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Recovery Of A Defect Unreadable HDD

By on September 10, 2021
hdd repair

Recently a good friend, who lives in Eindhoven about 35 kilometers from my hometown Weert, came by with a bad harddisk. He first had e-mailed me to help him to recover his 3D printer design files with other data from an older 3.5 inch LACIE 500GB Seagate Barracuda NAS hdd that no longer could be seen on any attached computer. It now was completely invisible on its previous logic assigned name and the drive now clearly was making mechanically ticking noises.

seagate hdd repair

seagate hard disk repair

There was obviously nothing wrong with its above shown Sata to USB interface, because also if the 3.5 inch Seagate hdd was directly connected to another good Sata to USB interface the result was the same.

Not being able to read any data or see the drive being mounted to the Windows system.

sata hdd repair

Below the label of this Lacie NAS box.

hdd label

If hdd drives, or memory sticks, can’t be recognized normally my STARTECH USB1DUP2 Flash Drive Duplicator copier/tester has no problem with such tasks and comes to the rescue. So I copied the entire Seagate to another 465 GB (~500GB) brand new SSD hdd without using my computer. Which took because of the bad condition of the 3.5 inch HDD many days at low speed at synchronous hdd copying mode. (I just selected a low speed to make sure it would succeed. But with good media 1.5GB/minute is possible!). Windows offers a System hdd managing option menu in the Configuration menu to manage drives. But the bad HDD clicking ticking noise made normal access quite impossible. Normally we are able to mount the still bad disabled drive without formatting it while giving it a new drive assigning name. That is still free like Z: which would be the last available drive character available if all other names are already given/mounted. But I decided to first make a brand new safety copy using the Startech USB1DUP2 copier. Which also saves a lot of normally wasted electrical energy on my computer power consumption because the Startech hardly consumes as much power while copying the entire bad hdd drive automatically and unsupervised.

After that is done the drive copy can still not be read and Windows will keep asking us to format the hdd because it is still bad and unrecognized. Because its previous original good state is still gone now. On a Dutch computer this hdd managing option is called “Systembeheer”. As shown in following screen copy.

system hdd software

Below the LACIE case cover of this Seagate drive.


Following a few photos of the Startech copier in action. On first photo copying 465GB is almost done.

startech copier

startech copier device

The bad Seagate was entirely copied without errors! Both green leds and the display confirmed this. See a close up of next shown display.

startech display info

hdd repair software

After selecting “Computerbeheer” a search was ran to find the still hidden bad copy drive.

bad copy in hdd

In option “Schijfbeheer” the bad Seagate hdd copy was only seen as DISC 12 (Dutch: Schijf 12). And was previously not assigned because it had a bad unrecognized format. Now WITHOUT formatting the Seagate safely made drive copy I named it “W” and kept it as one RAW primary ‘unformatted’ partition. So nothing was deleted on the bad drive or the now with the Startech copier made copy!

So now the ‘RAW’ unformatted BAD Seagate hdd copy is mounted but still can’t be read the normal way! And Windows will keep nagging we need to format this drive which we obviously won’t!

how to repair hdd software

how to fix hard disk software

minitool power data recovery

We now need to recover all rescued data with a Recovery Tool like Minitool Power Data Recovery 7.0. And we start in our recovery tool by first completely scanning the “W” copy drive.

Minitool Power Data Recovery 7.0

how to fix hdd using recovery software

Here found as our (unidentified) Basic Partition 465.73 GB SanDisk Extreme SSD USB drive. And we choose option Full Scan. And MiniTool Power Data Recovery will start scanning all files.

scanning all files

After the complete scan is finished (which easily will take many hours !) we can save this file and re-open it the next day again when we start selecting which files need to be recovered and which ones we skip. So re-scanning won’t have to be repeated! Which we do by selecting Load Result as shown in following screen copy. So do not forget to SAVE the Scan results after Minitool is ready!

And after the scan is completed, recovery starts by selecting all files we want to save.

Next also follows a screen copy of all 10 partitions that Minitool Recovery did find on the with the StarTech Flash Drive Duplicator made safety copy on a good brandnew 465GB SSD drive.

If you also have a bad clicking ticking hdd drive you may want to try to recover all files without the Startech copier and without making a copy first. And maybe you are lucky, but because recovery takes a long time in which the already bad hdd may completely crash, you may eventually lose all access to your harddisk. And after that happens all is surely lost! I already knew that the Startech could still recognize and copy other bad hard disks that no computer would recognize anymore.

So for me it was an easy decision and one that already saved me time and money not having to use my quad-core desktop computer just to make a safety copy to start with!

hdd software repair

how to fix and repair hard disk using software

On below last screen copy is shown how only saving the wanted files is done.

hard disk drive software repair

We select everything by selecting the entire map on the left or only some of the files that it contains and click on save.

We of course need another external or internal free hard disk or memory stick to save our data to.

And next time we open Minitool Recovery again it will still find where we left off. And it will remember what drive was used as destination. Therefore keep in mind to leave it in place so Minitool Power Recovery will find it the next day or time you open the previously saved scan file again..

So there is no need to do all 465 GB of data files at once. You only have to remember what you already saved and what still needs to be done. Which easily can be checked on your destination drive.

Also good to know is that copying the bad Seagate at first completely failed on my Startech copier/tester at high speed. That is why I selected the lower transfer speed in synchronous hdd copy mode. And I also did notice a couple of times that after many long hours of continued copying the blue drive led dimmed out as the hdd drive clearly was having some issues. But it lit up again after a few seconds and the copying continued.

