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Bad drive...data recovery possible?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Greetings,

A friend of mine turned to me for assistance with a dead hard drive. He described it as being 'bad' and said he only cared to get his data off the drive. I've been working with it for the last hour and a half, and some strange things have come up. I'm using Foldam as my platform. Hard drive is a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, 500 GB, model number ST3500820AS.

When I first plugged in the drive, Windows went through the 'new hardware' thing and identified the correct model number drive, but would not recognize it through Explorer. I populated the volume through the Windows 7 CD, then restarted. Once I got to Windows, I could see the drive. It showed as being unformatted, so I formatted it.

Here's where it gets strange. It wouldn't format. Ran into an error. Crashed Windows. Now, any time I try to start Windows, even in Safe Mode or with the Windows 7 CD, it freezes on the black screen with the Windows logo. Plugging it in while Windows is running does nothing for me.

Thoughts?
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Windy
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post #2 of 17
I had the same issue with a 2Tb green. Windows won't boot with the drive any more, and it will cause explorer to crash if you hot-swap it in after bootup.

What I did was disconnect all my computer's hard drives, boot from a Linux Live CD (Used Knoppix), hot swap the damaged drive in (Knoppix was able o read it no problem), as well as a good drive, and evacuated as much data as possible. I managed to save about 95% of my data.

Once you've recovered what you want, get the drive replaced.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Why does Linux have to be the answer?!?!?

Just Jokes - thanks for your help.

Any other ideas?
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post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kremtok View Post
Why does Linux have to be the answer?!?!?

Just Jokes - thanks for your help.

Any other ideas?
Because it works?

I can't think of anything else. The weak point in this type of recovery is Windows; it will do its damnedest to not interface with the damaged drive.

You could also try the Ultimate BootCD utility if you like, though I have no experience with that. Speak to PapaSmurf for more in-depth help; he's the one who saved me when my 2Tb green died, as I mentioned.
post #5 of 17
Um, wait, you tried to format a drive you were trying to get data off of?!

At this point, booting from a live CD and running various data recovery tools is your only option. Remember that you need free space on another drive in order to perform recovery.
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post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by error10 View Post
Um, wait, you tried to format a drive you were trying to get data off of?!

At this point, booting from a live CD and running various data recovery tools is your only option. Remember that you need free space on another drive in order to perform recovery.
True, I'd forgotten that.

You're not going to be able to just copy/paste the files off the drive, as I did. You'll need some sort of undelete program to get those files back.

If you did a zeros pass or a full format rather than a quick format, then stop doing anything now; nothing will be recoverable.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was already planning to use Recuva to find the data, because the drive was showing as empty and unformatted. I chose 'quick format' to preserve the files on the drive.
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Windy
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post #8 of 17
Good idea. Keep us posted on how it goes.
post #9 of 17
Even doing a quick format makes it more difficult to recover the data. What you should have done is left the drive alone and run the recovery software on it as it was and let it attempt a raw read. Now that you've formatted it that option is gone.

Download the Ultimate Boot CD, create the self booting disk or usb flash drive, boot to it, and run the various recovery programs from it and hope that they can still recover some of the files after you screwed things up by formatting the drive. You might get lucky, but I wouldn't count on it.
Edited by PapaSmurf - 5/17/11 at 8:26pm
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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
This drive came from an external enclosure, so the part where I screwed it up is pretty unlikely because it wasn't a boot drive. Still, thanks for the advice.
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Windy
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