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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    Hard drive recovery tools

    Hi All,

    I have a problem with a hard drive that I think is recoverable - I just need to find the tool to do it.

    Here's what happend:

    External Firewire hard disk, plugged in and working fine, all of a sudden:
    g: is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.

    I can use data recovery tools and get the data back. Everything is showing when I use such tools so i'm thinking it might be something that is fixable, maybe file allocation tables or something.

    Weird thing is, this is the 2nd drive in 2 weeks that i've had this happen to. Different Caddy, drive, cables and computers. I've virus checked both machines and nothing has come up.

    Anyway would anyone know any good tools that might fix my drive issue?

  2. #2
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    Re: Hard drive recovery tools

    Phil

    My 40Gb external drive was really playing up the other week and I was finding that it had a folder in it that stated it was 160Gb which is clearly not possible. I couldn't even delete it with Unlocker, a utility we have discussed in Finds and Wants recently (<post:=577,692>post 577,692</post:>)

    In the end I just decided to pull all my data to a safe area and format the drive and replace the file structure from my back up. Since then it has worked an absolute treat...don't know what went wrong, just this was a way it worked for me
    Jerry

  3. #3
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    Re: Hard drive recovery tools

    My plan is to copy the data onto another drive then low level format it but I was hoping to be able to recover the drive first as the file recovery program i used (its on my home pc and i can't remember its name, sorry) takes ages!

    I'm currently trying to fix it with testdisk but not had any luck so far.

  4. #4
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    Re: Hard drive recovery tools

    Sorry, I can't help you with your file recovery issue.

    But I am prepared to loan you my Viper until Thanksgiving. Two conditions:
    <LI>Return it washed and waxed.
    <LI>Pick it up today, by 7:30p, in St. Louis.

    <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    Attached Images Attached Images
    - Ricky

  5. #5
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    Re: Hard drive recovery tools

    Wow thanks for the offer Tricky. If I was holidaying in America i'd have left for St Louis already and be driving round looking for a viper on a drive! Unfortunately I think my Viper ambitions are a bit above my station [img]/forums/images/smilies/sad.gif[/img]

  6. #6
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    Re: Hard drive recovery tools

    Hi Phil,

    Can't help you with any recovery tools but I can offer some information.

    I have external hard drives connected via Firewire. On two separate occasions, I have shut down my main system while the external was still powered on. I didn't think there would be a problem because I had not accessed the external for a couple of hours.

    The next time I powered up the main unit and went to the external drive to access some files I was greeted with the corrupt and unreadable diagnostic message. I ended up having to reformat the drive.

    Since that time I have used the System Tray icon to Safely Remove Hardware and manually turn power off on the external before shutting down the system. Sometimes I find that even though I have not accessed the external for the better part of an hour or two, I get the message that the drive is busy and try later. I have not had a single problem since I changed my method of shutting down.

    Cheers, Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

  7. #7
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    Re: Hard drive recovery tools

    > Sometimes I find that even though I have not accessed the external for the better part of an hour or
    > two, I get the message that the drive is busy and try later.

    I have the Seagate push-button external drive and when I use the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon Windows always says I have to try again later. Trying again immediately always works. Then I pull the cable. (I use the USB port, not FireWire.)

    Occasionally I will forget it is connected and hibernate Windows. I'm pretty sure that Window will flush any disk writes when going into hibernation, but I'm not inclined to experiment intentionally. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

  8. #8
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    Re: Hard drive recovery tools

    I though XP was supposed to support hot swapping?

    In both instances the drives have become corrupt while the drive was on and connected to the machine (which was also on). Its possible its become corrupt while it was actually being used as it was about the time I was copying data from it but I couldnt say whether it happened during the copy or after the copy had finished.

    Regarding switch off methods. With the first drive, I have been using it for 3 years without a problem. If I was turning my machine off I wouldnt always bother shutting the drive down first, but if I was leaving my machine on i'd always shut the drive down as Win2K throws a right wobbly if you don't!

    On the second drive, this was a brand new caddy with a hardly used hard drive (and practically empty) but I had only ever shut my pc down and switched it off after as I didnt realise that could do it damage.

    I used TestDisk and it appears my boot sector is corrupt. TeskDisk does restore from the backup boot sector but as i've never really dealt with boot sectors before, I didnt know I had to manually store it - therefore no backup of the boot sector. My new hard disk will arrive soon so if I haven't found a boot sector builder by then i'll use a file recovery tool to copy the data off the old drives.

  9. #9
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    Re: Hard drive recovery tools

    FWIW, hot swapping does not mean you can just unplug any time you wish. Hot swapping just means you don't have to shut down and power off the machine to add or remove a device. However, you need to do it in an orderly fashion. By selecting 'safely remove hardware' you ensure that XP has a chance to finish an I/O activities. Just because the visual part of a copy activity is complete does not necessarily mean that all the data is written to destination drive yet.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Hard drive recovery tools

    Valid point. In which case, they should have left it like it was in windows 2000 where it throws a complete wobbly if you don't do it.

    I know most of the members of Woodys are far from computer illiterate, but from an average user point of view I'd say 99% of XP users don't use the safely remove feature and probably most of those don't even know its there. If external devices aren't supposed to be removed in that way then Microsoft should really warn the user more graphically.

    Do flash devices follow the same rules or can you just pull them out and plug them in as you please?

  11. #11
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    Re: Hard drive recovery tools

    I'd say any device to which XP can write should not just be unplugged. I'd recommend using 'safely remove' all the time.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Hard drive recovery tools

    Ah, in which case there may be a few million digital camera / ipod/ phone/ psp users that need telling! I can't think of a single person I know that would do it properly except me when I used Win2K at work!!!! Thats not a good statistic!

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    Re: Hard drive recovery tools

    Well as usual with computers there are several things which can make the need for 'safe remove' unnecessary. Dumb luck is the first. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> Second, if the device being written to has no onboard cache you may be ok if the third is done. Third, disable write caching to the device.

    Joe
    Joe

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