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Corrupt external hard disk

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posted on Nov, 18 2018 @ 05:00 AM
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A bit of story time before I get to the point.

I know some basics and used to build my own computers up to Win XP. Actually still got and have a little gem running on XP and sometimes still use it to connect to the internet. It is however getting more difficulty with all the large scripts web pages are beginning to run.

Then I took over my Son’s powerful GigaByte gaming laptop, 4G ram + top of the range display card +,+ running on Win ultimate pre installed. He used it like a type of server when he and his friends played their games (they had this gaming night every week). He now has a monster of a thing with more fans and lights I ever seem. The blocks of ram looks like they can be used in a gym, but that’s kids.

Then my first stupid mistake, coffee over my keyboard. After it dried out I was able to use it with an external keyboard, so it didn’t get fixed.
Then my second mistake, I ask my son to format the computer because there were too many things running in the background not of my choice and I haven’t format Win 7 before. He was in IT back then as a qualified server technician or something like that and had international papers. I believe he didn’t format it from Bios and just reinstalled it over the current Win. Ha, ha now I need the license again but manage to work around that with a little delwpa.bat file trick I found on the internet. It was irritating but workable.

Then I went to hospital and phoned a friend to come fetched the laptop as a security reason. Out of hospital on start up the battery was dead. Then it start working again and gone dead again for a couple of times until nothing. More like the battery control system giving problems than the battery itself because when charged I still had about 3 hour life in it.

No time for that as planning my retirement was more important and it was still workable when plugged in.

The next thing was that it started to struggle starting up once or twice and then I could only get to repair computer (the bios then a blank screen till windows recovery starts), not even safe mode. Could not get a system restore point or image recovery and memory diagnostics do not find a problem (its like my Os is gone), Maybe it got a virus because I was running a complete scan when it crashed or Microsoft is blocking me because of this .bat file as I did loose some unexplained administrated privileges just prior to the crash.

As it was time to get it fixed I used the command prompt and dos to copy some files I didn’t backup yet and save it to an external disk. And now my XP computer tells me the external disk is corrupted although the drive icon appears. On start up it does do a scan disk which tells me that nothing is wrong.

So the help I need is: Are there some way I can get into the external hard drive without formatting it while I wait for my laptop to be fixed. Dos also tell me its corrupted working from the command prompt.

Recuva a program that recovers deleted files is able to enter this corrupt external drive, but obviously I do not need deleted files.




posted on Nov, 18 2018 @ 05:53 AM
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Get a Linux Live CD/DVD, run that and see if the drive contents can be accessed.

You might have a corrupted master boot record/partition table, so the disk is physically fine, but Windows doesn't know where to find the file systems. "Recover from a corrupted partition table/MBR" is somewhere to look. There are other utilities:

www.ntfs.com...

With Linux, if the disk drive appears as a device, you can copy the entire contents of the drive into a binary file and do the recovery from that:

dd if=/dev/hdd of=copyfile.dd

Then you can mount the copy of that disk and do all sorts of poking around without losing anything.



posted on Nov, 18 2018 @ 06:00 AM
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Short of sending the drive to a data recovery specialist you can try testdisk from cgsecurity to check for partition tables and master file tables to recover, then all your files will be back. Its a command line utility but easy to use and lots of videos im sure. After testsisk if it failed to help i would try ZAR. Aka Zero Assumption Recovery. Its not free but you will be able to determine if it can help with the trial.



posted on Nov, 18 2018 @ 06:09 AM
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a reply to: stormcell and drewlander

Thanx



posted on Nov, 18 2018 @ 09:02 AM
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originally posted by: ICycle2
A bit of story time before I get to the point.

I know some basics and used to build my own computers up to Win XP. Actually still got and have a little gem running on XP and sometimes still use it to connect to the internet. It is however getting more difficulty with all the large scripts web pages are beginning to run.

