Poadrim
Topic Author
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:22 pm

My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:31 pm

HELP! I mean Hi,

I have all my stuff on my WB 250GB harddrive. I am running Ubuntu 8.10 and i cant mount in in either MS or Ubuntu, any clues to help me restore my data?

//Poadrim
Good judgment comes from experience. Good experience comes from someone else's bad judgment.
 
Klaus
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:39 pm

Use your backup.
 
AircraftGeek
Posts: 64
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:48 pm

http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/

and a few € 1000

Been there, done that.
Nothing is fool-proof given a sufficiently skilled fool
 
David L
Posts: 8549
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:50 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 1):
Use your backup.

yeah... next time.  Smile
 
withak
Posts: 219
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:29 pm

RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:02 pm

Same thing happened to me a while ago. As long as only part of the hard drive is affected you should be able to get to your data. I used a version of Knoppix that loaded directly from a CD or DVD (I can't remember which) to get the the data on the corrupted hard drive. I then transferred all my data onto an external hard drive, bought a new hard drive and reinstalled Windows. This may or may not work for you but best of luck with whatever you try.

The biggest lesson I took out of the whole ordeal was to keep a back-up although right now I'm sure you don't need to here that.  duck 

Good luck.

Kris
 
Poadrim
Topic Author
Posts: 140
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:05 pm

Don't have one! Any other ideas?
Good judgment comes from experience. Good experience comes from someone else's bad judgment.
 
Phoenix9
Posts: 2042
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:21 pm

Try plugging it in into an external HD enclosure. I did that for one of my hard drives and was able to recover most of the stuff.


On a side note: how much porn did u actually loose?  Silly
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
Poadrim
Topic Author
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:05 pm

Thanks for that Mr North of everything Wink No porn at all, keep all that in dvd-backups bigthumbsup 

Did a forgett to say that is is a portable HD? I hope there is some type of software to force the HD to run, just so long i can backup all info...?

//Cheers  airplane 
Good judgment comes from experience. Good experience comes from someone else's bad judgment.
 
Winglet
Posts: 79
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:35 pm

been there done that. always have a backup of the backup. You can recover with software or sending to an outside company.
 
AverageUser
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:44 pm

There is a reasonable chance that only the USB converter electronics in your external drive is gone, so you might want to try the hard drive in a different enclosure, of PATA-type most likely in your case.
I was once brought an external drive where a voltage spike at the power supply of the enclosure has short-circuited a capacitor on the hard drive itself, and that was fixable. Not that my client had learned too much from his lucky escape, he went on to test his luck with his new Mac, and lost his own music production three months after. While Apple replaced the disk, but I could only refer him to those expensive HD specialists for a rescue of all that data.
 
Type-Rated
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:22 pm

It amazes me that in this day and age most people with computers never consider backing their systems up. And a lot of them never consider how important their data can be.
Last Christmas I gave everyone in my family a 250GB USB drive. Believe it or not, not everyone has used them.
Who do you think they'll call when they get a system crash?
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
Dougloid
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:29 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 1):
Use your backup

That's right. Brother Klaus made a believer out of me-that and a close brush with death that barely averted a system crash and loss of three years work.

Klaus, when the standby hard drive starts getting pretty loaded up is there such a thing as emptying it and starting with a new fresh backup? Is there a reason for doing this? My standby is nearly maxed out with archives.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Klaus
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:43 pm



Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 10):
It amazes me that in this day and age most people with computers never consider backing their systems up. And a lot of them never consider how important their data can be.

The main reason is not that people don't value their data, it's that the procedure of actually making the backup is usually tedious and intransparent to most people. Even most people who would consider themselves proficient in current IT often don't really have a working backup strategy.

It is one reason why for most people something like the Time Machine mechanism in MacOS X is a rather large step in the right direction. Not perfect, but easy and even fun enough to become a normal part of computing for regular people.


To the original poster: There are the following layers of disaster to this:

• Recover from a backup.

• Cautiously check for the reason why the drive won't mount (DO NOT attempt any writing operations on the drive before you're reasonably sure the hardware is okay!)

• If the hardware seems busted, try to resurrect it if you can (see Average User's idea above, among other things). If the actual harddisk won't be recognized in a different enclosure or a different computer, your only hope may be professional recovery specialists (expensive!).

• If the hardware seems okay, try (or have a reasonably capable helper try) to find out how much of the logical structure of the disk is damaged and if there are options for recovery (reconstruction of the partitioning information, reconstruction of the entire file system).

All of this can become quite time-consuming and/or potentially (very) expensive.

Backups are easy and cheap by comparison.
 
Phoenix9
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:56 pm

Try this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sleuth_Kit

Follow the link in this wikipedia article to download the software. It might work.
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
Klaus
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:56 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 11):
Klaus, when the standby hard drive starts getting pretty loaded up is there such a thing as emptying it and starting with a new fresh backup? Is there a reason for doing this? My standby is nearly maxed out with archives.

