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Help on recovering data from inaccessible hard drive

Posted on 2016-10-13
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Last Modified: 2016-10-16
We have a Toshiba MQ01ABD100 1 TB drive which some weeks back has become inaccessible.  The drive doesn't make no click sound and it sounds like it's working (has a spinning sound).  We have placed the drive in a USB external case in order to access its drive but when connected there is no drive letters.  When going into Disk Management is display the following:

Image as soon as we connect the drive via USB:

rec1

In Disk Management:

rec2

Running the toll "GetDataBack Simple" :

rec3
Also, we have download "HDD Regenerator" but don't know which to run and affraid that will damage even more the drive (see below apps options)

rec4

Please advice on the proper steps to follow.

Thank you in advance.
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Question by:rayluvs
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Expert Comment

by:Russ Suter
ID: 41842590
Consider using SpinRite. The program is older than dirt but it works at such a low level that it is unaffected by most updates. At their core, hard drives work the same way they have worked for 20+ years. It's saved my bacon more than a few times.
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by:rayluvs
ID: 41842623
By what you read in or question, you believe spinrite will recover it?
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dbrunton earned 500 total points
ID: 41842629
Take it out of the USB case and connect it directly to the motherboard.  That gives best chance for recovery.

Try the Seagate SeaTools util  http://www.seagate.com/au/en/support/downloads/seatools/  That might be able to test the drive but not guaranteed.

Another possible is the Hitachi Drive Fitness test on the UBCD  http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/  Again not guaranteed.  You'll have to download the ISO and burn it to CD (ask for instructions) and boot from it.

I wouldn't use HDD Regenerator at this stage if there is data you want to recover.
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by:rindi
ID: 41842643
All you need to do is to dump that disk, get a new one, then restore from your backups. Very simple and straight forward. If somehow you lost your backups, send it to a professional recovery agency. Be prepared to pay a lot. Gillware is very good, and they only charge if they can recover data:

https://www.gillware.com/
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41842649
Unfortunately we don't have a desktop, all are laptops.

The seagate seems to be legacy and our disk is toshiba.  Also for your ubcd link ther is no reference to the drive.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41842651
We already got new drive and restore from backups; but we have data we want to recover from that disk.
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by:rayluvs
ID: 41842655
gillware seems for sending the unit; we can't do that for now we are out of the states.
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Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 500 total points
ID: 41842656
Toshiba don't have a util for their drives.  People have to resort to third party utils.

The Hitachi Drive Fitness test on the UBCD is a universal tester that may or may not be able to diagnose the Toshiba.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41842663
Oh, ok.  Does the tool only diagnose or does it have some sort of recovery or access it's data?
(or any of the apps in the long list able or design to access the drive?)

Also, where in the page is the download link????
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41842741
If you have already restored from your backup, you already have your data, Whatever is missing should only be from the last few hours between the last backup and the disk failure. That little data, if important, you should be able to build again from your memory. If you can't remember, then look for a recovery agency that is close to your location. You should be able to google for them. but be prepared for paying a high price.
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by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 500 total points
ID: 41842767
Download  http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

Note that if the utils report errors then a data recovery centre is your best bet.  GetDataBack is already reporting a read error in your graphic above and that could well be implying major problems.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41842810
On GetDataBack the screen, we have a user sitting there clicking "ignore a''" when appear; we want to see if all is damage or accessible.

Will this damage the disk if we have that user clicking "ignore all" every time?
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 41842822
You could be causing more damage by running the disk.  Could.  You can have arguments about that.

If you are getting those errors continuously then you have major damage to at least one part of the disk.  How major is unknown and clicking to bypass and find out could take a very very long time.  And if those errors are there I would not even bother to test the disk with any of the utils I've recommended.  I would send the disk away to a data recovery centre and let them deal with the problem.

As in my first paragraph, you could be causing more damage by running the disk.
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by:rayluvs
ID: 41842842
Good info thanx.
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by:rayluvs
ID: 41843557
Though all comments from EE tells us that that our drive most probably is kaput, we wanted check another apps so it can run unattended it's entire process of "analysis" no-modification to disk; we found TestDisk.  

When we first ran it we selected Partition 'EFI GPT' (see pix below):

t1
Unfortunately, it never progressed; always stood in 'Analyse cylinder xxxx/xxxx: 00%' .

So we exit the apps and then selected Partition 'Intel' ('Intel/PC partition').  Now, since last night, it's a bit over 40% at this moment (see pix below)

t2

Question,

  • Does any EE heard of this tool 'TestDisk'?
  • Also, based on the image above, what does the lines values of '44433/254/63 (lba=713832209)' mean?

Thanx.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41843878
Yes. But for recovery you'd need Photorec, which is from the same manufacturer. Anyway, besides Getdataback it is the best available utility, but not as easy to use. Also, if you already tried Getdataback (runtime.org), and it failed to see any of the files you need, neither will Photorec.
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by:dbrunton
ID: 41844159
Yep, TestDisk is good stuff but not easy to use.  There are tutorials on how to use it at their website.

44433/254/63 is CHS (Cylinders, Head, Sectors) and you combine them together to get the LBA (Logical Block Address) which in this case is 713832209.  Now there aren't really 254 Heads in this disk drive,  the drive is telling lies.  Read all about it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cylinder-head-sector.

Have you been getting the Read errors all of the time?
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41844261
Seems so.  For every "analyse cylinder" it displays a "Read error at".

Could be the partition type?

Since we chose '[Intel  ] Intel/PC partition' instead of '[EFI GPT] EFI GPT partition map (mac i386, some x86_63...)'

Which partition type should we have chosen for our Toshiba MQ01ABD100 1 TB drive ?
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by:dbrunton
ID: 41844311
>>  Which partition type should we have chosen for our Toshiba MQ01ABD100 1 TB drive ?

That depends on how the Operating System was set up on the disk and which OS was used.  It could have used EFI GPT or it could have used Intel PC.

You are using the Intel PC which for this purpose is OK because it is showing READ errors.

Which means the disk is inaccessible or damaged or dead.  Again time for the data recovery centre.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41844324
Thanx for the prompt response.

We thought it was EFI-GPT because of references found saying that if a disk is 1 or 2 tb it uses EFI-GPT.  As to the actual drive, in the Bios System Configuration there was an option set as UEFI.  We know this is some sort of  firmware interface and we almost sure prior the problem the Bios was set this way.

If it was set as UEFI, would the disk would have been EFI-GPT?
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41844706
The TestDisk Analysis process was almost done when the electricity fail.  We where going to run the process again until we noticed that the apps requires the "Correct disk geometry is required for a successful recovery".  When checking the CHS in the apps against the CHS in the Toshiba drive we found a difference (see pix below).

chs
In ID: 41843557 we indicated that the apps is constantly displaying "read error at xxxxx/xxx/xxx".

How can we correct the apps to read the right CHS of the hard drive?
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