Dead Harddrive

Get your PC tech problems solved here. Quick response time.

Moderator: The Mod Squad

Dead Harddrive

Postby ranger16701columbus » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:32 am

I need some help. I have a friend who has given me his hard drive. It is a Seagate Barracuda 1 TB Sata hard drive...about 5 years old. He said one day it just quit working...and he has about one fourth of it used. I have used some free software in the past to recover information for people off of dead hard drives and have been successful at it. However, this time I am at a loss. He had all of his financial data on this hard drive as well as data he needs to do his taxes. So he really would like to get the data back. Once again, I have tried various free programs to retrieve the data including using Windows recovery platform...he has Windows 7 on it.
The problem I have is this. When I hook his drive to my computer to try and get into it, my computer takes FOR EVER to boot and get into windows. And when it does finally get there, I go to Computer Management and this drive is not showing up any where. It does not show up in Device manager either, nor will the new hardware wizard "find" this drive. I can hear the platters in the drive spinning, and there are not any of the tell tale sounds coming from the drive that indicate a hardware malfunction. I have heard that you can sometimes replace the hard drive controller board, but after researching the site that sells them, they tell you in there that if the platters are spinning up, chances are that it is not the controller board...which costs about $50.00. This friend of mine does not have a lot of extra funds, but the $50.00 sounds a lot better than the $1,500 to $2,200 price tag he was quoted from several places telling him they could get his data back for him. Well, they can "try" is what they have told him.
After I connected the hard drive to my computer several times and it could not find it, and I did not like what it was doing to my computer either, I decided to try and connect it a different way. I was able to connect the hard drive via my USB cable. When I did this, at least the first three times I worked on it (or tired to), the hard drive DID show up in Computer Management, but this time as a "Not Initialized" hard drive, and the prompt to "initialize" the drive was there as well. I did not opt to perform this operation, as doing that would destroy all the data. That is not an option here. After the third time I worked on this drive, connecting it under the USB port, it no longer shows when connected. So I have no idea what went wrong there.
I run a camp as a camp ranger. I had a friend who has been coming to camp for years now, and she works for the government and this is what she does for a living....she gets data off of hard drives. I asked her about it and had only a brief conversation with her, and she told me it sounds like a software glitch, maybe in the MBR. She did offer to take it with her and retrieve the data, but the problem is that I only see her once a year...so that option wasn't any good. Like I said, I have tried the recovery console, recovery disks and even the Windows 7 disk itself, and nothing has touched this hard drive....it simply does not show up at all and when it did under USB, it shows as not being initialized.
Can anyone shed some light on this, or lead me to some software that would "see" the disk when it is hooked up? I have used about a half dozen free programs and even some that will find the data, then you have to pay and buy the program in order to retrieve the data, but none have worked as of yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
ranger16701columbus
Initiate
Initiate
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2002 1:01 am
Location: PA

Re: Dead Harddrive

Postby Karlsweldt » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:11 pm

One major concern is that the drive was hit by a virus or Trojan.. and is now in the final stages of failure for access.
If the OS used for testing is older than what is on the drive, access may be denied. But usually not in the opposite manner. But bad sectors can also cause access failure.
It is not easy to hear a newer type hard drive do its warm-up exercise unless you use a stethoscope on the case. A fast rising whir, then faint swishing for a few seconds. Then the drive reports itself to the BIOS. A length of soft tubing could sub for a stethoscope, held next to your ear. If those sounds are there, likely the MBR is corrupt.
Seagate does have its "Seatools®" diagnostics program, free, from
http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/suppor ... s/seatools
Worth a try, to see if you can regain access. As to replacing the controller board, it has to be from the exact same model drive.
Have seen a few instances where those soft conductive foam bits between the controller board and case contacts have failed.
F@H.. to solve mankind's maladies.. in our lifetimes!
Karlsweldt
Mobo-fu Master
Mobo-fu Master
 
Posts: 20663
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 11:57 am
Location: 07438

Re: Dead Harddrive

Postby rascard2007 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:16 pm

When u hook the HDD is it always recognized by the BIOS setup? If not, chances are that the controller card is the problem.
"I have only come here seeking knowledge,
Things they would not teach me of in college"
-Wrapped Around Your Fingers-
-The Police-
rascard2007
Black Belt
Black Belt
 
Posts: 720
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:47 am
Location: Havana, Cuba

Re: Dead Harddrive

Postby ranger16701columbus » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:48 am

Well, an update here. I informed my friend that the options have been getting fewer and fewer. He wanted me to go ahead and replace the controller board, which I did even though I did not think it was the board. The new one is in place and the same, nothing. BIOS will not even recognize the hard drive, nothing does. I have tried around a dozen different means and products to recover the information, and I guess you cannot recover what cannot be seen. At one point, I had connected the SATA drive up via USB and it was recognized, but only several times, now it is not recognized even connecting that way. I do know that when I connect it through one of my internal sata ports, that the boot time is longer and it seems to "hang" for awhile. But like I said, now, even with the new board, nothing. The three times it did get recognized through being connected via USB, it showed the drive as not being initialized. I do recall this same guy having that fake "FBI Virus" and I think it was on this drive, about a year back. So I am not sure to the extent he had a good anti-virus on his machine. I know that when the drive did show up as not being initialized, that it gave the option for me to do so, but that would have resulted in wiping the data, so that was not an option.
You can hear the platters spin up when you connect the drive. So my assumption is, even after using about a dozen different ways to retrieve the data (including Seagtes Seatools), that his MBR is gone. Even the Windows 7 rescue and start up disks do not recognize the drive. Nothing does.
I guess after a month and a half it is time to give him his dead drive back. Too bad, especially after he paid to get another controller board...that was his call, not mine. But, thanks for all the help. I can always count on the expertise in this forum at MB.org to come across for me!
ranger16701columbus
Initiate
Initiate
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2002 1:01 am
Location: PA

Re: Dead Harddrive

Postby Karlsweldt » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:41 am

Sorry to hear bad news about the drive. If expense is not a real concern, the data can be recovered by a professional service.
Some viral forms are not totally eradicated.. and linger about with no true signature, replicating.. until some "click" causes them to become rampant again.. and maybe too late to cleanse.
A last attempt may be the "fdisk /mbr" command from the identical OS install disk, in command mode.
But no 100% guarantee.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/69013
F@H.. to solve mankind's maladies.. in our lifetimes!
Karlsweldt
Mobo-fu Master
Mobo-fu Master
 
Posts: 20663
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 11:57 am
Location: 07438


Return to Tech Support

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests