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Best way to deal with a physically damaged NTFS formatted hard drive?

This is a discussion on Best way to deal with a physically damaged NTFS formatted hard drive? within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have a NTFS formatted hard drive that I believe is physically damaged. It is a seagate barracuda 3tb, the


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Old 03-11-2018, 12:51 PM   #1
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I have a NTFS formatted hard drive that I believe is physically damaged. It is a seagate barracuda 3tb, the ones that are notorious for failing. It is a data drive so there is no OS on it. When it first starting failing, it would crash my computer (Windows 7, completely frozen but no BSOD).


The first thing I did:
I booted from Ubuntu live and it would not mount. I forgot the exact message but I ran testdisk on it and may have erased some hidden partition or something. I did a quick analyze and it found both of my partitions and two unused partitions. I wrote the both my partitions to the drive and it no longer shows the unused (unallocated) partitions. I don't know if this is relevant or not.



Next:
I attempted to use ddrescue to clone the disk to an img file. ddrescue cloned about ~600MB of about 1TB before it froze (and presumably crashed). I resumed using the log file, and it would immediately freeze.


Next:
I went back to testdisk and was able to list the contents of both partitions. I tried copying all files at once and not surprisingly testdisk would freeze/hang (and presumably crashed). I then tried copying single files/folders one at a time and it seemed to work. I copied a relatively large folder before I went to sleep and when I woke up testdisk crashed sometime during the copy and the HDD was unmounted.


Some things I've noticed:

1. Detection of the HDD is a hit and miss. Sometimes linux will see the drive, sometimes it won't. Sometimes testdisk can list files from it, sometimes testdisk cannot (immediate crash upon pressing list).
2. Copying files is a hit and miss as well. Same reasoning as above.
3. Windows 8.1 (laptop via USB) no longer detects the hard drive at all (connecting via sata->usb cable. yes, the HDD is powered).
4. Keeping the HDD plugged in when booting into Windows 7 (desktop, directly via sata) will cause Windows 7 to not boot at all. It hangs on the startup screen.


My questions:
It seems that this is a physical hardware issue. If this is the case, is it possible to pull the data out of the hard drive by myself without visiting a professional? The data is not extremely important and I should be able to get the important stuff out one by one via testdisk but obviously doing it automatically/in bulk would be preferable.
I've been doing some reading (https://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk.pdf) and one method seems to be using ddrutility to create a mapfile (16.5 in PDF) and then using ddrescue to copy based on that mapfile. Is this a viable approach? Any suggestions on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:01 PM   #2
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Is this a drive in a USB Enclosure or is it an internal drive connected directly to the motherboard? If this is in an Enclosure, disassemble the enclosure and remove the HDD within and attach it directly to a desktop motherboard.
Your best bet is to try to create an Image file with DDResuce, TestDisk or HDD RAW Copy Tool. If that is successful then you can use TestDisk to recover files from the Image file rather then from the failing HDD.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
Is this a drive in a USB Enclosure or is it an internal drive connected directly to the motherboard? If this is in an Enclosure, disassemble the enclosure and remove the HDD within and attach it directly to a desktop motherboard.
Your best bet is to try to create an Image file with DDResuce, TestDisk or HDD RAW Copy Tool. If that is successful then you can use TestDisk to recover files from the Image file rather then from the failing HDD.
The drive is an internal hard drive connected via sata cable. ddrescue hangs/freezes/crashes at some point when creating an image file. Resuming ddrescue using a log file results in immediate hanging/freezing/crashing.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:24 PM   #4
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These HDDs suffer from head and/or media faults. The hanging and freezing is due to lags in the drive's internal error recovery processes. Data recovery companies will switch off certain aspects of the firmware, such as reallocation, SMART, media cache, read retries, etc. You, too, can do this via the drive's terminal port (assuming the terminal port is not locked).

There are numerous tutorials, case studies, and TTL adapter information at
https://www.hddoracle.com/

These are the relevant terminal commands:

F"READ_SPARING_ENABLED",0,22
F"WRITE_SPARING_ENABLED",0,22
F"OFFLINE_SPARING_ENABLED",0,22
F"DAR_ENABLED",0,22
F"DISABLE_IDLE_ACTIVITY",1,22
F"BGMS_DISABLE_DATA_REFRESH",1,22
F"ABORT_PREFETCH",1,22
F"READ_LOOKAHEAD_DISABLED_ON_POWER_UP",1,22
F"READ_CACHING_DISABLED_ON_POWER_UP",1,22
F"MediaCacheControl",00,22
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:43 PM   #5
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With all the years I've dealt with computers, I've never had a HD failure. Some lasted 15 years before taking the unit out of service. Of course after I write this, it could happen tomorrow. This is only a guess, but I think it's because I run a computer in an area that's 360 clear and keep an eye on temps. I could be wrong, but I'm throwing this out there for what it's worth. The usual idea is to run chkdsk once a month.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:44 AM   #6
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I have said this many times I have bought several of these drives and EVERY single one has failed. I am currently awaiting the RMA on the last in service drive.
This is the 23rd time, yes 23rd time this particular drive has failed.
I have since replaced every single Seagate disk both at home and in employers business.
Sadly i recently threw about 4 controller boards for this drive in the recycling.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corday View Post
With all the years I've dealt with computers, I've never had a HD failure. Some lasted 15 years before taking the unit out of service. Of course after I write this, it could happen tomorrow. This is only a guess, but I think it's because I run a computer in an area that's 360 clear and keep an eye on temps. I could be wrong, but I'm throwing this out there for what it's worth. The usual idea is to run chkdsk once a month.
Oh Boy Corday you shouldn't tempt Faith. She will bite back...

I quit saying things like that because a lot times the very next day it happens to me.
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:47 PM   #8
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Unfortunately the time to mitigate these losses is at the very first sign of a failure, as that is when there is generally the best chance of recovery. Those particular drives are known for catastrophic failures, so I have avoided anything with the Seagate name attached for the last 5 years or so. Once burned, twice cautious!

I've had too many short time failures, and can't take risks with my photo files archive standing at over 1.6 million files to date!

Many of these files are of people who have passed on and are of high value to family and organizations in which they were active. I just recently provided photos for memorial services and websites for three prominent people who passed under tragic circumstances.

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