My recovering data from corrupted external hard drive

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by fartos32, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. fartos32
    OP

    Member fartos32 GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Messages:
    130
    Country:
    Australia
    Ok earlier today I was on my computer burning a movie that me and my friends made onto a DVD with a trial version of Magic DVD copier. The movie was located on my external hard drive (drive K NTFS format) and my computer came up with several random write errors to drive K. I was wondering what was happening so I went into my computer to see if I can still access the drive and it said it needed to be formatted. At the time the other drive (drive L FAT32 format) was fine and my WBFS drive (drive J) as usual said it needed to be formatted.

    I tried restarting my computer and now it doesn't display drives J, K or L in my computer, but it still plays the sound to say it recognises something has been plugged in. This was done on a Windows XP PC. I then tried to plug it into my mum's Mac and it said it has detected a corrupted disk. Then I tried my Wii and to no prevail both USB loader GX and configurable USB loader both crashed with it plugged in. Lastly I tried my dad's Windows 7 PM and it plays the sound to recognise something has been plugged in but fails to display any disks in my computer. I also tried changing the cable which I used to connect it to my computer with the one that came with my PS3 to recharge the controllers via USB.

    My hard drive is a 500GB WD elements which I bought around Easter last year.

    Recap specs

    External hard drive - 500 GB WD elements with three drives WBFS, NTFS, FAT32
    USB cables - First one came with the hard drive, second one came with my PS3. They both have this shape http://www.cable-trader.co.uk/images/items...A01_PS3_USB.JPG
    My computer - Windows XP
    My mum's computer - Macbook
    My Wii - Softmodded with cIOS rev 19 (base WAD 57) not tested with other USB's but assumes to be working fine
    My dad's computer - Windows 7

    How do I get my computer to display the drives and let me access them again and how can I recover any lost data?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Fudge

    Banned Fudge Remember that death is not the end, but only a tra

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Messages:
    2,655
    Location:
    New York
    Country:
    United States
    The entire drive is corrupted? As in all partitions?
     
  3. fartos32
    OP

    Member fartos32 GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Messages:
    130
    Country:
    Australia
    Well I'd assume just the NTFS partition is, but none of them display on my computer. I double checked just now.

    EDIT after thinking a bit more I think the WBFS as well since USB loaders crashed with it. No idea about the FAT32 though.
     
  4. Issac

    Member Issac Mini-mod

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    Messages:
    4,455
    Location:
    Sweden
    Country:
    Sweden
    Same thing has happened to me once, so I'd also want to know if this can be solved in any way (had all my saved data from my youth up until I bought that external hard drive there, and after 1 month!!!!! it fucked up... all my data gone. all school work, all anime, all manga, every game, every save file for computer games (like a 300h + morrowind save ¬_¬ )... I'm thinking that maybe plugging it in to a linux computer might show something... bypassing microsofts "you gotta format naaao!!!" popups... but I don't know.
     
  5. Elritha

    Member Elritha GBAtemp Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,037
    Country:
    Canada
    You could try using recovery software to recover the drive. You'll need free space on another drive for the software to recover files to.
    Something like GetDataBack for NTFS should do. It's supposed to work for usb drives. If not, you'll have to open up your external hard drive enclosure and hook the drive up inside your computer.
     
  6. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    5,154
    Location:
    London, UK
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Something worth checking: the USB cable. Sometimes if there's a flaw in the USB cable, it can cause data to be misread and all sorts of other weird symptoms. Try changing it.

    This actually happened to me yesterday when transferring everything from a TB32 RAID enclosure onto a new 1.5TB HDD I got in the mail. Once I switched the USB cable with a thicker one from the printer, it worked perfectly again.

    Generally, the most common cause for corruptions on an external HDD (or flash drive for that matter) is simply not removing it properly after using it. All it takes is a miswrite in the MBR when turning it off and everything is screwed. Second most common cause is immenent HDD failure (which tends to happen if the HDD is moved around too much - this happened to my Wii-drive which I sometimes put in my back when travelling for the handy massive data storage it provided - unfortunately I didn't get a warning before it failed). Third most common cause is a faulty enclosure (happened with my first enclosure which started falling apart... stupid flimsy Taiwanese products...).

