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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Corrupt Hard Drive

So my secondary hard drive, which I use to dual boot Windows XP Home and store videos and some other files, seems to be going dead. My video folder is just gone but it is still taking up hard drive space and a few other folders went missing. I tried to back up what I could but the drive won't let me move anything and says that it is write protected or it is being accessed by another program. I tried running Spinrite (I think someone on this site recommended it to me before while working on a friends computer) but it didn't help and now when I try to boot windows it says that it needs to run check disk on E but it just hangs at step 4 of 5. I was tried to read about data recovery and found a few programs that I might try but the first thing I am going to do is run Knoppix and see if I can get anything off of the hard drive. I called a few independent computer shops around the area and the best quote I was able to get was 150-250 depending on how bad it is. The only thing that is really worth much are some videos from my moms DV camera and pictures my girlfriend had on it so I want to try and avoid spending a ton of money just to restore the data. Does anyone have any tips or ideas?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 11:25 AM
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There's two primary functions of a hard drive: read and write. Reading is accessing information, writing is being able to access/move it.

Now, when you boot up a PC the heaviest portion being used is the read function, which is the most common to go out on hard drive failures. Which in this case would explain the chkdsk and inability to see your folders; more than likely the read function is dying out, causing the OS to try and auto-repair "its" issues and having subsequent partition damage - why your files still take up space but you can't access them.

This is going to come down to how severe the read portion of that drive is gone. I would try an external closure to see if hooking it up outside of any connection to the other HDD/OS renders any success. If not, then maybe an application would help, but I'd doubt it (and as you're seeing) because you're battling hardware and potential OS corruption, not just OS corruption which is what a lot of those applications are more geared towards in term of recovery.

Now if you get really desperate there's always the trick of dropping the hard drive from about 2-3 inches to attempt to release the headers. But I'd only try that if you were using an external bay and it was the last ditch attempt.

Last edited by Vilgent; 01-27-2009 at 11:27 AM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 05:33 PM
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I've also heard Kim Komando talk about placing the hard drive ion the freezer in an air tight bag over night and then putting it back in and trying to use it cold. Says it works sometimes, never tried it myself.

Next question is, if the platters are not damage, could you not open it and remove the platters from a known good drive and put the old platters in there. IT's nothing more than a stock cd's pretty much stacked on top of each other.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 11:35 PM
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I've also heard Kim Komando talk about placing the hard drive ion the freezer in an air tight bag over night and then putting it back in and trying to use it cold. Says it works sometimes, never tried it myself.

Next question is, if the platters are not damage, could you not open it and remove the platters from a known good drive and put the old platters in there. IT's nothing more than a stock cd's pretty much stacked on top of each other.
The ice will not work. You could open up the drive and make sure the heads are not tapping into the platters.

You can switch out the platters but you would need a exact drive. Same make, size and revision. I have done that a few times in the past but if you do end up doing that dont expect for that drive to last unless you do it in a cleanroom.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-31-2009, 05:49 AM
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I think the freezer trick is used as a one time measure to recover the data. I say try and recover the data and then replace the hard drive.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-31-2009, 10:28 AM
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I think the freezer trick is used as a one time measure to recover the data. I say try and recover the data and then replace the hard drive.
That's what I have always heard. And it's a last ditch effort at that.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-31-2009, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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I was able to get most of the important data from the drive with Knoppix so I have just had it sitting for a while but I don't think I will do anything else. I'm just waiting until I have enough money to put a different secondary drive into my computer for all of my media I was thinking 750gb at the least.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-31-2009, 11:44 PM
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Here's another good question. How can you get data off the a hard drive with a virus without it attacking the os on the motherboard? I have an old hard drive with tons of pics and web links and my old web site on it that I would like to retrieve. It caught a virus, most likely through my web site when I was selling racing parts on the web.

I bought two used PC's just like mine. Same specs and drives and everything. Put one HD in my pc and without hooking it to the net it stopped working. I figured the virus must be on the os on the motherboard. I took the memory out of it and put it in the used PC and built one of them up with a little better specs. Matter of fact, I'm using it now.

I know how to build one. That's easier than building a car at times. It's when you get into the software that I get in over my head.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2009, 07:54 PM
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Does the second drive have an operating system on it. If it does do a windows reinstall. Tell it to install the OS in the same directory. When it asks about the file system NTFS or FAT32 select LEAVE current file system. It will reinstall windows and leave your data, but any programs will still be there but will need to be reinstalled.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2009, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
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I've also heard Kim Komando talk about placing the hard drive ion the freezer in an air tight bag over night and then putting it back in and trying to use it cold. Says it works sometimes, never tried it myself.

Next question is, if the platters are not damage, could you not open it and remove the platters from a known good drive and put the old platters in there. IT's nothing more than a stock cd's pretty much stacked on top of each other.
It does work. I've done it many times.

If you drop it, you might release the headers, but you might also shatter the platters.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 12:37 AM
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Kinda hard to shatter the platters, after all the platters are metal that have been magnetized.

Might warp them but won't shatter them.
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