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Old 01-24-2011, 09:42 PM
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Default Saving data from dying clicking hard drive

Any advice here. I've got a customer who brought in her old laptop with an ATA drive that hasn't been backed up and the HD is in bad shape. It's clicks, hisses, moans and groans.lol I figured it was toast but after 10 minutes my laptop finally recognized it. Let me make it clear, the customer would like the photos from the drive but she is fine if they are gone. She already told me if it's an easy job great, if it's a long drawn out expensive job forget it.

That being said, this is a down and dirty attempt at data recovery. I can (now) browse all the way to My Pictures and the drive isn't clicking but it still doesn't sound good. She's got 6 GB worth of photos and it will move a few then basically hang up. The only way to cancel task is to physically unplug the drive from the laptop. Rise and repeat. It will move a few files, if I'm lucky, then lock up again.

Am I pretty much just stuck doing this over and over until I've salvaged what I can? I know this seems obvious but I haven't had alot of drives that let me get this far, easily see every file and even copy some but hang up again so quickly.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:03 PM
Crgky127 Crgky127 is offline
 
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Load up LinuxMint/Ubuntu/etc

sudo apt-get install gddrescue

http://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue...ue_manual.html
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:08 PM
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MobileTechie MobileTechie is offline
 
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Yeah if not ddrescue then another sector level copying tool and preferably one that does reverse cloning.

If it's clicking, which might imply mechanical problems, then you don't want to be using the file system to copy files because that will make the head move about a hell of a lot more than a clone.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:46 PM
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Thanks guys, I'll see what I can come up with tomorrow when I get back to my office.
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:10 AM
YourPCDoctor YourPCDoctor is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Appleby View Post
Any advice here. I've got a customer who brought in her old laptop with an ATA drive that hasn't been backed up and the HD is in bad shape. It's clicks, hisses, moans and groans.lol I figured it was toast but after 10 minutes my laptop finally recognized it. Let me make it clear, the customer would like the photos from the drive but she is fine if they are gone. She already told me if it's an easy job great, if it's a long drawn out expensive job forget it.

That being said, this is a down and dirty attempt at data recovery. I can (now) browse all the way to My Pictures and the drive isn't clicking but it still doesn't sound good. She's got 6 GB worth of photos and it will move a few then basically hang up. The only way to cancel task is to physically unplug the drive from the laptop. Rise and repeat. It will move a few files, if I'm lucky, then lock up again.

Am I pretty much just stuck doing this over and over until I've salvaged what I can? I know this seems obvious but I haven't had alot of drives that let me get this far, easily see every file and even copy some but hang up again so quickly.
toss it in the freezer for half an hour and then immediately hook it up and copy. I have done this a number of times and it works
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:07 AM
Don W. Don W. is offline
 
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I have seen people literally take them apart, clean and lube, and get the data. I'd be afraid on a customers disk though

One thing I have done is swap circuit boards from an identical HD. That did work. That wasn't a noisy drive, just a drive that would not show up. When I did my stint in IT we sent ONE drive to Drive Savers. $$$ later we had the data.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YourPCDoctor View Post
toss it in the freezer for half an hour and then immediately hook it up and copy. I have done this a number of times and it works
Same..... but you failed to mention it can 99% of the time only be done once and after that the drive is toast.
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Last edited by Petetech888; 01-25-2011 at 06:26 AM. Reason: Grammer
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:49 PM
Crgky127 Crgky127 is offline
 
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None of that is needed at the moment in this case. He said he can mount the partition and read the file system normally (I assume in windows), so it could be a lot worse. The issue is frequent hang ups. This is most likely either due to heating up, or hitting bad sectors. Running with a fan will help with the first, but I assume that's not it because it starts working after a reboot (which isn't much time to cool down). Gddrescue will help with the second, as it will make an image without getting stuck or putting extra stress on the drive, by using reverse cloning and other algorithmic techniques to copy sectors efficiently.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:59 PM
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Yeah, as other have said, gddrescue is your best bet, using a reverse clone. It works wonders.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:34 AM
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Default Spinrite

Spinrite isn't free, but sometimes it can get a malfunctioning drive to come back. Otherwise I'm with some of the other guys - load up a Linux Live CD or Ultimate Boot CD, copy the data off and be done with it.

I carry a little external drive adapter with me that has PATA, notebook PATA, and SATA ports. Many times I simply hook up my notebook and plug in the adapter and can get data off of drives - if Windows can't read the drive I try Linux. If it won't mount there, I'll run Spinrite on it and try again. Beyond that you're looking at more expensive recovery options.

Good luck!
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