Need help Recovering Data from external HD

Gigabyte / Ep43-ud3l
May 19, 2012 at 21:56:30
Specs: Windows 7 64Bit, E8200/4GB
A-Data external hard drive.
This hard drive was my daughter's external hard drive at college and this drive was used for the last couple of years as both a back up for her laptop and as a save for files she created on the school's desktop computer's (Photoshop, autocad 3D, etc.) with her laptop being the back up for this. During final's week, after a particularly long work session on a desktop the external hard drive suddenly (during a save) became unavailable. After a call to me, she saved everything she could to a flash drive and tried the drive on other computers but all they told her was that the drive was RAW and needed formatting. She was able to complete her work, though she needed to repeat about 3 hours of work she thought was saved (to the external) by purchasing an extra flash drive and keeping her laptop near to back up to. After graduation she brought the drive home for me to look at.
This is all I have been able to do and all of the results:
Computer shows it as a generic hard drive with a letter, but says it is unformatted and wants to format it.
Disk manager shows the drive letter, Healthy, RAW, Active.
Changing the letter in Disk Manager did not have any effect.
A scan with Seatools shows the drive in good condition but unformatted (I have not done the long test since it is late, but is anyone thinks it will help, I can try it in a day or two)
Seatools advanced tools warns that to use these tools will not be safe for any data on the drive.
Recurva sees the drive as RAW and does not show any files, though I am not very familiar with this tool so if there is a way to get it to recover files in the RAW drive I would appreciate it.
If there is another trusted program that can recover files from this drive I would appreciate the information.

While most of the files are supposed to have copies somewhere else, this is no 100% positive on all files so my daughter would definitely prefer if I can make a copy of anything on it before formatting it. I would then also run any other tests (Seatools long, etc) to ensure that this drive is to be trusted. My daughter was briefed on the proper and careful use of an external hard drive when it was new and has not had any problems with it in I believe 3 years with this drive, 4 years with her laptop, and before that her desktop.
As always, any suggestions are appreciated.

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


See More: Need help Recovering Data from external HD

Report •

#1
May 20, 2012 at 03:14:19
With external hard drives the usual cause of those symptoms is that the converter board inside the enclosure (which converts the drive's native interface to USB) has failed, even though the actual drive is okay.

While the drive is still inside the enclosure with a faulty converter board, anything you try to do to access the data on it will be unsuccessful. You need to remove the hard drive from the enclosure and put the drive into a different enclosure. You can buy these at any large computer store or online. It's just an empty enclosure into which you can fit any hard drive, and it connects to a USB port just the same.

Removing the drive from the original enclosure will probably involve breaking it open as most of them are not screwed together. They will be either held together by concealed clips or the two halves bonded together.


Report •

#2
May 20, 2012 at 04:34:07
If I crack the case open,I would first try it as an internal drive to save the data since it is most likely a SATA drive, and if it was reported by any of the tests to be not working or I would have done that already. Since it is reported as Healthy in all tests I have tried, I am trying to see if I can avoid breaking the case. If that is necessary, the files backed up, and the drive proves otherwise good, a new external case is definitely an option.
I thank you for the suggestion, but hold out hope (for any other suggestions) that it can be saved.

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


Report •

#3
May 20, 2012 at 05:52:40
I just downloaded Testdisk as suggested on another post since it is reported to be able to recover lost partitions and more. I will try it tonight after work or tomorrow and report back results. Any other thoughts are still welcome in the mean time.
Link:
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Test...
for anyone else who is interested.

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


Report •

Related Solutions

#4
May 20, 2012 at 12:10:00
Really are at a unknown state. I have had bad drives in enclosures and have had bad enclosures.

I don't think it matters if you install a subject disk to internal or external.

If testdisk can get at the data then copy it off. Then diag the drive and enclosure more. I suspect if seatools reports OK then consider the enclosure.

Hang up and live.


Report •

#5
May 21, 2012 at 19:48:12
Update:
I had no luck recovering the entire partition either in the case or removed from the case as an internal hard drive.
Then I decided to format it back to FAT32 (Acronis) (same as it was) in a quick format and try the recovery software again.
As of now, Recurva did manage to recover 2.6GB of pictures (JPEG) and music files but that was all that it found.
I am currently running Testdisk to see if I can recover Photoshop, Autocad, and any other files (it should take about an hour and a half).
For those who are interested and to possibly help others, I will continue to document this recovery effort. I will post back results.

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


Report •

#6
May 22, 2012 at 05:15:30
That's about it. Testdisk and about five other highly recommended recovery programs did not find any files, only the ones recovered by Recurva.
Reformatted to NTSF and put the files back on the drive. My daughter will probably use the drive for back ups but be very nervous, at least for a while, but the drive tests out fine. I can only guess that the drive was subjected to the plug coming partially out, or a power event originating in the school's desktop.

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


Report •

Ask Question