Recovery Of A Defect Unreadable HDD
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.
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.
Below the label of this Lacie NAS box.
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.
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.
The bad Seagate was entirely copied without errors! Both green leds and the display confirmed this. See a close up of next shown display.
After selecting “Computerbeheer” a search was ran to find the still hidden bad copy drive.
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!
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.
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.
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!
On below last screen copy is shown how only saving the wanted files is done.
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 van Bemmelen, Weert, The Netherlands.
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Note: You can read his previous article on Jim Williams Based Pulse Generator