Then I took over my Son’s powerful GigaByte gaming laptop, 4G ram + top of the range display card +,+ running on Win ultimate pre installed. He used it like a type of server when he and his friends played their games (they had this gaming night every week). He now has a monster of a thing with more fans and lights I ever seem. The blocks of ram looks like they can be used in a gym, but that’s kids.

Then my first stupid mistake, coffee over my keyboard. After it dried out I was able to use it with an external keyboard, so it didn’t get fixed.
Then my second mistake, I ask my son to format the computer because there were too many things running in the background not of my choice and I haven’t format Win 7 before. He was in IT back then as a qualified server technician or something like that and had international papers. I believe he didn’t format it from Bios and just reinstalled it over the current Win. Ha, ha now I need the license again but manage to work around that with a little delwpa.bat file trick I found on the internet. It was irritating but workable.

Then I went to hospital and phoned a friend to come fetched the laptop as a security reason. Out of hospital on start up the battery was dead. Then it start working again and gone dead again for a couple of times until nothing. More like the battery control system giving problems than the battery itself because when charged I still had about 3 hour life in it.

No time for that as planning my retirement was more important and it was still workable when plugged in.

The next thing was that it started to struggle starting up once or twice and then I could only get to repair computer (the bios then a blank screen till windows recovery starts), not even safe mode. Could not get a system restore point or image recovery and memory diagnostics do not find a problem (its like my Os is gone), Maybe it got a virus because I was running a complete scan when it crashed or Microsoft is blocking me because of this .bat file as I did loose some unexplained administrated privileges just prior to the crash.

As it was time to get it fixed I used the command prompt and dos to copy some files I didn’t backup yet and save it to an external disk. And now my XP computer tells me the external disk is corrupted although the drive icon appears. On start up it does do a scan disk which tells me that nothing is wrong.

So the help I need is: Are there some way I can get into the external hard drive without formatting it while I wait for my laptop to be fixed. Dos also tell me its corrupted working from the command prompt.

Recuva a program that recovers deleted files is able to enter this corrupt external drive, but obviously I do not need deleted files.


Simple SATA USB connector to a clean computer can read and copy all files over from the inoperable 1.

Did this 4-5 times in 20 yrs...never losing any files as they weren't corrupted, the O.S. was.

$20



posted on Nov, 18 2018 @ 10:20 AM
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External hard drives have two possible points of failure, the disk and the interface, so the first thing to try is to take the disk out of its box and connected it as an internal disk on a computer with a compatible interface.

If the disk still doesn't appear as normal then I also suggest testdisk, I have used it several times to recover files from unreadable disks.



posted on Nov, 18 2018 @ 11:21 AM
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The drive if lucky just has the NTFS details corrupted a bit and windows complains like mad should it not be perfect.

Listen to the drive and if you hear a lot of clicking the drives on its last legs so don't use it and get it to someone who has the skills and gear as running some of the recovery tools could cause data loss for ever


Given the drive will be i'd say heading around 8 years of age at least its worth considering its on last legs (the label on the drive will show the manufacturing date)



posted on Nov, 18 2018 @ 08:36 PM
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originally posted by: Maxatoria
The drive if lucky just has the NTFS details corrupted a bit and windows complains like mad should it not be perfect.

Listen to the drive and if you hear a lot of clicking the drives on its last legs so don't use it and get it to someone who has the skills and gear as running some of the recovery tools could cause data loss for ever


Given the drive will be i'd say heading around 8 years of age at least its worth considering its on last legs (the label on the drive will show the manufacturing date)


The cheap solution for this situation is to put the hard disk drive in a freezer bag, put it in a freezer compartment, let it cool down for 30 minutes, then take it out, power it up and give it a tap as it is starting up. This overcomes the stiction caused by the drive heads becoming trapped by burnt bearing oil as the disk spins round. But this can only be done once. Then copy everything you can. You really only get one shot.
I had to do this, when a relative put my laptop on a shelf in direct sunlight.
edit on 18-11-2018 by stormcell because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2018 @ 09:18 PM
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I enjoyed some of the responses.
Freezing a drive with stuck mechanical s had never occurred to me. Thanks for that one.
I write this as I am recovering yet another failed 8tb drive from my media systems zfs array at home.

