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Old 16.08.2008, 18:51
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External HD Died!

Hi I accidentally dropped my external HD and I got unreadable sectors, I tried Scandisk and it froze towards the end and now my HD isn't recognised by windows (but does show up in the device manager). This is a nightmare, I only arrived here last week and I stored most things on there. I now need help from a Data Recovery specialist or someone who has experience in this matter. Can anyone recommend anyone? Are these people discrete/private. I have MP3s, movies etc. in there (it is a big a relatively large drive) and I wouldn't want to get reported for having them. Any advice would be most welcome. Thanks, Barcode
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Old 16.08.2008, 19:00
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Re: External HD Died!

Dropping an HD is usually fatal, because it affects the mechanics of the drive. No amount of software can fix that.
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Old 16.08.2008, 19:07
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Re: External HD Died!

ouch..! I thought the tough outer case would protect if from that. The drive is actually making a chunk-chunk noise now too. I really want to get this looked at in hope that some of the data can be rescued. The drive was being recognised yesterday before I made things worse with my uncompleted scan disk operation.I'm guessing the data could be retrieved as you here about burn't disks being retrieved by special labs but it will be v.costly. Does anyone know anyone who can take a look at it?
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Old 16.08.2008, 19:37
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Re: External HD Died!

Spin Right - but it costs...
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Old 16.08.2008, 22:26
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Re: External HD Died!

"Thunk thunk" sounds like head hitting the disc, physical damage not software.

This sort of thing can still sometimes still be recovered, there are people who specialise in this sort of thing...but the data needs to be REALLY important. last time I had to get it done (in UK) it cost £4500 for a relatively small drive.

If it is of any help PM me, I can dig out their details for you.
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Old 16.08.2008, 23:58
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Re: External HD Died!

I used irecover to recover data from a bad partition. It was the only software I found which could read the bad partition - others would just freeze up.

http://www.diydatarecovery.nl/irecover.htm
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Old 17.08.2008, 13:01
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Re: External HD Died!

By brother had a HD with some bad sectors and put it in the freezer in order to recover data from some previously unreadable sectors. Not sure how it works exactly, I'll have to ask him, or Google it for more info. Could be worth a try. Altho if you dropped it and it's not spinning, then it may not help.
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Old 17.08.2008, 13:24
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Re: External HD Died!

Thanks for the help guys. I'll tell you whats strange, when I put the drive in windows or ms dos, I get the thunk thunk noise but when I tried scanrite on it in it's FreeDos mode, the noise disappeared and the drive sounds healthy (with light still on). However, ScanRite couldn't not do anything with the drive as it said, it's format is unknown (I guess this is because of the scan disk mess up). I'm now considering cutting my losses and formatting the pen drive. Question is how. I can't do it in Windows/Ms Dos as it is not recognised there. Maybe I have a better chance with a non-Windows platform (Linux etc) but I ain't got a clue how to install one in Windows. I am almost certain that Scan Disk caused the major damage as I could access the drive in Windows before I used scan disk. I think Scan Disk crashing messed up the drives format and now it can't be used in Windows. Anyone know how I can install an alternative desktop platform (or alternative dos) that I can try to access the drive. I tried googling but no joy so far. Thanks
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Old 17.08.2008, 13:53
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Re: External HD Died!

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Anyone know how I can install an alternative desktop platform (or alternative dos) that I can try to access the drive. I tried googling but no joy so far. Thanks
Pretty much all newer Linux OS's can run "Live" from the CD. Which means it boots from the CD and loads into the RAM, bypassing the HD alltogether. So you can try it (or use it for data recovery) without installing the OS on your HD.

Ubuntu is the most popular (and can run "Live"):

http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download

or you can try another Linux flavor if you like:
http://distrowatch.com/
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Old 17.08.2008, 13:59
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Re: External HD Died!

I think it's a hairy situation and at the very least you just learned what backups are for

What I would do would be taking a linux live cd and try making a bytecopy of the disk using dd, and then play around with that to try and recover the data using the usual software.

You can get yourself a linux livecd and not install anything. You should probably seek help if you're not an expert. You can actually do the same under windows: get yourself the dd utility here:

http://www.chrysocome.net/dd

and get an image of the disk. You obviously need free space on your hard drive at least as big as the drive you want to image, since you'll make an exact byte-per-byte copy of the dying drive.

Good luck.
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