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Author Topic: Can't connect harddrive  (Read 6991 times)
Paul1
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« on: November 30, 2015, 11:15:36 PM »

I have a problem with my hard drive and would like some advice.

I have a desktop Windows 10 system with three drives, one SSD (C:), one 1TB WB and one 3TB Seagate. Both HDD's are split into two partitions, making a total of 5 volumes.

Yesterday afternoon I noticed an increasing delay in changing directories to the Seagate volumes.
I decided to investigate and ran CrystalDiskInfo, which warned me that the Seagate had a reasonable high number of bad sectors. I don't remember the exact number, but the indication was yellow / warning.

I decided to buy a new HDD the next day. I had to leave so I shutdown the computer.
When I returned and turned on my computer again, startup took a huge amount of time (several minutes). After it finally completed, Windows 10 informed me that my hard drive was repaired. However, accessing it was no longer possible, even though it still showed the appropriate drive letters.

I shut down the computer again and removed the Seagate.

This morning I bought a new HDD, this time from WD, with the idea of connecting the old Seagate via USB and transferring the files. However, Windows does not recognise the external Harddrive when I connect it. It makes the connection sound, but no drive letter.

Reinstalling the Seagate and trying to connect via SATA doesn't work either.
Even though the HDD shows up correctly in the BIOS, startup took forever again, and I didn't want to risk Windows trying to "repair" the HDD again, so I turned the computer off.

So, what to do now? The disk contains nothing extremely important, but it does contain a lot of software and savegames which I would not like to lose. Can I try anything else? Or do I have to send it away to a data recovery company?

It's strange that it happened so fast. Yesterday the drive was still in reasonable state...
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Tom
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 11:26:56 AM »

This type of severe hardware failure is tricky to deal with. If the disk doesn't allow any access because of physical problems, it's basically over. You won't be able to access the disk normally but if it still shows up in the BIOS and in the Windows hardware list you might be able to clone it. Read more here:
http://www.diydatarecovery.nl/dp_manual/guide_clone.htm
Other than that all that's left is sending the disk to a recovery outfit.
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Paul1
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Posts: 5


« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2015, 05:42:52 PM »

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the quick reply!

The original 3TB drive was split in two partitions (one 2TB and one 1TB). I formatted the new 4TB drive to also be two partitions (one 2.5TB and one 1.5TB).

How does this work with DiskPatch? Do I need to fit all of the 3TB on one of the new partitions, or doesn't that matter? Does DiskPatch create one clone (for the entire HDD) or two clones (one for each partition)? Is it better to not partition the new 4TB HDD?
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Tom
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2015, 07:29:22 PM »

Cloning works on a sector by sector basis, so volumes or content do not matter. So, whatever is on the target disk will be completely overwritten. If it works out well you should end up with 2 identical disks (apart perhaps from the disk size).
I should mention that in this case I'm not sure it will go all that well, from what you describe the problem disk is in bad shape. First thing to do is see if DiskPatch can access the disk, the trial version will allow you to do that (just open the "select disk" menu and see if the disk shows up). You could try to create a SMART report while you're at it:
http://www.diydatarecovery.nl/dp_manual/guide_smartcheck.htm

p.s: connecting the problem disk through USB is not a good idea, it will also prevent SMART readings. Using SATA is best.
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Paul1
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Posts: 5


« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2015, 09:39:41 PM »

Hi Tom,

For some reason, creating a SMART report doesn't work.
The contents of report.txt are below.
The results of creating a SMART report is the same with or without the problem disk attached.

Detected Controllers

  Disk Controller 1
    Device Vendor . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 8086
    Device ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 8C02
    Device  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel
    Device Location . . . . . . . . . . . . : Bus 0, Device 31, Function 2
    Device Ports  . . . . . . . . . . . . . : F0B0-F0B7, F0A0-F0A3, F090-F097, F080-F083, F060-F07F



I also tried to create a support analysis log, but the process get's stuck with the message "reading disk". It does not show the progression box with how much time is remaining etc. The problem drive does make a single clicking sound every minute or so.
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Paul1
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2015, 10:27:44 PM »

I also made a sound recording, see attached.
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Tom
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2015, 12:04:06 PM »

Sorry, but that's it then. To get stuff from this disk you would need hardware based recovery, and that's costly. I believe you said the disk didn't contain vital data so just replace it and move on. And maybe start thinking about backups...
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Paul1
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2015, 07:43:25 AM »

Yes, it doesn't contain anything absolutely vital. That's why there is no backup.
However in the future I think I'll just make a full system backup in order to avoid this stress.

I may try to open the drive myself. Of course the chance of that working is slim, but I don't want to spend 1000 Euro for a clean room recovery.
Thanks for the help!  Smiley

However, I do think that DiskPatch not being able to create a SMART report is a bug, as it is also not working when I run it with my new drive.
If you like I can send additional data about my system. Just tell me what you need.
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Tom
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2015, 12:39:16 PM »

Hmm, that's odd. However, if a drive is not accessible at all the SMART test can fail, and can hang up the entire procedure. The SMART tools check health for all disks in one go. So if the bad disk is connected while the SMART test runs, it may prevent the SMART test from getting readings from the good disk. I agree this isn't elegant but for now that's how it is, and it doesn't always go wrong. A disk needs to be in very bad shape for this to fail.
So, can you get SMART readings when the bad disk is disconnected?

Edit: I now see you tried that, sorry. You could try the DPHDINFO compatibility switch. If the controller is fine it's weird to see the SMART test fail, it'll be tricky for me to to figure out why that is happening.

If you're not afraid of DOS you could try some of the command line switches that DPHDINFO.EXE allows, from the DiskPatch start disk main menu exit to a prompt and type DPHDINFO /?.
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Jared
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2016, 08:11:59 PM »

Yes, it doesn't contain anything absolutely vital. That's why there is no backup.
However in the future I think I'll just make a full system backup in order to avoid this stress.

I may try to open the drive myself. Of course the chance of that working is slim, but I don't want to spend 1000 Euro for a clean room recovery.
Thanks for the help!  Smiley

However, I do think that DiskPatch not being able to create a SMART report is a bug, as it is also not working when I run it with my new drive.
If you like I can send additional data about my system. Just tell me what you need.

There is absolutely nothing you can hope to accomplish by physically opening up the drive.  These 3TB Seagate drives (I'm guessing you have a ST3000DM001 model) are notorious for failed read/write heads and firmware issues relating to reallocation and their media cache.  Even pro's with tools like PC-3000 struggle with them.  Even if by some miracle you were able to "fix" the drive yourself, you'd never be able to get it stabilized long enough to extract the data.
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