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Problem Using 'testdisk_win' to Try and Repair Unusable WD Drive

Discussion in 'Windows - Software discussion' started by jeanpave, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. jeanpave

    jeanpave Regular member

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    This is more of a retro question.

    I have an older western digital HDD which hasn't been working for some time. Not recognized, that is, when connected externally. (It was, yes, originally an external HDD. 500 GB capacity. Bought in the mid-to-late 2000s. I didn't do anything weird to it, maybe just some 'chkdsk /f' that messed it up, if I remember correctly, that's all. It failed on its own, despite the fact that it was always treated like an egg, with the utmost case. The only really conceivable thing that could have damaged it would be, maybe, heat.)

    Anyway, I connected it now, internally, to a computer running an older operating system. (Older, as in before Vista, yes.) Because I know it was not reformatted, and no files were intentionally deleted, I believe that if I can re-write the lost partition table with 'testdisk' I can then transfer all the remaining useful files somewhere else and then low-level format the empty drive or something.

    But, of course, nothing is ever as simple as hoped.

    When the computer boots, at the present time, there is an error related to that drive (- not in Windows, but on the black screen before booting to OS -) saying that the drive mechanism is reporting some kind of partition error or something (- I can't remember the exact wording of the message, but if anyone is interested I can re-check and post it back verbatim -). And then the BIOS asks me to press F1 to continue or F2 to go to 'Setup'.
    Now, in Windows, the drive is showing up as RAW. But it should have a 465/500 GB partition.

    The big problem is that, in 'testdisk', on the page with all the drives, the hard-drive in question is only detected as 128/137 GB, for some reason.
    Any search, though, regular or deeper, finds a 465/500-GB, "HPFS - NTFS" partition.
    So, the major 'testdisk_win' problem is that it tells me it cannot write the partition table because the partition discovered is larger than the reported size of the drive. Thus, I'm stuck.

    The files should 100% still be there, so if I get the partition information re-created, for the OS to read the drive again, I am firmly convinced the files should then be usable with a minimum of fuss.

    Is anybody still using / knowledgeable with 'testdisk'? Help me with this, please?

    [The version of 'testdisk' that I kept is 6.11.3.]
    [The HDD is WDC WD5000AAKB-00YSA0.]
     
  2. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    what operating system are you running on that older pc?
     
  3. jeanpave

    jeanpave Regular member

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    I'd rather not say. Why? Does it make a difference?
    (The computer, into which I just inserted this hard drive, should read the drive just fine. It should see NTFS-formatted drives, and it should read drives larger than 1 TB, too. Up to 2.19 TB, yes. -- I'm not totally lacking any kind of knowledge...)

    Do you know more about using 'testdisk' than I do or not?
    Or about how to restore a messed-up partition table on a crappy, possibly-failing HDD?

    Can I have some advice, not more questions? Please?
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
  4. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    xp without sp1 can only read to a max of 137gig even if the drive is bigger than that.
     
  5. jeanpave

    jeanpave Regular member

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    That may be so - and that's why I added the stuff in between the parentheses - but like I said I'm not an idiot!
    Number 1, that same drive had previously been connected to the PC in question externally and read properly (when it was functioning adequately); and, number 2, I have another drive formatted NTFS, connected externally, to that same PC, right now, and its capacity is 2/1.81 TB.

    So, come on, give me a little credit!

    Do you know more about 'testdisk' than I do? Can you get it to do something special to read the crappy drive properly?

    Thanks.
     
  6. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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  7. timelord

    timelord Newbie

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    if you work on computers on a regularly then it would be worth the money to invest in a diagnostic software called spin right
     
  8. ps355528

    ps355528 Regular member

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    oh hell Spinrite.. pretty much guaranteed way to screw up a working computer.. Sorry Mr Gibson.. but it does !!

    Problem with the drive is bad sectors in the partition table area.. hardware failure.. Now then.. what to do?.. Puppy Linux bootable OS disk.. start from that and run Gparted and look at the drive.. You can actually use it to resize the partitions without losing the data, which may work..

    Otherwise there is a program floating about called HDD Regenerator.. on one of those community boot disks.. but it doesn't work with sata drives (due to being old and disk I have not having sata drivers.. can't be bothered making a boot disk with them.. don't have sata drives here mostly.. so maybe it exists now on a more modern version??)

    The other obvious method for data recovery is Photorec.. but that's a nightmare if you have a screwed partition with thousands of random files (especially games) on it.. again that's where linux with it's "forget the file extension, look at the headers" way of things helps..
     

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