It depends on how you're using it.

If you've trained yourself to regularly add new backup archives to the existing ones, you could ask yourself what your priorities would be.

You could either just delete the oldest archive(s) if you're running out of space or if you prefer some insurance against accidental deletions you could "thin out" the older archives from daily to weekly to monthly to annually... (Time Machine automatically makes hourly backups within a day, then thins them out to daily ones for a month, then thins those out to weekly ones until the disk is full, at which point the oldest ones will automatically be "recycled"; It's a reasonable scheme for an automatic mechanism.)

One thing to consider would be that harddisks do actually age as well, so I would "retire" an older backup drive eventually, with its data intact. In an extreme emergency it still wouldn't hurt to have a "historical archive" at hand, even if its recovery might be a bit dicey after years.

Of course backup drives can fail as well, so alternating backups between drives can add another layer of security, as will storage in separate, protected locations.

It is of course important to be watchful that you can actually still connect a given backup drive to a new computer and that any archiving software used still runs on the new one. Otherwise you could lose all your backups simply to obsolescence of the hardware and software used to create them in the first place.
 
AverageUser
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:29 am

If I had anything I wanted to keep for posterity, I'd get several external drives and use a simple cloning software, such as xxclone (free for personal use) or DiscWizard (available free for Seagate and Maxtor hard drive components from Seagate). I'd make the target bootable as well so there is a "tepid" spare disk available at all times.
 
GuitrThree
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:40 am

Funny thing about Backups...

Carbonite and others have a great online backup service. However, I use Comcast, which now has a 250GB per month cap.

If I back everything up and need it when/if my system crashes, I'd exceed the cap recovering my data. Wonder how this is going to work???
As Seen On FlightRadar24! Radar ==> F-KBNA5
 
luv2cattlecall
Posts: 631
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:56 am



Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 16):
Funny thing about Backups...

Carbonite and others have a great online backup service. However, I use Comcast, which now has a 250GB per month cap.

If I back everything up and need it when/if my system crashes, I'd exceed the cap recovering my data. Wonder how this is going to work???

Online backup services for anything over 5 gigs total are a huge worthless PITA!

Super important files/docs, I have backed up onto a thumb drive that I keep in a safe at the GF's sister's house (across the country...more of a cushion if something huge happened)...everything else, I backed up onto a 500gb HDD that I bought for $50 and I put that within the gap of concrete block.

One huge problem w/backing up large amounts of data is that uploading takes 4x+ longer vs. downloading, and 250gb will literally take a few weeks to upload!

Do yourself a favor and grab a cheap HDD on black friday!
.
 
Dougloid
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:08 am



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 15):
If I had anything I wanted to keep for posterity, I'd get several external drives and use a simple cloning software, such as xxclone (free for personal use) or DiscWizard (available free for Seagate and Maxtor hard drive components from Seagate). I'd make the target bootable as well so there is a "tepid" spare disk available at all times.

Come to think of it I've still got the 40 gb hard drive I pulled out when I upgraded to a 160gb internal. I guess I could clone what I've got right now and archive it before I start emptying the auxiliary hard drive.

A project for tomorrow.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
roadrunner165
Posts: 788
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:36 am

This thread persuaded me to buy a Time Capsule for my macbook. Thanks.

Adam
 
ag92
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:22 pm

Use MozyPro next time, that way you won't have to worry about taking backups and they are all uploaded on their own
 
Klaus
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:17 pm

You should all be aware that most online backup services have rather low security standards. In most cases the data transfer can easily be intercepted.

Completely ignoring the issue of trustworthiness of the providers themselves and the security of their data centers (if they even have ones of their own instead of just renting space from other providers).
 
Dougloid
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:42 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 21):
You should all be aware that most online backup services have rather low security standards. In most cases the data transfer can easily be intercepted.

That's pretty interesting Klaus-as usual your observations are acute. It confirms what I've always thought about the wisdom and utility of autonomy and self reliance in all things-as far as one is able.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
GuitrThree
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:10 pm



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 17):
Do yourself a favor and grab a cheap HDD on black friday!

I do have one. Well, two, about 750GB's worth. And they both are used for both space and backups. However, fire, or the heat/smoke/water from the fire can damage those. Putting it in between the gap of a concrete block won't make me feel any better. That's why large corporations that care about their data ALL have OFF SITE backup storage and servers.

They are great for system crashes, but save nothing if fire/flood/or theft occurs.
As Seen On FlightRadar24! Radar ==> F-KBNA5
 
AverageUser
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:59 pm

If anyone's worried about personal security, I can warmly recommend this product: http://www.jetico.com/bcrypt8.htm It creates transparently accessible secure containers that you can send over unsafe networks, or stuff your HDs with. So simple that even an average person like myself was a go in minutes!
 
