Elohssa

Is this HDD dead?

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Hello,

Yesterday, after a pack of days with the PC working all the time, it collapsed. At that moment Avast was scanning contents of an external HDD (well, in fact it is an internal Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB inside an external USB enclosure by Conceptronic). When the PC collapsed (firstly, one program freezed, but others followed it soon. Finally I could do nothing), before disconnecting the external HDD from the PC, I tried to stop it by using the icon on the notification area of the taskbar of my Windows Vista, but it didn't respond. At the end, I had to turn off the PC manually by pressing the power button. Then I repeated the same procedure with the external HDD.

After that episode that HDD is bad. Although it was partially detected by Windows when I connected it back to the PC, I couldn't access to its contents (over 1.5 TB of multimedia contents). When I tried to, Windows explorer collapsed and I couldn't see the contents of this HDD. I've installed the defective unit alone in another PC (so in this one is working as the only internal unit). When I ran the diagnostics tool by WD after booting the PC from a DOS USB flash drive I got the following diagnostic: DRIVE NOT READY ERROR/STATUS CODE: 0104.

After that I booted the PC from a Windows XP disc and initiated the recovery console. For the last 12 hours i've run chkdsk /R. It is still running, but I think there's something wrong. It's been on the 6% for the last 11 hours or so.

What can I do? I don't want to RMA this HDD because that way I suppose I am going to lose all my data.

I've found some info about a tool called Testdisk. It is a free data recovery tool, but I've never used anything like that and I am a bit scared of doing anything really wrong because my technical kwowledge is more or less poor.

The webpage of this tool:

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

Please, help me to solve this big big problem.

Thanks in advance.

Regards,

Juan

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WD documentation says, for error 104, that after checking the cables, if the drive still reports 104 it should be returned. I think it is pretty much obvious that the drive is broken. One thing that saved me and some friends of mine a couple of times was to temporarily replace the HDD's motherboard with one from an identical drive. That way you may be able to recover your data if the problem is located in the mobo. If that is not the case, to my knowledge, you can't do anything to salvage your data. Sorry mate :(

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Thanks for your reply, Katy. :)

I'm going to try to find and buy, if it's not too expensive, a new mobo for this unit. Is it very dificult to replace that piece of hardware?

Edited by Elohssa

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Well for starters, checkdisk is a VERY bad thing if there are concerns of integrity with a hard drive. First step whenever there are problems is to load it up in a read-only environment (linux works great for this) and copy everything you can off of it.

First step I would do is try a different computer to rule out any problems with that. Buying another drive to swap the controller card off it rarely works unless the drive has a circuit board failure only AND the revision numbers of the cards match. Too new and it probably won't work.

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TSullivan, thank you.

I currently have the defective unit in another PC. After the problem happened, I took it out of the USB enclosure and I moved it into another PC. At this moment that is the only unit in the other PC and is connected via a SATA cable to the motherboard in that PC.

It is curious that I've recently downloaded SuSe Linux 10.1 because I am following a short course about it. I'm going to install it in another hard drive that I am not using right now (one with 320 GB) as you suggest.

By the way, I am not a native English speaker and I am still learning English, so I cannot be very clear some times. Sorry.

Regards,

Juan

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One option to look into is using a Live-CD (one that doens't require a full installation to function). That way you could mount the drive as read only and see if the data appears.

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Ok. I also have a copy of Ubuntu Karmic Koala that is a Live Disc as well.

One question: Does it matter if I install the HDD again in the USB enclosure. That way I could start Ubuntu from my laptop and, what is more important, I could use Internet via Wi-Fi if I need it by any chance. I say this because if I make the test in the other PC I won't have access to the Internet there.

Thanks!

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It would be the same enclosure. But I am almost sure the problem has nothing to do with it because the bad HDD failed as well when I connected it directly to the motherboard of my other desktop PC via a SATA cable.

EDIT: But if Internet is not necessary, I'll better connect the HDD via SATA in my other desktop PC, which I'll boot from the live disc.

Edited by Elohssa

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Since I already had the HDD into the USB enclosure I decided to connect it to the laptop after booting it from the live CD of Ubuntu Karmic Koala. After the live version of Ubuntu was initiated, what happened when I connected the USB enclosure with the bad HDD inside and tried to mount it was that I couldn't. I got two error messages. These are the captures of those two errors.

097d17124442573.jpg 50d7c4124442574.jpg

EDIT: These are the captures of the two error messages that I got when I mount the bad HDD connected via SATA on Ubuntu:

c36df9124446960.jpg acf91c124446961.jpg

What should I do now?

Regards,

Juan

Edited by Elohssa

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Those error messages almost seem non-IO read failure related (although I could be wrong, language is a bit off from what I am used to).

