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External Hard Drive won't mount


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#1
Nath8r

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I left the external to copy some data across and thought all was fine (not first time I've transferred data). When I returned, I found the netbook shut down (lack of power) and thought all was OK. That was all before the drive stopped working - I think that occasion was the reason why.

The external loads onto the computer (have tested on Mac, Windows, Linux and the netbook being Windows aswell) fine but won't mount. I've used Phoenix (and PhotoRec) to scan and the data is still intact (not sure if 100% fine). After many hours of research, I think the ntfs partition table is corrupt. I've tried Test Disk (as well as PhotoRec) and MiniTool Partition Wizard to repair and recover the table. Noting this, I could be wrong yet can't find another plausible reason. My other drive (exactly the same with almost cloned data) stuffed up quite recently but managed to fix it with Chkdsk after also many hours of research (and that took days to complete). Windows says the drive needs to be formatted to be used, Mac won't mount nor allow 'Repair Disk' in Disk Utility even though it shows there (couldn't mount it via Terminal), and Linux said it couldn't mount regarding something about error 2 (I tried ntfs-3g, ntfsfix and another tool I think that I can't remember if I did). My Mac uses a combination of MacFuse and Tuxera NTFS to mount NTFS drives and that hasn't had a problem - another NTFS drive works fine so I ruled that out.

This is all a rundown of my efforts. Have I missed anything? Is there any way to repair? I think I can recover but how can I be sure that I'll get everything (100s GB)? Phoenix sorts the files out itself and only the Raw Recovery and Formatted Media... & earch Lost ... work from Drive Recovery Tab. It used to all work normal with the drive. TestDisk/PhotoRec is now asking for a password on Mac so can't use it but works fine on Windows. If I remember anything else I'll update but I think this is all I've done for now. I can't continue any work or projects until it's fixed so I'm lagging behind schedule and I'm not a person who does. You're help would be sincerely appreciated, thank you in advanced.
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#2
phillpower2

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Hello Nath8r

Have you tried backing the drive up using Puppy Linux, if not it should be done asap in case the HDD has electrical or mechanical issues that may cause the drive to fail completely.

Puppy Linux guidance should it be required;

===================
***Required Hardware***
CD Burner (CDRW) Drive,
Blank CD,
Extra Storage Device (USB Flash Drive, External Hard Drive)

===================

1. Save these files to your Desktop/Burn Your Live CD:
  • Download Latest Puppy Linux ISO (i.e.: lupu-528.iso)
    Download BurnCDCC ISO Burning Software

    There are instructions on how to boot from flash drive with puppy here; http://www.pendrivel...e-from-windows/

  • Open BurnCDCC with Windows Explorer
  • Extract All files to a location you can remember
  • Double Click Posted Image BurnCDCC
  • Click Browse Posted Image and navigate to the Puppy Linux ISO file you just downloaded
  • Open/Double Click that file
    IMPORTANT: Adjust the speed bar to CD: 4x DVD: 1x
  • Click Start Posted Image
  • Your CD Burner Tray will open automatically
  • Insert a blank CD and close the tray
  • Click OK
Puppy Linux Live CD will now be created
2. Set your boot priority in the BIOS to CD-ROM first, Hard Drive Second
  • Start the computer/press the power button
  • Immediately start tapping the appropriate key to enter the BIOS, aka "Setup"
    (Usually shown during the "Dell" screen, or "Gateway" Screen)
  • Once in the BIOS, under Advanced BIOS Options change boot priority to:
    CD-ROM 1st, Hard Drive 2nd
  • Open your ROM drive and insert the disk
  • Press F10 to save and exit
  • Agree with "Y" to continue
  • Your computer will restart and boot from the Puppy Linux Live CD

    Posted Image

3. Recover Your Data
  • Once Puppy Linux has loaded, it is actually running in your computer's Memory (RAM). You will see a fully functioning Graphical User Interface similar to what you normally call "your computer". Internet access may or may not be available depending on your machine, so it is recommended you print these instructions before beginning. Also, double clicking is not needed in Puppy. To expand, or open folders/icons, just click once. Puppy is very light on resources, so you will quickly notice it is much speedier than you are used to. This is normal. Ready? Let's get started.

    3a. Mount Drives
  • Click the Mount Icon located at the top left of your desktop. Posted Image
  • A Window will open. By default, the "drive" tab will be forward/highlighted. Click on Mount for your hard drive.
  • Assuming you only have one hard drive and/or partition, there may be only one selection to mount.
  • USB Flash Drives usually automatically mount upon boot, but click the "usbdrv" tab and make sure it is mounted.
  • If using an external hard drive for the data recovery, do this under the "drive" tab. Mount it now.
3b. Transfer Files.
  • At the bottom left of your desktop a list of all hard drives/partitions, USB Drives, and Optical Drives are listed with a familiar looking hard drive icon.
  • Open your old hard drive i.e. sda1
  • Next, open your USB Flash Drive or External Drive. i.e. sdc or sdb1
  • If you open the wrong drive, simply X out at the top right corner of the window that opens. (Just like in Windows)
  • From your old hard drive, drag and drop whatever files/folders you wish to transfer to your USB Drive's Window.
For The Novice: The common path to your pictures, music, video, and documents folders is: Documents and Settings >> All Users (or each idividual name of each user. CHECK All Names!) >> Documents >> You will now see My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos.

Remember to only click once! No double clicking! Once you drag and drop your first folder, you will notice a small menu will appear giving you the option to move or copy. Choose COPY each time you drag and drop.

YOU ARE DONE!!! Simply click Menu >> Mouse Over Shutdown >> Reboot/Turn Off Computer. Be sure to plug your USB Drive into another working windows machine to verify all data is there and transferred without corruption. Congratulations!