User avatar
Tugger
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:00 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 14):
One thing to consider would be that harddisks do actually age as well, so I would "retire" an older backup drive eventually, with its data intact. In an extreme emergency it still wouldn't hurt to have a "historical archive" at hand, even if its recovery might be a bit dicey after years.

Of course backup drives can fail as well, so alternating backups between drives can add another layer of security, as will storage in separate, protected locations.

It is of course important to be watchful that you can actually still connect a given backup drive to a new computer and that any archiving software used still runs on the new one. Otherwise you could lose all your backups simply to obsolescence of the hardware and software used to create them in the first place.

So are we now into a time when even home back-ups should be done in RAID array?
Is there a home version of a RAID? Perhaps it would just be a junction box and software that you can plug several external drives into. Also, are SSD's better?

Thanks,

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
gigneil
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:32 am

I just keep everything important on a RAID array in the first place... and then I back up everything on my primary spindle to it.

NS
 
airbuske
Posts: 194
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:55 pm

What kind of HD interface is it? IDE, SATA, SCSI etc?
 
northstardc4m
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:31 pm



Quoting Poadrim (Reply 7):

Did a forgett to say that is is a portable HD? I hope there is some type of software to force the HD to run, just so long i can backup all info...?

OK here's a couple last shot options:

1) put the drive in the freezer for an hour or so. IF the head bearing is bad this might let it run for awhile... if it does start grabbing your stuff off ASAP, the drive will die eventually and it WILL fail for good this time.

2) If that doesn't work, pop the enclosure, pull ALL the screws out of the drive, connect it to the drive enclosure board and try to run it like that. Long shot but i got a couple drives to work like that.

Also are you sure it isn't the enclosure thats the problem? I've had a couple where people were positive the drive was dead, put it in the Pc and it worked fine...
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
 
Klaus
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:39 pm



Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 28):
OK here's a couple last shot options:

1) put the drive in the freezer for an hour or so. IF the head bearing is bad this might let it run for awhile... if it does start grabbing your stuff off ASAP, the drive will die eventually and it WILL fail for good this time.

That is extremely bad advice without tight qualifications.

If the drive's hardware is actually okay and there has just been a software problem overwriting a few important sectors, this will help kill the hardware as well.

Things like that can sometimes help after it has been established that the hardware is in fact already dying, but in many cases the hardware would just be damaged unnecessarily by attempting such a stunt before doing the proper checks first!
 
Poadrim
Topic Author
Posts: 140
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:54 am



Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 28):

Hi,
Well I have tried on three different computers with two different O/S (XP, Ubuntu) and I only get this message when tried to open:

Big version: Width: 376 Height: 167 File size: 10kb
Good judgment comes from experience. Good experience comes from someone else's bad judgment.
 
AverageUser
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:48 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 29):
put the drive in the freezer for an hour or so. IF the head bearing is bad this might let it run for awhile... if it does start grabbing your stuff off ASAP, the drive will die eventually and it WILL fail for good this time.

That is extremely bad advice without tight qualifications.

I actually have been able to rescue quite a few drives by that method. My first success was a ST225N from a Mac in the early 1990s. I don't know where I got the idea from exactly, but I figured that if a drive stopped working after a few minutes, cooling the drive would increase the time, and I was right, I was able to copy the files little by little.

It only seems to work for drives that are on the verge of collapsing. Cases where the drive will not spin (check for centrifugal forces) or where the initial seek fails (clickety click from the drive) are I would say beyond the casual repairman.

Cooling the drive into freezer would not be bad in itself, but condensing moisture on the platters will. So I'd cool the drive in a plastic bag with some silica gel bags, which will first need to be heat treated in a conventional oven. I'd not overdo it, as as I said, a completely dead drive will probably remain so.
 
Klaus
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:09 am



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 31):
It only seems to work for drives that are on the verge of collapsing.

And it can damage ones whose hardware is actually still healthy; That was my point.

I personally would try a non-destructive low-level diagnostic software tool first, trying to read some raw sectors from the disk. If that still works, it could well have been a software malfunction and the next steps would be making an image copy of the drive and then trying recovery software.

If even a low-level read fails, it is probably a hardware problem and hardware diagnostics and high-risk methods like the big freeze might be the last resort.
 
AverageUser
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:18 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 32):
If even a low-level read fails,

LL always fails if the drive won't spin up at all or goes clickety-click at boot. Cooling down is no risk if done properly (see above), but I'd not try it before the other tricks, here first and foremost testing the drive in another enclosure or a suitable desktop. You'll almost always be able to have the drive rescued by a specialist firm if you can only cough up the money.
 
Klaus
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:18 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 33):
LL always fails if the drive won't spin up at all or goes clickety-click at boot.