    @Issac, the purpose of an external drive is either to act as a backup storage device (in which case it should never be moved much and turned on as rarely as viable) or as a portable massive storage device (in which case all data kept on it should be treated as strictly temporary, just because the chances of it being lost are around 700x more likely than a drive used for any other purpose, depending on various factors of which there are many).

    When faced with corrupted data, you can try recovery programs like Edhel suggested (which, I might add, are surprisingly effective for flash media so should work well for HDDs too, just slower), or you can just reformat and start over. If it's a HDD failure (which it doesn't sound like based on information available), you're looking at a professional recovery (which costs a fortune) or scrapping it (as I had to face with my Wii-drive).
     
  7. fartos32
    OP

    Member fartos32 GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Messages:
    130
    Country:
    Australia
    I did try changing the cable to the one which came with my PS3. I'll try using another one when I can get my hands on it. As for the hard drive corrupting I don't remove it properly after use and I take it around everywhere eg. school most days. Thats something I need to do a bit since my parents are divorsed so I keep all my data on my external hard drive for convience's sake. I'll try a recovery program, but first how would you propose I access the drive?

    EDIT Since when has moving external hard drives around done damage to them anyway? All my friends do it without ever having problems and some of them have had theirs for longer than I've had mine. Would it be they do it less than me or is mine just a dud? Assuming moving it around screwed it up that is.
     
  8. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    5,154
    Location:
    London, UK
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Over the years, I've had 8 HDDs die on me due to movement. The last one was my Wii-drive, which was only half a year old when it failed. When I opened it up, it turned out that the Maxtor Basics had a SeaGate HDD inside, which happens to make it the 6th SeaGate HDD that's died on me, although none died quite so quickly before.

    To make it clearer, all HDDs have a "shock tolorance". The more you shake it up and down, even when it's been "cold" (off) for a while, the more likely something is going to go wrong. If you do what I did and keep it in a bag half the time, just think about the motions it goes through in the average academic day. I slip the drive into my bag, usually admidst other things like books and notepads, then lift my bag onto my shoulders (rapid movement going up, usually) then walk to the bus stop. I'm a fast walker no matter what weight's on my shoulders so the drive gets subjected to constant back-and-forth motions. Later on I put the bag on the floor (possible sudden impact, though I tend to be careful), sometimes move it around my chair, etc. It goes through all kinds of motions, and HDDs are designed to be static (usually inside a static computer), not moved around all the time.

    One shock too many, or a certain bad shock (say, if I dropped the bag on the floor suddenly), and the HDD could easily break. The worst thing is that since it's in my bag, I usually don't think about what's happening to it, so I'm usually not aware of what I'm doing to it. That's why I don't blame anyone but myself for it eventually breaking (even if it was much sooner than it should've been).
     
  9. Issac

    Member Issac Mini-mod

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    Messages:
    4,455
    Location:
    Sweden
    Country:
    Sweden
    Originality: It was a seaGate HDD That died on me too [​IMG]
     
  10. I2aven's_Sag

    Member I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Messages:
    726
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Country:
    United States
    Seagate made my old laptop HDD that died =/
     
  11. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    5,154
    Location:
    London, UK
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Lesson learned; stick with Samsung Spinpoint drives or Western Digital drives wherever possible - SeaGate don't make good drives like they used to (over 10 years ago).

    That said, I had no idea the Maxtor Basics had a SeaGate drive in it. If I knew, I would've probably looked elsewhere, no matter how cool the enclosure looked.
     
  12. Elritha

    Member Elritha GBAtemp Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,037
    Country:
    Canada
    Seagate bought Maxtor up a number of years ago. So it's entirely possible.
    I had a Seagate drive that started to die a few years ago. Thankfully it was still under warranty at the time. [​IMG]
     
  13. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    5,154
    Location:
    London, UK
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I actually found that out a few days after opening up the enclosure. I hadn't seen anybody selling SeaGate drives for some time before (in computer fairs and on commercial shelves) so I just assumed it'd either be WD or Samsung. Serves me right for not doing my research beforehand ;p
     
  14. c0wcommander

    Newcomer c0wcommander Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    21
    Country:
    United States
    I use an old program that I got way back in 2002 called "EasyRecovery Professional" to recover data from hard drives. Works well, but if your computer can't detect the hard drives at all, then it's probably lost forever.
     

Share This Page