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UtterAccess Forums _ Q & A - Hardware _ Dying Hard Drive With Several Months Work On It.

Posted by: Jaiket Jun 9 2018, 02:36 PM

If anyone is knowledgeable about dying hard disks, I'd appreciate some advice.

My Laptop went dead when plugging in the power cable while it was on. The power LED doesn't light anymore. I plugged in the drive as external on another PC. It clicked 3/4 times then Windows said (in french) something like "USB device malfunctioned". I put aside the power adaptor for my external drive and double-powered it through a Y-cable on a USB3.0 slot. Windows saw it, but wanted to format. I said no.

Partition Find and Mount can't find any partitions with intelligent scan or normal scan. I haven't tried thorough scan.

I don't want it to die before I rescue some stuff. It's on now, humming nicely when I stick my ear to it, not clicking.

I don't know where to place my bet:
Thorough scan with Partition Find and Mount
HDD Regen. Edit: This won't help me from what I just read.
Easy Recovery
Something else.

Rather ironic signature I have there! All the backups were on the disk. Somehow my cloud got turned off in November.
Edit:Actually I found a few backups here and there, so I only risk losing about 10 days work.

Edit: I read about creating a disk image. That seemed the wisest use of whatever life is left in the disk, it's underway.

Posted by: Phil_cattivocarattere Jun 10 2018, 12:42 AM

Edit: I read about creating a disk image. That seemed the wisest use of whatever life is left in the disk, it's underway.
Let's say creating a disk image gives you the chance to try to recover without touching the original hard disk, but you have to find a very good disk imaging software, which does not care about filesystem or "integrity" in general.
Instead of connecting it as external drive I would connect it directly in the motherboard of another PC, not as main disk, of course.I would suggest to try with tools running from live cd (or usb drive). Many years ago I solved a desparate situation with testdisk.Verify if the disk producer have a specific tool for this.

Posted by: Jaiket Jun 10 2018, 02:23 AM

Thanks Phil,
I used 'Partition Find and Mount' for the disk image. It has been stuck for a few hours at 104mb while searching for partitions. Is it a "very good" disk imaging software, or can you suggest one?

connect it directly in the motherboard of another PC

I didn't realise you could with a 2.5 inch drive. It never occurred to me to try. Thanks!

I'll try Testdisk.

Posted by: Jaiket Jun 10 2018, 04:33 AM

TestDisk did the trick.
I've got back what's essential, and apparently I'll get everything back except the laptop, which is dead, even the RAM.

Thanks Phil.

Posted by: isladogs Jun 10 2018, 05:06 AM


LOL - I also used to have a forum signature similar to that till my C drive died last summer.
Although I had all my files on a separate hard disk, I didn't have an image of the C drive & it took days to reinstall everything
The signature seemed like it was asking for trouble ... so I scrapped it!

Good luck with the rest of your recovery