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Hard Drive
2

Hard Drive

Hard Drive

(OP)
My son is trying to recover data from a 2-1/2 Western Digital 500G harddrive. The drive returns an error "the request could not be completed because of an i/o device error." Any suggestions or recommendations at trying to get the data off?

Thanks, Dik

RE: Hard Drive

I would first use the manufacturer's diagnostic utility to check the drive. For you, it's Western Digital Data Lifeguard diagnostics. You can download the Ultimate Boot CD which has the utility, burn it on another computer and boot with it on the computer that is having the problem. Run a short test and see what it says.
Link

Then, you have four options in my mind.
1. Connect the drive as a secondary drive in another Windows system (either internally or externally via USB-to-SATA adapter) and try to read data off of it.
2. Sometimes if you boot to Linux, like Ubuntu on a memory stick, it is more able to read a bad hard drive and NOT lock the system up. Windows tends to choke when trying to read a drive that is not responding.
Link
3. Try some recovery software to see if it can read the data and pull some off. I also like GetDataBack Simple. Not free but free to see if it can see the files and then it will most likely recover if you buy the product.
Link
4. If the drive is really toasty and cannot be read, send the drive out for recovery. Lots of places, but our company used this place. Link
You're looking at $300 or more to get the data back.

And as a final note, backup would have saved a lot of pain and possibly money here. I used Macrium to image my entire hard drive monthly and backup my data folders. Plus I use iDrive to backup my data daily to their cloud.

"Living tomorrow is everyone's sorrow.
Modern man's daydreams have turned into nightmares."

RE: Hard Drive

(OP)
Thank you so much for your post... I've forwarded the info to my son.

Dik

RE: Hard Drive

(OP)
goombawaho: I keep a daily backup on a USB stick and use FreeFileSync weekly to a 4T external drive. So far no problems.

Dik

RE: Hard Drive

The only problem I've encountered with USB sticks is that they don't fail gracefully, they just stop being readable.
That's my experience for a very small sample, of two-ish, out of several dozen that just got too small.

RE: Hard Drive

(OP)
Thanks for the caution, Mike. Both the USB and HDD would have to fail within the week. USB sticks are either good or bad, I've found... nothing in between.

I burned a couple of CDs with Ultimate Boot, one for my son and one for myself... had a heck of a time finding a couple of blank CD... most of my optical stuff is DVD based and less of it each day.


Dik

RE: Hard Drive

One of the USB sticks that failed me, sort of half failed.
Reading it with a sector editor showed that every other byte was 0, and the remainder I recognized as stuff I had stored.
I cracked the case and found two memory chips and a custom LSI chip that was clearly its brains.
I tried resoldering or at least reflowing the chip I identified as all zeroes, but that didn't fix the problem.
... but those superfine pitch chips are a bitch.
I did the same to the LSI, but found no change in behavior.
So it was a flaw that I could not see, for whatever reason.
I was no longer working for an electronics house, so I didn't have access to proper test equipment,
and a larger replacement was cheap,
and I had other copies of most of the contents,
so I put it in the bucket of stuff that I'm going to look at 'Real Soon Now'.

RE: Hard Drive

I should have added to Number 2 above that you want to have memory stick or external hard drive connected to the system when it boots up with the Ubuntu so IF you can read any data, you can copy it to safe place. You may not get a second chance if the hard drive is on its way out.

Memory sticks are not very reliable. I would rate them as less reliable than CDs but more reliable than floppy disks.

"Living tomorrow is everyone's sorrow.
Modern man's daydreams have turned into nightmares."

RE: Hard Drive

(OP)
Thanks, guys...

Dik

RE: Hard Drive

(OP)
Mike: One of the things my son considered was picking up a similar HDD and exchanging controller cards. I told him to hold off a bit and I would post to Tck-Tips. He knows if he can get the drive to respond to get the data off fast.

Dik

RE: Hard Drive

As an absolute last resort (as in "I can't get anything off of it, but I can't afford a professional data recovery service")... this has worked from time to time.

Put it in a zip lock bag, and stick it in the freezer.

I have had drives that I could get working just long enough to get the data off of them like this.

Just my $.02

"What the captain doesn't realize is that we've secretly replaced his Dilithium Crystals with new Folger's Crystals."

--Greg

RE: Hard Drive

(OP)
gbaughma: He's already tried the ice cube treatment... that was his first 'kick at the cat'.

Switching controllers was his last resort... it appears there is some corrosion on the controller chip leads. He has no reservations about taking apart any kind of hardware that's not operating... he likes to see how things work.

Dik

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