I would personally open up a console and look to see what the status of the drive is. Typing "dd -h" would show the mounted partitions/sizes and give an indication if any of the data is being seen. After that I would use a copy tool to pull off any data if it was present to another drive.

Also I have no idea how certain things will interact through the USB drive. Sometimes it works, other times things can error out. You really need to get it connected to a native interface.

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@qasdfdsaq

@TSullivan

Thanks!

After that I would use a copy tool to pull off any data if it was present to another drive.

Also I have no idea how certain things will interact through the USB drive. Sometimes it works, other times things can error out. You really need to get it connected to a native interface.

I have the bad HDD connected to a SATA port of the motherboard now.

About that copy tool you say, could the one qasdfdsaq has linked work?

Regards,

Juan

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Well the stuff I was thinking about would be built into linux already. Just stuff like CP for filesystem-level or DD for block level depending on the damage of the drive. Both of those can be destructive though if not used correctly. They give no prompts to confirm stuff, so if you accidentally copy data from the wrong drive to the messed up drive, you would never know until it just stops the process.

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Ok, TSullivan.

Sorry to ask so many questions, but my knowledge, especially in Linux, is poor.

Then I'm gonna try to start Ubuntu Karmic as LiveCD. And then open a console and follow your instructions.

Regards,

Juan

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Did you have any buddies who are knowledgeable with Linux? Only reason I ask is there is a very high chance something could go wrong if you make a simple mistake. Linux is very powerful and very flexible, but unlike other higher-level operating systems it is very unforgiving.

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Hello,

Since I couldn't do anything to recover data using software, I put into practice some desperate measures, such as freeze the drive, drop it, gently hit it and even shake it. Far from getting better it got worse.

At this moment when I turn on the PC the drive starts spinning (though it makes some clicking sounds), but it stops spinning soon. The BIOS sees the drive, but when I choose it to see its information everything is blank as if there wasn't any drive data to show.

One last question: does it make any sense to try to open the drive? I guess it doesn't. I suppose it must be quite sophisticated in there...

Regards.

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Don't open it! One speck of dust could cause untold additional damage.

If the data is that important, a data recovery company is probably your last option.

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Ok, It's clear; I won't open it.

And I don't think I'm going to pay for a data recovery company to do the work either. Yes, it's a lot of data (over 1.5 TB), but thankfully there's nothing really important in there. Movies, music albums, some games, absolutely all the files are stuff to enjoy in my spare time. That's the only not serious thing.

Besides that, I think I've learnt some useful lessons with this experience. One is that I must be more patient. :) Another one is that if I find myself facing a similar issue in the future, I'll never ever resort to do a physical approach to the rescue methodology (no freezer, no hits and no shaking); that's for sure.

Regards,

Juan

Edited by Elohssa

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Hi!

...and you can never have too many backups :-)

I'm sorry not to understand what you mean. Would you mind explaining it to me, please? Thank you in advance. :)

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Well, at least one backup is a huge advantage and should never be considered an option. But 2, 3, 4 or more backups on different drives, media and locations are even better. It all depends on how important your data is and if you can replace it or not.

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Hello,

Since I couldn't do anything to recover data using software, I put into practice some desperate measures, such as freeze the drive, drop it, gently hit it and even shake it. Far from getting better it got worse.

At this moment when I turn on the PC the drive starts spinning (though it makes some clicking sounds), but it stops spinning soon. The BIOS sees the drive, but when I choose it to see its information everything is blank as if there wasn't any drive data to show.

One last question: does it make any sense to try to open the drive? I guess it doesn't. I suppose it must be quite sophisticated in there...

Regards.

i ever experience this issue on WD RE3 drive

all of sudden the drive crashed when playing mp3, the sound become noised

at first i thought its just software related issue...

so i reboot, but i found the drive just went fail

bios detect the drive but it showing 0mb

i ever bring the drive the local hdd service center, its just small service center so they don't have complete equipment and parts

he said if i want to fix the drive i need to find same logicboard to be replaced with the fail drive

when i ask what making the issue, he said it can be because unstable electricity that cause logic board fail or buggy firmware

because its not cheap and no warranty that the recovery will go smooth (by replacing logicboard) which the chance only 50:50

i decide to give up 500GB of data

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@FastMHz

I understand now. Thanks. :)

@slyphnier

What happened to your HDD seems even worse than what has happened to mine. Were that HDD a new one? I bought mine about 45 days ago.

Before I decided to 'play' physically with my HDD, BIOS recognized it correctly showing every parameter with its correct value. I'm not sure of this, of course, but I think that if I had been a little more patient and had kept trying the software way, I would probably have found a way of recovering my data.

Regards,

Juan

Edited by Elohssa

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