The Startech USB12DUP copier was also mentioned in a previous article in which it clearly was also able to detect fake USB memory sticks! The only thing the Startech doesn’t do is format hard disks in NTFS. But it is fully able to copy those and also Linux formats. The system will always format the drive

according to the capacity.If it is 2GB or greater it will use FAT 32. Also Multi-Partition FAT is supported. Less capacity becomes FAT16.

Conclusion: Although a bad clicking and ticking hard disk that no longer seems accessible means big trouble, not all is lost! Even if it looks that way! In this hdd data recovery repair I still was able to recover many video clips, family photos, 3D solid works designs, many MP3s, and movies and so on. So it can be done without any forensic lab!

albert from netherlands

Albert van Bemmelen, Weert, The Netherlands.

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Note: You can read his previous article on Jim Williams Based Pulse Generator



  1. Mike Blake

    September 10, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    The copier sounds lioke a nice piece of kit !!

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      September 10, 2021 at 7:45 pm

      Yes it is Mike. I bought it on Amazon which was quickly delivered and not as expensive as the price on other websites. Even compared to the original price Startech asks for their magnificent USB 2.0 copier. That uses a special processor for all copy and test functions on every USB ports of the 3 it supports. And it can also copy from one source to multi USB memory sticks/hdd's asynchrone or from source to one destination drive synchrone. Set as file copy only copying the used space on the source memory used, freeing up space on the destination copy being made, or the entire image including the free space 1 on 1 which requires a destination drive or SD card/Memory stick with at least the same memory size or more.

  2. Waleed Rishmawi

    September 10, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    A lot of information to process and comprehend… thanks for sharing

    • Albert van Bemmelen

      September 11, 2021 at 6:30 am

      Also good to know is that the Startech USBDUP12 besides copying and testing of Memory sticks, HDD/SSD drives and SD cards, with the right USB to IDE/SATA adapter also can be used to test CD-ROM/DVD-Rom/Bluray Drives! And best adapters for this purpose are USB 3.0 adapters. And for copying and reading all sort of SD/TF cards only one special Rocketek USB 3.0 adapter works best! But not this one from Rocketek that often failed, like almost all other USB adapters did when used on the startech ports!
      But only this one -also Rocketek- always worked perfect!
      [like I also described in a previous article about using the Startech USDdup12 copier/tester on Jestine's repair Blog].

      • Albert van Bemmelen

        September 14, 2021 at 10:20 pm

        Keep in mind: The Startech can't copy anything from Sata or IDE cd or dvd-rom drive that is connected to an usb to Sata/IDE adapter but it will show us if a dvd or cd-rom drive is working or not. So it enables us to determine if we have a death drive on our hands or not, without having to use any computer to test this! And IDE/Pata dvd-drives set as Master will also start to read all files on a inserted dvd or cd. Sata drives can't be set as master or slave so they just rotate their inserted disc once and then just quit and nothing else. The Startech USBDUP12 copier/tester will just keep waiting for a master which it obvious won't find. And we are also able to check if the eject function on our cd/dvd-rom drives is okay and if the optical laserhead works.

  3. Parasuraman S

    September 10, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    Oh My God! This was an Olympian task undertaken with a clean and clear report, step by step! I think you remain inimitable in such tasks and my hats' off to you! Very informative article prepared with a lot of patience and time! Many thanks!

  4. Albert van Bemmelen

    September 10, 2021 at 11:35 pm

    One thing I didn't mention yet is about the 75437.95 TB results in the last shown screencopy. Where these showed up in the long list of programs they were just wrong unusable files that also caused the total amount of found data on a particular partition or in a certain map being presented way too high. But also many files with a low file size around 100kB were just caused by the previous badly damaged 500GB Seagate Barracuda hdd. And they did not contain any important data worth to be saved!
    Which also many times could be tested in the preview option on the right of Minitool power data recovery v7.0. Only a few times those tiny size files were really pictures or other real data.


    September 11, 2021 at 2:14 am

    Great job !!!

  6. Yogesh Panchal

    September 12, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Good info.......are clicking noise HDD are also able to recover on this unit?

  7. Albert van Bemmelen

    September 12, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    No probably not Yogesh. The bad Seagate Barracuda HDD was no longer safe to use for backing up purposes. Maybe it still partly can be recovered again but is no longer fixable. The bad drive is gone back to my friend with the made rescued copy files on the now reformatted previously temporary used as new copy SSD destination drive. Plus an extra made backup on a 25GB Bluray disc that was used for the 10th partition that no longer fitted on the SSD 465GB drive. Formatting such a bad Seagate HDD even if it works would probably only be temporary. Which I know from experience after the Startech copier/tester was used to reformat such a HDD drive before. And therefore I haven't tried reformatting the old HDD that already was second hand when my friend bought it years ago. And these Seagate Barracuda's are sadly well known for their failures!

  8. Amir Mukhtar AShrafi

    September 16, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks you Sir
    Kindly Share more about your Hard Disk Data recovery device information.
    if Possible.
    However, Great Work .
    Thank you again

    Amir Mukhtar Ashrafi
    Karachi. PK

  9. Ulise Aguilar

    September 22, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    very good Sir

  10. Andrea Del Corso

    September 26, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Bravo Albert,preciso e completo nelle spiegazioni come sempre..!

    Bravo Albert, precise and complete in the explanations as always ..!

  11. Robert Lamparter

    September 28, 2021 at 10:03 am

    This was an extremely useful article.


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