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All files in Western Digital HD are 32kb!!!

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Old 02-25-2008, 12:39 AM   #1
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One morning i turned on my computer and as it was booting a diagnostic came up checking all of my files on my external hard drive (Western Digital 250gig).
I left it to check the files, but after an hour or so it was still going, so i manually turned my computer off. i turned my computer on again and the same thing came up...but before it started i ordered for it to be canceled. My computer booted fine yet when i went to open folders in my external HD it said some files might be corrupted and i couldnt access the files in the folders.
I screwed around with the HD and some programs for a bit and eventually it ended up to where all the files in my external HD became 32bk...everything...250gigs worth of movies, music and programs became 32kbs each.
However when i looked at the properties of my external HD it said that the HD was nearly full with only 2 gigs spare.
I have brought my external HD into a shop and have runned recovery programs myself yet nothing has worked.
What can i do to recover all my files?

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Old 02-25-2008, 02:48 AM   #2
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Things are certainly easier if the drive has no hardware issues though if it's onboard cache is fried, that is an easy way to say buh bye without sending it to a pro data recovery company and getting charged way too much for a personal drive.

I think the program I use is Easy Recovery Pro, but it's at least a $500 program but it doesn't get any more thorough. I've had on average about 75% successful restores compared to 25% unrecoverable.

Though this is not a consumer program really. I just happened to have it. I used to to test drives after wipe them via Peter Guttman shredding before I ship a drive to someone such as a used drive sold on eBay. I run Gutman 3 times on small capacity drives giving me well over 100 wipes. Now that will destroy just about any type of recovery efforts.

The number #1 rule of a drive that you want to recover.
UN PLUG IT. Do not write to it. Do not boot from it. It is now a slave. The more you write the more your chances decreases of salvaging things. and never install the recovery program on the bad drive. I might also recommend removing the drive from the external case and placing it inside the case via IDE or SATA whichever applies. This might be a long procedure and the USB throughput will be a bottleneck.

Good Luck.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sihlouette View Post
One morning i turned on my computer and as it was booting a diagnostic came up checking all of my files on my external hard drive (Western Digital 250gig).
I left it to check the files, but after an hour or so it was still going, so i manually turned my computer off. i turned my computer on again and the same thing came up...but before it started i ordered for it to be canceled. My computer booted fine yet when i went to open folders in my external HD it said some files might be corrupted and i couldnt access the files in the folders.
I screwed around with the HD and some programs for a bit and eventually it ended up to where all the files in my external HD became 32bk...everything...250gigs worth of movies, music and programs became 32kbs each.
However when i looked at the properties of my external HD it said that the HD was nearly full with only 2 gigs spare.
I have brought my external HD into a shop and have runned recovery programs myself yet nothing has worked.
What can i do to recover all my files?

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Old 02-25-2008, 02:55 AM   #3
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Just for kicks. I'm going to upload a quick spec sheet on my recovery program for you to browse. I have to imagine there is a lower cost solution out there but this will give you an idea how the process works.

SMZ
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File Type: pdf er2005_sheet.pdf (459.8 KB, 49 views)
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:15 PM   #4
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thanks heaps for the help...i actually have that program so i will try and recover the files
Thanks again :)
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:26 AM   #5
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I have tried a few things with that program however i was wondering if i could just restore my external hard drive to an earlier date like i can do with my computer?
Any ideas?
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:22 AM   #6
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You are referring to what is known as Windows xp or Windows vista system restore. I don't believe that option is available for removable drives. If this drive isn't plugged in 24/7, i can almost guarantee it isn't supported.

If you are looking to bring it back to the last system restore point, that is something that can be done with internal drives but again external might be a different can of worms. I am not sure which method of restore you tried, but the most thorough way of grabbing as much as you can is not to search a single partition but search the whole raw drive and let it run as long as it needs... don't put a clock on it. I mean if you need to recover files and it's a necessity, the last thing you need to do is watch the clock. This is one of the best recovery programs I've used but who knows what caused this 32KB problem. but a hard drive has two copies of the partition table so in theory if you didn't do much more after you found this problem or the damage that was done wasn't too severe, most of the original data should be intact. that is why i recommend searching the drive as a whole and not just a partition within easy recovery pro.

Give me a shout if you need any additional tips. But unless someone comes out here and corrects me, and "part-time" external drive is not covered under the windows system restore point option. This is mainly to assist in restoring your operating system to a workable state.

SMZ


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Originally Posted by Sihlouette View Post
I have tried a few things with that program however i was wondering if i could just restore my external hard drive to an earlier date like i can do with my computer?
Any ideas?
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:32 PM   #7
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Ok i will use that program and see what i can do...
Thanks for the help
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:58 AM   #8
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This is a western digtal problem.
I had exactly the same problem today on the same piece of hardware.
Terrible!

No idea what to do - years of data I had as a back up gone!
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:28 AM   #9
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OK, I was not aware it was related to them. Porbably something that a firmware upgrade eventually fixed.

But remember the way partition tables work. There are TWO. so if One is all 32kb, the other should be intact and available for data recovery.

As a slave drive would be the perfect solution to run a program live Easy Recovery Pro to get back nearly everything. Now if the drive has been used on other partitions, etc since then if you haven't used the drive, everything is in your favor to get back what's rightfully yours.

Again, if you can PM me if you need further advise. I have saved data for people over the years for people that thought it would never happen.
No charge for the advise. Been doing this for 25+ years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MHigginbottom View Post
This is a western digital problem.
I had exactly the same problem today on the same piece of hardware.
Terrible!