Yeah, in such a case it's down to the heavier hardware measures. (Provided the drive isn't just configured to remain stopped after power-up, waiting for an explicit wakeup command. But that should not happen without explicit configuration to that effect.)
 
AverageUser
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:31 pm

ATA drives as typically used in PCs will exit their sleep state after power-up or reset and will always begin with the "alert" state, unlike SCSI drives that may have a "always enter the standby state at power-on" physical jumper.

I'll be so happy when solid state technologies will soon replace those spinning disks, at least in mobile use. Then both myself and any clients will both throw their hands up in despair  Smile
 
alfa75
Posts: 488
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:26 am

I have a Maxtor 250GB external drive that now says I have to format it when I want to see what I am supposed to have in it!

I figure I shouldn't format it if I really don't want to completely lose my data.

Any suggestions that could get a lay man in trouble?  Big grin
The best things in life aren't things!
 
AverageUser
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:39 am

Alfa75, sorry to hear about your trouble. Which computer and what operating system are you attempting to use your drive in? Have you been successful before with the same setup?
 
alfa75
Posts: 488
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:01 pm

Dell Inspiron 600m, XP Home. It was working fine one day and then the next it didn't. When it powers up it sounds like the disk is spinning.
The best things in life aren't things!
 
gkirk
Posts: 23346
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:30 pm



Quoting Alfa75 (Reply 38):
Dell

There's yer problem  Wink
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
AverageUser
Posts: 1824
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:10 pm

I'm puzzled why there should be a message to the effect of formatting the HD in XP. Anyway, the same advice should apply - the first step is to try and mount the drive in a different enclosure. It will not have to be of the same type, but the connector (PATA or ATA vs. SATA) must be observed.
 
alfa75
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 11:27 am

RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:02 am

I downloaded a program from Maxtor who makes my hard drive. I scans the disk to see if there are any salvageable files on it and lets you preview them. I just ran it and my files are there. Now I can send the $130.00 for the full program and extract them myself.
The best things in life aren't things!
 
AverageUser
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:21 pm

RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:14 pm

If that software will be able to see your files, then any decent software will, so you might want to shop around in the net and save $100 or so. This show-no show type of thing on your drive is not a good sign however, you might lose the drive in the midst of the recovery process. If I had the drive myself, I'd first attempt a sector-by-sector raw copy on a fresh drive while the going is any good. A recovery on that fresh drive is a possibility, if there are no what we call hard errors. Good luck!
 
Dougloid
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:59 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 42):
If that software will be able to see your files, then any decent software will, so you might want to shop around in the net and save $100 or so. This show-no show type of thing on your drive is not a good sign however, you might lose the drive in the midst of the recovery process. If I had the drive myself, I'd first attempt a sector-by-sector raw copy on a fresh drive while the going is any good. A recovery on that fresh drive is a possibility, if there are no what we call hard errors. Good luck!

I'll be interested in hearing about how this works. AverageUser makes a good point to make haste while the sun shines, so to speak.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
AverageUser
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:17 pm

I normally use a really old version (DOS-based) of Ghost for cloning. It supports SATA and USB enclosures as well despite its age. "Raw" cloning is an startup option there.
On more modern items of software on offer I could find e.g:
http://sector-by-sector-disk-copy.qarchive.org/
 
Poadrim
Topic Author
Posts: 140
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:32 pm

Hello, again!

I have now tried with "dd_rhelp" in Ubuntu 8.10. But no good =/


I have another question now, is it possible to access the disk and recover specific folders and files? Instead of the hole disk.


Best Regards
//Poadrim
Good judgment comes from experience. Good experience comes from someone else's bad judgment.
 
AverageUser
Posts: 1824
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:21 pm

RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:47 pm



Quoting Poadrim (Reply 45):
I have another question now, is it possible to access the disk and recover specific folders and files? Instead of the hole disk.

Yes and no. If you do a raw sector-by-sector copy on another disk without any hard errors, with skill, time and the right tools you may be able to analyze the mass of data and decide which sectors and clusters are part of which files. If your filesystem fails to initialize, as now seems to be the case, for the casual user the answer is a no. Could there be a "Dr. Hard Drive" in your area whom you could turn to?


(If anyone happens to have a working Quantum Fireball 7.5 GB ATA hard drive, I'd be interested in the drive's circuit board, there's some data that badly needs to be retrieved from someone's drive). Pls PM me if you're in possession of such a unit.)
 
Poadrim
Topic Author
Posts: 140
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RE: My WesternDigital 250GB Has Crashed!

Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:15 pm

Yes, there might be a Dr PC Nerd that might help me out, but I feel that I would to try myself first, think maybe that I have been using my friends help a bit tooooo much  Wow!


But if nothing else works i have too, thanks any way.

//Poadrim
Good judgment comes from experience. Good experience comes from someone else's bad judgment.

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