Please help salvage Hard Drive

Holadem

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Nov 4, 2000
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A 60GB thing which used to be in a Tosh laptop bought some 2 years ago. It went kaput pretty much without warning. My friend, who the thing belongs to, called a "computer specialist" who basically replaced the HD and was unable to restore anything on the old one.

Now the stuff the computer guy gave back (the old drive) looks rather... sleek. More like a very thin external HD than a regular drive. For all I know, perhaps all laptop HDs look like that.. no idea. It's got "Coolmax" written on it, and no part numbers. A google search revealed that Coolmax makes both HDs and HD enclosures. I am thinking it's HD + Enclosure, since it only has a USB port (and a USB port wouldn't be used inside the laptop, right? Sorry, it's probably a stoOOopid question).

Anyway, I plugged the thing into my PC, ran "Recover My Files" and miracle... I was able to recover all the 1700 JPEGs on that disk, most of them in good condition. (BTW, RMF is the shit!)

Following that success, I though eh... I might be able to salvage this thing, I could use the extra storage... but while I can recover tons of files (word, excell, mp3 etc...), the damn thing won't format using right click --> "format...". Even running disk manager doesn't do it, it starts well enough, but when I come back a couple of hours later, there is an error message saying it couldn't do it. Arrrgh.

The size of the device doesn't showp up in Windows Explorer. There is a drive letter, and that's it. Of course, it can't be accessed.

I hate to throw out such a purty looking device, is there any software out to get reticent hard drives back in line?

Thx!

--
H
 

Chris

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First, have you tried deleting the partition and re-partitioning the device? I'd try that. Use Windows Drive Manager to wipe the partition and create a new one. If you can't, then it's really not worth it to have a potentially questionable drive on your system, it's just a recipe to be burned later.
 

Ken Chan

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Apr 11, 1999
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Notebooks drives are generally just like shrunken regular drives, 2.5" instead of the standard 3.5". It seems unlikely they would waste space inside the laptop putting the drive in an enclosure. I would guess the "computer specialist" took the drive out, and put the drive in an enclosure to access it. Odd that he couldn't recover anything, but when you tried it, it worked. It could happen, though.

For KillDisk or something more ambitious like SpinRite, you may need a 2.5" IDE adapter which costs a few bucks, so that you can access the drive directly, and not through USB. Of course, you'd have to take the drive out of the enclosure first to make sure it's a standard one. And as Chris said, it's a suspect drive, but as long as it's just used for temporary stuff, you might get some use out of it.
 

Holadem

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Nov 4, 2000
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I did, doesn't work... It can't even delete the partition, but maybe it's because there is no partition at this point. Like I said, the size of the drive doesn't even show up. Under the "Recover My Files" program, it shows up as a physical device (NOT logical) of 60ish GB.

Thanks for the recommendations. I shall try Kill Disk as soon as I get some new CD-Rs (I have dozens of blank DVD-R lying around but not a single CD-R, go figure...).

--
H
 

Patrick Sun

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Jun 30, 1999
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39,352
Just chuck the drive. Only heartache and sorrow are in store for you if you continue to press your luck with that hard drive after retrieving what was retrievable.
 

ChristopherDAC

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Feb 18, 2004
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Run "checkdisk" on it (if you can; that might not work for a USB device, which could be half your problem). There's probably a honking big physical-level error on the platter, owing to a head crash or something, which is what stops it from formatting all the way.
 

Paul Padilla

Supporting Actor
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Jan 15, 2002
Messages
767
It's great that you got most of your files back...count yourself lucky and 86 that drive. You know it has issues of some type...don't ask for trouble.
 

Rhoq

Supporting Actor
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Mar 1, 2004
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I lost a 100GB drive a few months ago. A few professional data recovery services quoted me $300-$500 plus I would need to supply a replacement drive for the data to be backed-up onto.

I came across Data Recovery software by ProSoft Engineering. I can highly recommend to anyone reading this that you try to get yourself ProSoft's Data Rescue II software. Although they mainly develop software for MacOS-X, they do offer a Windows versions of Data Rescue.

My drive was dead. It wouldn't even spin anymore and this software was able to recover a good 95% of the files in about 3 hours time.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is the same software that the "Pros" use and charge you an arm and leg for.
 

Paul Padilla

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
767
Your drive must have been spinning at some point for any data to have been recovered. That's like saying, "my DVD player doesn't spin anymore, but I was able to watch the movie anyway...very slowly."

These programs are very similar to what the pros use but the difference is when there is a hardware failure. In some cases they literally have to disassemble the hard drive in a clean room and replace internal parts.

Here is a "Hall of Shame" list of shots and descriptions from a recovery service I've used here in San Diego county. Ever run your disk brakepads down to the metal?

http://www.hdodatarecovery.com/recov..._of_shame.html
 

Kimmo Jaskari

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 27, 2000
Messages
1,528
With hard drive prices where they are now, any glitch in a drive counts as a reason to kick it out. Data integrity is far more important than the modest cost for a drive. Also, most hard drives come with three or five year warranties from the factory. If that drive is less old than that, check out if you can get it replaced for free. Possibly a 2.5 inch drive doesn't have that long a warranty, but it's worth finding out.
 

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