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Damaged Harddrive


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#1
bigdog1100

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This is my other system. It has three hard drives. C: D: and E: The D: Drive is where Windows is. I have a problem with E: Drive. I use it primarily for storing files. However, since yesterday, I lost access to it. The drive is constantly making this one-two-three (two second pause) one-two-three noise. As if it is trying to make it self work again. Because of that it takes an extremely long time for Windows to Load. And when they do, I can't even disk check E:. I did succeed in DOS, but said that the drive has some unrecoverable errors. This E: drive is secondary slave, with DVD as master. WHat can I do to gain access to it, to see if I can salvage some data?
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#2
Samm

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Hi there

You said you were able to disk check the drive in DOS. Are you able to actually access the data on this drive in DOS? If so, then just back up the data in DOS if possible. I realise however that if you could do this, you probably would have done so already!

You could try going to the drive manufacturers website & downloading/running their own disk diagnostic over the drive.

It does sound however like the drive is failing. If you still cannot recover any data after running the diagnostic, then let me know. There is one last thing you can try which is drastic & therefore a last resort but does sometimes work....
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#3
bigdog1100

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Hello. You right, I did try that. dir command returns trive error. In windows, I get "Drive is not formatted". I say let's go with what you have as last resort.
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#4
Samm

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OK, last resort option....

Remove the drive from the system. Place in an anti-static bag & seal it airtight. Make sure you get as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing.
Place inside another air tight bag (preferably a second anti-static bag if possible) & seal that shut as well.
(Be advised that sellotape or similar is no good but duct tape is fine. Failing that, fold the top of the bag over several times & staple shut)
Place drive in freezer for 24 hours.

After 24hrs you can remove from freezer. You must perform the remaining steps as quickly as possible so make sure you have the computer turned off & open up the case ready to re-install the drive BEFORE removing from freezer.
Remove drive from bags, connect it up & power on system.

You may, or may not, be able to access the drive. If you can, then obviously transfer your data as quickly as possible on to another drive. You may find that the drive starts to fail again before you can finish backing everything up. If so, then just repeat the freezing procedure until everything has been recovered.


There is a lot of debate about this method in regards to whether or not it works etc. All I can say is - it has worked for me in the past. You must make sure that in the freezing process the drive only gets cold, NOT damp or wet! (Hence the double bagging & sealing).

Let me know how you get on.
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#5
vally

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SAMM

Have u tried this method with a hard drive that does not respond and is not clicking or even if it clicks?
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#6
bigdog1100

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Thank you Samm. I will try Knoppix first. It seems that it does open the Hard Drive and I have access to its contents.
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#7
Samm

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SAMM

Have u tried this method with a hard drive that does not respond and is not clicking or even if it clicks?



The last drive I tried this on was one of my own. It was a slave drive & it had been playing up for a while (causing Windows to hang etc) although I found no bad sectors. Eventually, after a couple of days, I lost access to it altogether, and although the bios would recognise that a slave drive was present, instead of recognising it as a Maxtor <model number>, it reported the drive was a LAXHOR 0898##!!urghh (you get the idea). I hadn't had a chance to back up my data on that drive (stupidly) so I resorted to freezing it & managed to recover all my data. The drive wasn't actually making any horrible noises although it would randomly spin down (as if the power had been pulled on it) & back up again.

Hope this helps
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#8
vally

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Thanx
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#9
bigdog1100

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Samm. It looks like my hard drive is completely wasted. I cannot recover large files. Seems like there is an error in partition rather than hard drive being busted. Or so it occures that way. Is there any software I can run in Knoppix to see if I can fix my HD?
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#10
bigdog1100

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Ok. It goes into freezer tomorrow!!!
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#11
superstar

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Wow I'm excited... Tell me how it goes!!! Samm is a great expert for anything pc, hence the "Most Valuable Geek" recognition in my signature. Hi Samm! I'd love to hear this story end well, so let us know how it goes.

Very interesting method Samm where did you hear about this? I've heard about other methods using water and actually submerging the drive under it. Hmm... Don't know if that is true or would be useful in this case.

Good Luck!
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#12
Samm

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Hi superstar

Not heard of any methods involving water - and don't think I would recommend any either! The freezing method is one that's done the rounds for years now. To be honest, I was somewhat dubious about it myself until I tried it out of desperation one day & it worked. Like I said earlier, there's no guarantee it will work but so long as you follow the instructions closely & ensure the drive doesn't get wet or damp etc, then I can't see it actually doing any harm physically.
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#13
bigdog1100

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The results are out! After freezing it for over 2 days, I finally got to plugging it back in and trying out. Well, same clicking sound, same "Drive is Not formated format drive now?" message, and in Knoppix I need Target Fat32 which I now don't have. So, I declare this drive unrecoverable, and now I will destroy it for the reasons of privacy. :whistling: Oh well. At least I had a eight months old backup.
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#14
Samm

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Sorry to hear you haven't had any luck with it. Hopefully though it will encourage you to make regular backups of your data! :whistling:
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