Tales of a Dead Hard Drive

Today I had a client with a non functioning external USB harddrive. I knew straight away it was either going to be the USB driver/port on the PC or
a harddrive/caddy problem.

Sure enough I attached the external drive to my testing machine and still the drive did not function.
Strangely, the drive was recognised but chkdsk failed and the drive could not be explored through explorer.

The first, obvious, step was to dump the data to another disk so I decided to plug drive directly onto the IDE controller to make the data dump a little faster.

The plan was to use a drive tool to dump the data. None of the tools I used could read from the drive.

Considering the possibility that the drive was physically damaged I decided to try Spinrite.
Straight away Spinrite found an issue in the first sector of the drive.

Following this I commenced refreshing the surface of the disk and recovering sectors. The first sector could not be recovered and Spinrite marked it as unrecoverable.

I terminated the process following this and again rebooted back into windows to again try to recover data.

Suprisingly, the drive appeared and was readable. A normal copy of the data was obtained. All that remains is the mystery of how the drive suddenly became readable to windows.

Spinrite Documentation

Leave a Reply