No idea what to do - years of data I had as a back up gone!
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:02 PM   #10
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With this particular drive I have used several data recovery tools, including easy recovery pro, which are able to read the data using FAT1, FAT2 or ignore the FAT and try to find files without it.
All 3 of these options have failed to find any useful files - they just return a bunch of deleted files, not the files that are on the disk. Mounting the filesystem using either FAT gives the same result unfortunately.

Easyrecovery pro also has a raw recovery mode which has extracted a large amount of data but nothing that is actually readable. Everything is corrupt.

Can anybody offer any other advice or suggestions here as I am stumped and about ready to refer the user to a specialty data recovery company.

Thanks in advance.
Al
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:03 PM   #11
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I have the same problem
I am using windows vista and a 500gb western digital ext. HD.
there was a prob so the chkdsk did its thing and 2 days later all the files were 32kb or 64kb.

I used recover my files, and file scavenger, not much luck getting the files back to original size. Recover my files did get some back, alot ended up just named recovered file 1, etc. But didnt get all files?

is there anything I can do, as I still have all the files, they are all wav. files as to Im a musician and this is all our bands old work. any input is greatly appreciated, thanks
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:48 AM   #12
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have either of your guys contacted western digital? I am wondering if there is a firmware upgrade that may be available for your drives. This sort of problem sounds awfully buggy unless you are running identical computers with identical operating systems and even that is remote. Simply out of curiosity, do both of you religiously use the shutdown button in windows as opposed to old fashioned people who just turn off the computer? Second, do you guy's have UPS systems? if you don't during the time frame this occurred, have you experienced any power outages or brown outs that you know of?

I only bring this up because the most common way to corrupt "any" hard drive and I presume flash drives as well is to pull the plug during the writing of files (not reading) there is a cache on the drive to be concerned with and many operating systems have a checkbox to speed up hard drive access for non removable drives indicating write cache enabled. That delays immediate transferring of data to be written and sort of spools it like a printer but could fry your partition table if lost power occurs at a time like this. Removable drives such as flash or external usb/firewire drives are not as prone to this if the default of "optimize performance" is not checked. This bypasses any operating system caching of your data.

Probably more info than you guy's cared to know, but consider it food for thought. Personally if either of you or anyone else reading this thread wants some advice from a pro. The ultimate insurance policy is a UPS. Most people hear that and think immediately big bucks. Well on sale right now is a respectable powered UPS by Cyberpower on sale nationwide in the USA from bestbuy with an instant discount (no mail in rebates) for $29.99. I have a couple of these units myself. The only thing that these models don't support is USB monitoring however they do have a serial port which can be converted if your computer doesn't have serial support. Also, a safe bet would be to plug just your computer into this and not anything else on the battery side because 425VA is not enough to keep both running for any reasonable period of time. But this is great for short little power outages and if you can get a serial connection, you can have the free software shutdown your computer automatically on a customized power outage schedule.

Also they have a nice size 685VA UPS on sale for $59.99 which will keep your computer, monitor, and maybe a few extra external goodies powered up. (Don't use the battery side for printers)
but this 685VA has serial & usb support for monitoring on your pc.

This is the link for the $29.99 425VA Model


This is the link for the $59.99 685VA Model



Sale is good until July 19, 2008 at bestbuy.com or stores.

For the 685VA
Product Features

* 8 total outlets, all with surge and 4 with battery
* 685VA rating with 390 watts of power
* 890-joule surge energy rating
* Battery run time up to 70 minutes
* Phone/fax/modem/DSL communication protection ports
* Automatic voltage regulator
* USB/serial connectivity
* Shutdown software included
* CyberPower $125,000 connected-equipment warranty
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:30 PM   #13
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Was the diagnostic program CHKDSK?

*sigh* Sounds like one of its tricks. The reason why your files are now 32KB is because your drive has 32KB clusters. CHKDSK went berzerk and, because the controller malfunctioned (I don't think it's the heads), it neatly carved up your files into clusters.

Your hope right now is that maybe Photo_rec will find your stuff. It won't have original names anymore, as it ignores the FAT and the entire file system in general, but it is remarkably good at fully automatically carving out data from raw file systems.

Photo_rec is not just for pictures. The program recognizes well over 100 file formats and is invaluable in our line of work.

I don't trust the external enclosure. It probably is responsible for this.

Follow the steps I wrote in my signature. Let me know when you are ready to proceed. Attempting to recover data on a live disk is a terrible idea. I guess you see why I have a big warning about CHKDSK. :(

By the way, if that doesn't work, there are ways to piece together WAV files. That's basically taking the output of Photo_rec and removing all the garbage from waveforms. However, if a company like mine did that for you, the cost would be astronomical.
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:08 AM   #14
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This is eerily similar to my problem... Just last night I had a WD external drive "convert" some of my band folders into 32kb unspecified files (probably 25-45% of 27,000 music files and ALL Videos are gone, good news is, some of it is still there). I remember my Uncle using Acronis awhile back and I actually used it a few times. it has a backup/restore feature. before I do anything though, i'll be commandiering my sister's external HD to backup the files that are still good yet. any guidance would be GREATLY APPRECIATED if there's other ways to fix this.
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Old 07-25-2008, 08:36 AM   #15
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I have another random Idea. I'm not exactly sure if it would work but would the 32KB clusters just be scrambled on the hard drive? would possibly cloning the HD bring back all of that music?
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:45 PM   #16
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No. Cloning stops any further damage and lets you work on the drive's data safely using whatever methods are available. Photo_rec may be able to piece the data back together.

Get the disk's image first, then try to recover data from the image. Attempting recovery on the actual disk will first of all take forever, and secondly it will probably fail anyway.

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