Posted Image

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#3
Nath8r

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Hi PhillPower2

I have thoroughly followed these steps without avail. In addition, Puppy recognises the drive as a thumb drive not a hard drive nor did it provide me with any information on why (don't know if any logs were generated). The LED light on the drive remained ON (not flashing) except when first plugged-in it flashed a few times - this occurs on any OS/computer. I am by no means an illiterate computer user; hence, my extensive research and attempts. What else could be done?

Attached Thumbnails

  • Photo_1 recovery - compressed.jpg

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#4
phillpower2

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Hello Nath8r

The external HDD if recognized by Puppy should be identified as /dev/hdb or /dev/sdb, as the LED is not blinking it is possible that the drive has locked up and Puppy can`t read the data from it.

An alternative recovery software to try is Ddrescue

What is the brand and model name or number of the device please.
Is the device still covered by any form of warranty.

I am by no means an illiterate computer user; hence, my extensive research and attempts

No one has suggested otherwise <_<
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#5
Nath8r

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Hi PhillPower2

Puppy recognised the device in the sense that it knew there was a drive attached, though could not mount.

I cannot use ddRescue because it requires the drive to be mountable.

Samsung M3 Portable 1TB (manufactured by Seagate). I have two of them. As far as I am aware, since the drives are not even a year old warranty will replace though I will loose any opportunity to recover the data.

I am aware no-one did, however, my experience (ie. precedence) on forums has lead me otherwise. I don't want anyone to limit the tools and possibilities based on assumed knowledge; hence, I wanted to clear things up. I was not accusing you of thinking so and I apologise if I did imply such a case.

My friend suggested Recuva as a possible tool. I am currently running a Deep Scan (shallow was ineffective). Will inform on progress.

Edited by Nath8r, 20 November 2013 - 11:09 PM.

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#6
phillpower2

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Hello and thanks for the update Nath8r :thumbsup:

Recuva is very good and it has a high success rate.

NB: No apology necessary, we have no way of knowing a persons level of computer knowledge + we need to keep in mind that other people may read your topic looking for help themselves - hence the comprehensive Puppy Linux instructions which you are obviously comfortable with but other people (we have a lot of junior members) may not be.
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#7
Nath8r

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Hi Phill, no worries :)

Firstly, I'd like to apologise for the extraneously late response to our thread. I had been toiling away at the HDD and had things come up in my offline life.

Recuva did not resolve any issues. Since I last replied, I ended up purchasing a new HDD (one that I assembled myself) and still using the 2nd one for now. I've manually synced them both and all is good for now. I'm gradually recovering data from the 1st with Phoenix. This tutorialhelped me mount the drive, that's as far as I got before purchasing the new drive.

OK, I understand. I should have made note in my opening thread? And you guys use a program that allows you to automatically copy the entire tutorial each time from a stored location right?
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#8
phillpower2

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Hello Nath8r

No worries about the delay as we all have other things going on in life and so none of us can be here 24/7.

Thanks for sharing the information with us so that it may help others if in the same or a similar predicament :thumbsup:

And you guys use a program that allows you to automatically copy the entire tutorial each time from a stored location right?

That is correct, some are canned tutorials provided by GTG staff and some are specific to individuals who use the same information so often that it makes sense to have easy access to their own information rather than retyping the same thing again and again.

Worth a mention is the fact that I was helping another member here who had success with the Stellar Phoenix program and so I made a point of bookmarking the companies homepage so that I could become familiar with the program :)
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#9
Nath8r

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Hi Phill :)

Thanks for understanding.

No problems. More than happy to! Yes, I definitely recommend Phoenix. It's takes awhile, yet it's thorough.

Though I have not found the problem with the drive, I've spent vast amounts of time investigating it (as aforementioned). If I spend more time, like 10+ hours (metaphorically speaking), to learn the fundamentals of data storage and NTFS, then I'll probably be able to diagnose the problem and fix it - if possible. I'll also learn other things in the process. As much as I wouldn't mind doing this, I literally cannot portion the necessary time. I sincerely appreciate all your help and time and wish the best in your endeavours of helping others. As much as I hate to say this, I don't think there is anyother reasonable manner of fixing the drive other than the manner I'm now doing it. I don't want to discourage other people in fixing their HDD problems, as mine is mostly a unique case - please pursue yours to the very end like I have.

P.S I am wondering, can the same tools be used for SDDs? I'm considering switching to those in the future. Also, what's the failure rate?
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#10
phillpower2

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Hello Nath

Your methodical approach to this will understandably take time and if all data is finally secured you should afford yourself a well deserved pat on the back :thumbsup:

Your topic here will only encourage people to be more determined with their own endeavors so any information that you can share will be much appreciated I`m sure.

My understanding of Puppy is that it will work on any drive that uses the NTFS format however earlier OSs such as XP and Vista unlike W7 and 8/8.1 do not have TRIM enabled by default, this should not be a problem to most users regarding data recovery as it would be most apparent when using a Linux software as a full time OS.

Some further information regarding Puppy Linux and SSD devices available here and for pre Windows 7 users that may read this topic enabling TRIM guidance is available here

You are most welcome btw :)
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#11
Nath8r

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Hey Phill

Yes, it will. Is my approach not the most effective and efficient method? Thanks :)

I definitely hope it is. I'll keep track of how my data recovery progress and will be more than willing to share my progress. I won't wait till I'm finish as that will be eons, though will give myself some time so I setup a great workflow that works well. Once that's done, I'll post how I did it to this thread :happy:

I had a quick skim of the SDD article and will thoroughly read later but I am very surprised by the SSD failures. It's really made me put my SSD goals on hold. I still want to setup a fireproof RAID array to fix my drive failures risks once-and-for-all.
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#12
phillpower2

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Thanks for the update Nath8r :thumbsup:
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