by the filesystem.  It could end up putting stale information on a block from 2 years ago for all you know, and then overwrite good data.

The third issue is that the WD USB/SATA bridge chip does do some LBA physical/logical drive mapping In SOME enclosures.  Unless HDD Regen is aware of this then results are going to be unpredictable.

Bottom line, HDD Regen is wrong tool for this type of job.  If your data isn't worth much, then go for it, you're no worse off, worst thing that can happen is 100% data loss.

Author

Commented:
What a bad service from HDD Regen
I bought a tool and I raise the ticket for some technical issue and until now I didn't a got single response from them !!
It looks these people are forged and thieves
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
This is a one-man company. And what the tool does it just sending repeating read/write requests to each sector. Which can play a bad joke with the data.

Author

Commented:
Finally I got reply and they have promised to refund the amount

So what I can do finally now ?
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Either to send the drive to recovery service or destroy it and take it as a lesson that backups should be done to two drives at least.
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
Don't hold your breath that a data recovery is going to be successful at this point.  HDDRegen made things worse.  At least do yourself a favor and use a recovery company that gives a free estimate (Hint, expect to pay $1000 or so).

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