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Questions trying to recover hard drive

This is a discussion on Questions trying to recover hard drive within the Computer Data Recovery forums, part of the category; I have hard drive that became unreadable and very clearly has major physical problems. I have since reinstalled windows to ...

  1. #1
    colin is offline Junior Member
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    Default Questions trying to recover hard drive

    I have hard drive that became unreadable and very clearly has major physical problems. I have since reinstalled windows to a new drive and remounted the drive as an additional drive on my machine.

    Windows will recognize the drive and show the drive letter but it throws dozens of smart errors and there is no way to browse the drive via dos or windows. you can only see that it is there.

    I installed RMF and initiated an Automatic Drive Recovery. RMF is able to see the two logical drives that were on this drive before ( drive G & I ). I selected drive I ( what would have been the storage partition) and started the recovery. When this got to step 2, it took an exceedingly long time to complete but i figured this wasn't terribly surprising given it was a terrabyte drive that had failed. Essentially the progress said x of 10000 and it was searching for partitions. I allowed this to complete in full. This took roughly 40 hours.

    At this point no files or folders had been found when the progress reached 10,000

    From there I expected it to move to a Phase 3. however what happened was that Phase 2 appeared to start over. This time the verbiage once again indicated that it was searching for lost partitions but the progress was x out of 13048 and still indicated Phase 2.

    I thought this was odd but given how long I'd take to that point and the fact i was headed to bed shortly, i let it continue.

    About 9 hours later the progress made was only 48 out of 13048. once again no files / folders were found to this point. Given how long it had been I assumed I had to be doing something wrong and I read some of the FAQ. Given some of the suggestions I decided to skip Phase 2. i then went to work.

    Now I am in Phase 4 and the progress I see is 2944 out of 1.8 billion. It's been at this number for more than 20 minutes. I haven't run the math on that but I'm pretty certain i wouldn't be living by the time that finishes. Also I've not seen a single file / folder appear in the list. I'm going to go ahead and skip the remainder of Phase 4 just to see what final results I get back.

    My general sense is that the drive is beyond hope and it's time to move on. I'm fine with this. However on the off chance that there's some serious user error going on here, I figured I'd post and see if I missed something.

    Thanks much,

    Colin

  2. #2
    GDH
    GDH is offline Administrator
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    Default Colin

    Yes, it sounds like your drive has major issues. From your details you provided I do not think Recover My Files was able to read the drive at all.

    I suggest you cancel the current search.

    Go into windows disk management, and check to see if the physical drive is listed.

    If you have a dodgy drive like this, it is better to work with the physical drive rather than the drive letter. A physical drive is a raw chunk of data, the drive letters are Windows interpretation of that data.

    As quick test is to first go to OPTIONS > ADVANCED an put a tick in the box for "prompt for start block" and "run a lost file search only".

    Now run a new Recover Drive search. In the drive selection window, select the hard disk (not the drive letter). Search for selected files and click several that you know are on the drive. The best type is JPEG, because you get the visual confirmation in the search results screen.

    You will be prompted for the starting position - you can enter 0 to start a the beginning of the drive, or do some rough *******tions in order to start further down the disk.

    The Lost Files search only is looking for files by header and footer. What you want to see in the results screen are "Lost Files", which are previewable. This will confirm that RMF is reading the disk and can find the data.

    Let me know the result.

    The other option for you is to try and take an image of the drive (a sector copy of the entire drive stored as a file). You can use the GetData imager, which is installed with RMF to do this (but you will need a lot of storage space and time to take the image). Is suspect the drive will not image do to its issues - but it may be worth a shot.

    Good luck.
    Graham Henley
    GetData Support Staff
    www.getdata.com
    www.recovermyfiles.com

  3. #3
    colin is offline Junior Member
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    Graham,

    Computer mgmt/storage is able to see the drive but wants to reformat it when it comes up. I cancel out of that and it will show up as unpartitioned / unformatted space. So in answer to your question, yes I believe windows can see the physical drive.

    I set the two advanced options that you recommended and restarted the search. i was able to choose the entire disk drive rather than a partition. I chose .jpeg's and some music files as I know there were some on there and I started at block 0. i'm headed to bed and i'll see what i see in the morning.

    thanks much for all your assistance.

    Colin

  4. #4
    GDH
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    Default Data Recovery

    On the left of the drive in Widows device manager, do it say "not initialized"?
    Graham Henley
    GetData Support Staff
    www.getdata.com
    www.recovermyfiles.com

  5. #5
    colin is offline Junior Member
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    Graham,

    That's correct. It says not initialized. When I first enter disk mgmt, Windows asks me to initialize the disk. Once I cancel out of that it will show not initialized as you describe.

    I left the scan running overnight. It only made it was far as 1664 out of 1.9 billion. No files have been found.

    Not that I imagine it will make any difference but there were 2 partitions on there originally. The first is the OS drive which didn't have much on it. I'm going to restart the search further into the drive.

  6. #6
    GDH
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    Default Not initialized

    "Not Initialized" is not a good error.

    Essentially it means that your computer cannot recognize the drive correctly.

    You can right click on this and select to initialize the disk. Normally we say that you should not change the content of the drive, but writing an MBR is a small amount of data and a small risk.

    I suspect that if you try this, the drive will return an error message like "I/O error". The only option from this point is a hardware data recovery service (much more expensive than the software solution).
    Graham Henley
    GetData Support Staff
    www.getdata.com
    www.recovermyfiles.com

  7. #7
    colin is offline Junior Member
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    Graham,

    That's what I figured and I honestly was pretty certain the drive was a goner before I started. I really appreciate the time you put in to help me research all avenues.

    If nothing else I learned that it's worth it to spend a few hours figuring out how to get the RAID working on my motherboard. Turns out that was incredibly simple which makes getting nailed by this all the more stupid.

    Cheers,

    Colin

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