failing hd ,how to proceed

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by linp, Mar 16, 2011.

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  1. linp

    linp Registered Member

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    Yesterday after a bsd, upon rebooting windows ran chkdsk on my 1 tb wd disk.
    it got stuck at reading "unreadable"sectors, so i had to stop the chkdsk process.
    HD was visible in bios (sometimes),several reboots.
    Ran "Testdisk" http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk , got stuck on "reading partitions".
    rebooted ,
    Ran "WinDlg" extended test from "WD datalifeguard diagnostics" this test got stuck at some sector ,i had to end with Taskmanager.
    in win disk management after a long time the disk showed up ; i went to proprties/volumes/populate and got this:
    pop.png

    So the partitions are visible, though not accesible in explorer.

    Today i opened disk management and got this:
    init.png

    I still have this dialog open but am not sure what to do ;Cancel or OK.

    Obviously this disk is bad , my goal is to try to get some things off it , preferably by making a sector by sector disk image with :Drive snapshot" to another 1 tb disk ,or use some recovery software.
    I have (2) backups of all my other disks ;this one has mainly stuff on it which i can replace again (about 600 gb)this is why a had no backup of this hd , not smart ,i know, i would like to try to get the files back ,so appreciate any advice how to proceed.

    Another option is to replace the pcb , see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRkFDFguT5A&feature=related
    i bought 2 1 tb disks together , but the numbers on the pcb are different so this would be risky .

    Cheers
     
  2. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    Hi linp.

    I would forget about initializing the disk. It won't help you recover the data and make things worse. It usually goes bad for a good reason. Any good recovery software can recover data if:

    1. the master file table or it's copy is intact.
    2. MFT points to the right data location.
    3. all the data at it's right location is there.

    A HDD recovery program will let you scan a bad drive and save the entire lot as a image, something like Active@Undelete will be good.

    Once you saved bad drive as a image then by all means using TestDisk to try and repair it.

    I would use recovery software after saving a image, then when recovered use chkdsk /r which locates and marks bad sectors, so you can still use the drive. If there's alot of bad sectors then bin it. Best to replace drive anyway, as more often than not, it's a sign of more bad sectors to come.

    If bad sectors then waste of time replacing PCB, it physical platter defects.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  3. linp

    linp Registered Member

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    Thanks for helping Markymoo,
    I expected this too
    This is not clear to me ;you say :"use recovery software after saving a image" but earlier you say: "A HDD recovery program will let you scan a bad drive and save as a image
     
  4. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    Certain recovery software have a save drive as image facility built in. If you can't take with image software before repair then use a recovery one before repair. They let you scan and save bad, unallocated drives before you try to repair them. Any alterations made can be reversed. As you have to do a full sector backup and fix the drive anyway, it best to use a proper recovery software. Testdisk uses dd to create a raw disk image but notice dd is slow to backup.

    Due to 1TB and not cheap, you probably want to keep it. Best to partition off a good area around the bad sectors once found. So you end up with 2 partitions, one either side of the bad sector unallocated space. Any more bad sectors appear, will be in the area of existing bad sectors, so leave a good space for possibly more to appear.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  5. linp

    linp Registered Member

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    Ok ,i get it now , no i can't make an image with DS, drive is raw ; so i will use the imaging from the recovery program.
    The disk is still under warranty so i will rma it as soon as i get my stuff of it !
    tomorrow i am going to try to see if i can recover.
    cheers
     
  6. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    My advice would be to use some tool like Advanced@FileRecovery(Pro) to make an image of HDD that can be searched later on for files on it. If your disk is failing, that's really the way to go. You need as much free GB as the total capacity of your disk (maybe a bit less if compression is used - can't remember if this feature exists).
     
  7. linp

    linp Registered Member

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    Update:
    1. tried making an image ,it ran till 98% and stopped.
    2.after a reboot windows started chkdsk again , this time it did finish,marking bad sectors i think, it took about 45 min.
    the hd was now visible in disk management, although only as "raw"no partitions.
    (i think) i rebooted , this time the hd was visible again , with partitions.
    3. i copied all the files to another 1 tb disk with "Super Flexible File Synchronizer" so now my data is save and i will rma the disk.
    I was lucky i think .
    Thanks for the help,cheers
     
  8. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Glad you did it. However please keep in mind some files may have been corrupted by the chkdsk process, those that had bad sectors in their layout. Once the chkdsk is done, there is no easy way to separate them from the good ones, except if you have checksums (MD5, CRC, etc.)
     
  9. linp

    linp Registered Member

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    Good point ,nothing i can do about it though,but i keep it in mind ; if i get a corrupt file i know it is not another disk failing.
     
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