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Corrupted and Unreadable External HD

Corrupted and Unreadable External HD

Postby DTOXX » Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:12 am

I have an external HD (NTFS, 60GB FireWire) that has just about kicked the bucket - or so I think. It was performing just fine until sometime this afternoon when file access became slower and slower... Then, for a while I was unable to read from the drive at all. Several power cycles later, I was finally able to at least see the disk in XP and copy small files from it (large files in the GB range would cause XP to freeze).

Now, I have the unit at home and CHKDSK is chunking away at it. The file verification completed without a hitch. But the index verification didn't. Right now CHKDSK is reporting that it's "Correcting error in index $I30 for file 38050." Also, it's showing that "File record segment 7808 is unreadable" and that number just keeps climbing minute by minute (it's up to 7829 now).

So, I'm basically asking for advice. Should I just consider the 50GB or so of data on this unit to be lost forever, or do I have options? I'd prefer trying to save as much as I can, and I'd probably even go as far as using a data recovery service to help out, since the drive has a lot of client work on it.

Please help!
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Postby dlt » Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:18 am

I'm not much help here...but I swear someone recommended either freezing the drive or giving it a good sharp thunk to see if you can get it working again to get the data off it.

I think Eric would know if that would help. :yesnod:
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Postby DTOXX » Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:34 am

Freezing it, huh? That's one I've never heard before, but I'm willing to try just about anything. Eric, can you chime in?
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Postby SCgone » Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:40 am

Yes, putting the HD in the frig overnight will sometime revive it long enough to get the data off it. I've done it twice, once with a normal HD and once with a laptop from work.
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Postby glexp » Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:42 am

Actually, I'm the culprit that claimed the "freeze" fix. Not sure if it will help in your case, however. The idea behind freezing the drive (yes in your fridge's freezer compartment) is to make sure the mechanics don't get too hot once you start up which should allow enough time to get whatever data is on the drive off...Theory being that the drive is failing due to overstressed bearings, motors, and/or other mecchanics that degrade as the drive warms up after power up.

It's been done successfully by myself and is one of those "last ditch" efforts. Sounds screwy, but it works...

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Postby *Starz* » Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:35 am

I believe the one Eric recommended was dropping the HD on a bare floor or table top...I remember it did work for one member...Same thing if I am correct...works long enough to retrieve the data.

Any idea why that would work glexp?
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Postby glexp » Tue Mar 16, 2004 7:28 am

*Starz* wrote:I believe the one Eric recommended was dropping the HD on a bare floor or table top...I remember it did work for one member...Same thing if I am correct...works long enough to retrieve the data.

Any idea why that would work glexp?


Not sure he was serious about the dropped drive trick...unless it shook a couple of the connectors on the drive and re-established proper electrical connectivity.....but that's a stretch. Or maybe it got the motor/bearings just right to be able to maintain the right rotational speed.

I'd go for the freezer first. And while you're there grab a scoop of ice cream sit back and check the CompUSA or Fry's ads for some good HD bargains.

Bell1, thanks for your post/confirmation!
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Postby Michaels » Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:52 am

i have never heard of these tricks, and hope i will never have to try it
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Postby SCgone » Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:29 am

LOL, old Seagates coined a new term in hd's called sticktion. The heads were prone to freezing and a good kick in the rear would get them going. It was one of the things that turned me off on Seagates years ago. Of course, all that's behind them now and they make excellent drives.
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Postby RRCinci » Tue Mar 16, 2004 4:35 pm

Yup..."sticktion" was a problem with the old Seagate drives...they used a lubricant that would harden up over time making the drive impossible to spin up. Dropping(or smacking on a tabletop) would loosen the grease enough to let them spin...and once they warmed up they would work. So getting them started was the trick...once they were "on"...you just didn't shut them down!

I wouldn't recommend doing that to a drive today...especially one of that size(50gig+) as that's surely NOT the problem!! All that would do is make sure that you couldn't get the info off it.

REF: freezing the drive...that does work...but it don't last very long. What I've done is to fill a gallon size zip-lock baggie with ice and lay the drive underneath it. That will let the drive continue to run while letting the heat to dissipate(pulled off by the ice) long enough to get the info off the drive. And it's NOT harmful to the drive...so you can try it and if doesn't work...move on to something else.

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