First off the problems you had on the machine sound like a bad motherboard. Not to mention the shorted out keyboard.

I couldn't tell if you pulled the drive before sending the machine in for RMA? Assuming to save old data?

0. Pull the drive - which I am assuming you did.

1. do you have another windows machine? if so plug the drive into a sata to usb converter. They are ubiquitous, you can yank one out of an old broken usb drive case if you dont have one.

2. plug into other winblows machine and run a scandisk on the drive. If it does not pass or you can't mount the drive move to the next steps.


3. I am assuming you dont care about the drive but just the data yes? or both..

4. Install www.easeus.com...

I don't know if you have to pay to get the data. I got a license from work a while back. Works better than some of the 20k$ recovery products I have used in the past. There are uh, plenty of other places to get one as well.

5.open the program, plug in the drive, ignore any and all MS bs popups.
if the drive is at all accessible, even if it is failing on just plugging it in, you hear clicking...etc You will be able to recover data (at least what is recoverable).

6. After data recovery... Assuming you are not hearing some annoying noises or clicking. Try using the ms machine you have it plugged into to re-format. Some drives you can low level format. Depends on the drive.

There are many other ways of doing this same thing. Linux boot disc, windows start up disks, windows or Linux boot usb ...etc
Could of forgot something, wrote it fast...feel free to ask.

Cheers

Dude who has built tens of thousands of computers / Servers / Networking equip over the years.

edit on 18-11-2018 by bwillie because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2018 @ 10:00 PM
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a reply to: ICycle2

Lets back up 10 steps just so i can throw my opinion around if i may. WinXP is well beyond its end of life cycle, receives no security patches, and is a risk to continue spreading conficker among an unknown amount of worms. Go to best buy, buy a 250gb ssd for like 50 bucks to replace that pig, and buy a copy of win7 to install from a flash drive. You can get a copy of win7pro off nerdsforless for like 14 bucks with downloadable iso. I have bought dozens of copies. Its legit oem licenses. Use rufus to make a bootable usb from the iso. Do this as a clean install, not a winxp upgrade.

If you need any files off the old drive, slave it. But not before you install some AV, even if its only malwarebytes 14 day trial.



posted on Nov, 18 2018 @ 10:14 PM
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originally posted by: drewlander
a reply to: ICycle2

Lets back up 10 steps just so i can throw my opinion around if i may. WinXP is well beyond its end of life cycle, receives no security patches, and is a risk to continue spreading conficker among an unknown amount of worms. Go to best buy, buy a 250gb ssd for like 50 bucks to replace that pig, and buy a copy of win7 to install from a flash drive. You can get a copy of win7pro off nerdsforless for like 14 bucks with downloadable iso. I have bought dozens of copies. Its legit oem licenses. Use rufus to make a bootable usb from the iso. Do this as a clean install, not a winxp upgrade.

If you need any files off the old drive, slave it. But not before you install some AV, even if its only malwarebytes 14 day trial.


Ah crap, should of paid more attention!

winxp? uh....

yeah, slave it with ide or eide usb controller.

You should not plug this machine to the internet for any reason. Unless you know your firewalls and what you currently have. Or use a more recent OS.

I actually still have a winxp machine around. Don't think I have turned it on in 6 years or so.

I can look around old crap if you want an xp lic. But you should update to win7 at least.


edit on 18-11-2018 by bwillie because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 19 2018 @ 04:05 AM
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originally posted by: bwillie
4. Install www.easeus.com...

I don't know if you have to pay to get the data. I got a license from work a while back. Works better than some of the 20k$ recovery products I have used in the past. There are uh, plenty of other places to get one as well.

I think the free version has a limit on the amount of data it can recover, that's why I didn't suggest it.
But it's a very good program, I have used it some times with very good results.




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