Hard drive crash, can't mount anywhere

March 20, 2013 at 22:53:52
Specs: Windows 7
Hard drive crashed and burned, trying to recover data, but it constantly dismounts when connected to internal or USB sata (tried in Windows and various Linux distros).

Sometimes, on boot, the computer gives me "2100:Detection Error on HDD0 (Main HDD)". Other times, it gets a little further but fails to find a bootable partition.

Ideas? I *really* need some data back from this drive.


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#1
March 21, 2013 at 04:56:26
It appears you are trying to boot to that hard drive.

Is/was this hard drive the primary drive in your computer?

You need to provide more details in order for us to understand the original problem.

Do you have a Lenovo Thinkpad?

Provide model numbers of your computer and of the problematic hard drive.


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#2
March 21, 2013 at 05:00:54
The drive is sensing an internal failure and is either shutting down or spinning down. You can make a JTAG cable for your drive and find the telnet commands for your drive's firmware, but it is some tricky stuff. It requires you to have a high aptitude with electronics. Most computer repair shops would not be able to do this job. If the data is really important you could always send the drive off to a data recovery company.

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#3
March 21, 2013 at 05:05:49
"If the data is really important you could always send the drive off to a data recovery company"

I agree. That's the only way to retrieve data from a crashed hard drive. You can try forever to get the drive working but you'll get nowhere. Professional data recovery is very expensive however, so the data would have to be very important to justify the cost.

That's why keeping backups of your data is so important - it saves all the grief and expense.


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#4
March 21, 2013 at 06:26:28

It appears you are trying to boot to that hard drive.
Is/was this hard drive the primary drive in your computer?


Yes to both.

You need to provide more details in order for us to understand the original problem.


Sorry, I was just trying to keep it concise with what I figured was the crux of the matter. These are the entire details...

I was working on my computer (replying to an email as I recall, not likely relevant) and suddenly there was 100% drive access for a few minutes, everything froze and then windows starting throwing several random and obscure errors.


explorer.exe and many other running programs crashed (just closed or errored out), CTRL+ALT+DEL didn't work, my only choice was a hard power-off (hold power button until the machine is physically off)


Booted up, which obviously triggered a safe mode prompt. Safe mode got stuck loading one of the drivers, had to hard power-off.


Tried restoring a backup of image of the system/OS partition, which failed almost immediately.

This is my HDD setup: [TC/WIN7] [UBUNTU] [[LINUX SWAP] [DATA AND BACKUPS]]

At this point, I don't care about either operating system, I just want to be able to access my data.

When I boot, it sometimes fails completely with "2100:Detection Error on HDD0 (Main HDD)". If it makes it past that error, it attempts to load a TrueCrypt'd Windows 7 installation by default, which always gives "No bootable partition found". Ubuntu (unencrypted, GRUB in /dev/sda2 and not MBR) does boot in this scenario, I can load the OS, login and access the desktop. But within a minute or two, it just jams out the same way Windows did (100% HDD access, completely hangs, errors, etc.)

RECOVERY ATTEMPTS:

FAILED:
Boot into Ubuntu, mount [DATA AND BACKUPS] partition

FAILED:
Connect HDD externally to another PC using USB SATA adapter in Windows or Ubuntu:. It either fails to mount entirely or mounts and dismounts itself after a few seconds. I'm never able to get as far as listing files.

FAILED:
My imaging software (TBU IFL) is the only software I've found that is able to access the drive, see the partitions and list files on the partitions. I tried imaging the [DATA AND BACKUPS] partition which failed at about 3% completion with the error that it can't access the data.

FAILED:
Every related utility in UBCD (mostly Parted Magic and it's contained utilities) is unable to mount or read the drive. Sometimes GParted can list partitions but, again, it dismounts after a minute or two.

Do you have a Lenovo Thinkpad?


Yes, Lenovo W520, hard drive is Seagate ST9750420AS (750GB, 7200 RPM). SeaTools can't see the drive, I've made multiple attempts.

The drive is sensing an internal failure and is either shutting down or spinning down. You can make a JTAG cable for your drive and find the telnet commands for your drive's firmware, but it is some tricky stuff. It requires you to have a high aptitude with electronics. Most computer repair shops would not be able to do this job.


I've installed dd-wrt on a few routers and I work in the Linux shell almost daily, so I'm vaguely familiar with what you're talking about there.

If the data is really important you could always send the drive off to a data recovery company.


Yeah, I'm considering it at this point. I'll wait for some responses after this post.


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#5
March 21, 2013 at 06:47:00
So you did a full disk encryption with truecrypt? Try this

http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/?s=re...

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Reco...


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#6
March 21, 2013 at 08:04:09

So you did a full disk encryption with truecrypt? Try this
Not quite. The OS is encrypted and the data partition contains three encrypted file containers, but the partition itself is not encrypted.

I already restored the TC bootloader to the boot sector and it does work, but fails to locate a bootable partition.

But again, I really don't care about the system partition, it's just OS and software. I just need to extract those TrueCrypt file containers. As long as they're intact, I can work with them.


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#7
March 21, 2013 at 11:07:40
The error you are getting seems to be related to Lenovo Thinkpads. I suggest you browse the forums over there. Typing in the error there will generate many hits.

http://forums.lenovo.com/


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#8
March 21, 2013 at 16:42:47

The error you are getting seems to be related to Lenovo Thinkpads.

Yeah, I think that's just the particular message that a ThinkPad BIOS reports when it can't see a hard drive or thinks the hard drive is bad. Connecting a different hard drive (OS already installed and configured for the laptop) boots up error-free.


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#9
March 21, 2013 at 20:27:36
Two things I notice:
First, you are trying to boot to the drive and when it starts to have problems, it freezes. I would recommend for you to install the drive as a second internal hard drive on a working desktop computer and boot it up. It is possible that since you are not relying on that drive for your OS, the intermittent or slowing may not freeze te system and may allow more data to be extracted before it locks you out.
Second, it appears that the problem appears only when the drive 'warms' up a while. This may indicate that the drive's main bearings or the arm's pivot bearings are the problem and that when it heats up, the problem gets worse. The possible solution to this is something I once read but have not had the need to try it. You simply remove the drive, put it into a ziplock bag, remove as much air and moisture from the bag as possible and seal it. Then put it into the freezer for an hour or two. As soon as you remove it from the freezer, you then connect it as a second drive on a working desktop and boot it up. If you have access, immediately transfer your files/folders directly from hard drive to hard drive since this takes the least amount of time and will give you the best chance of getting it all.
Good luck and next time, make sure that you make a copy of all of your important files. Put them on CD/DVD and put them in a bank vault if they critical and/or in need of high security.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#10
April 13, 2013 at 07:58:05
I from "Old School" ! I see people with Hard Drive problems all-the-time. As long as the heads are ratcheting continually. Go to the following sight and get a copy of Spinrite. It's NOT free, but it will fix most any Hard Drive in trouble.
www.grc.com This program has been around since 'dirt', and it will run for many day's, but you will gain access to your drive, again. It totally "LOCKS-OUT" Bad sectors if it CAN NOT repair them, (which it does most of the time)! DON'T be foiled by its small size!! It is pure Assembly Language. Steve Gibson knows his stuff!

Good luck


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