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I have a Verbatim 1080p external HDD (47535 model). When i plug it in, the power and the hdd leds are lighting, but it has an anoying sound every half second or so. Is there any posibility to fix it OR retrieve my data? Or is a mechanical problem? Thanks!

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migrated from serverfault.com Mar 8 '10 at 20:59

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

4 Answers 4

As a last resort you could try the old "ziploc and freeze it" trick. I've seen it work before.

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Sure. There are companies that are specialized on that. It costs, though.

OTOH, it is the ONLY way to work around a mechanical issue - they actually OPEN the disc, and get it working (or read it out using special equipment) in a clean room. At home, sorry, you have no chance.

Look up on google under "disc data recovery". Expect to pay. By the Gigabyte.

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buy and run Spinrite from gibson research. It's certainly a lot cheaper than getting your data professioally recovered. you can also try freezing the drive for at least 2 hours. If the drive is spinning (you will hear it turning) this is not the method to use and while it won't hurt its not going to help much (if at all).

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+1 for both suggestions. Make sure you stick the drive in a sealed bag to prevent condensation and soggy data. –  Kez Mar 8 '10 at 21:03
    
I would highly recommend against running SpinRite as a first attempt at data recovery, because SpinRite could actually do more damage than good on a failing drive. You should dupe the drive first using something like dd_rescue, then use SpinRite as a last-ditch effort. More here: serverfault.com/questions/51681/… –  rob Mar 8 '10 at 22:08

The very first thing I'd suggest doing is imaging the drive using dd_rescue. You can boot from a Knoppix or Ubuntu live CD, then install and run dd_rescue.

http://paulski.com/zpages.php?id=1913

If dd_rescue fails on your first attempt, you can try to freeze the drive and try again, as outlined in the article above (and mentioned by several other people here).

Once you have imaged the drive, you can try further disk recovery techniques, such as downloadable recovery software or sending the drive to a data recovery firm. Be forwarned, however, that Ontrack charges a $100 fee just for diagnosis, and actually recovering the data costs extra.

Unfortunately, if sector 0 is unreadable, even the data recovery firms will be unable to recover your data. You can make this diagnosis yourself by mounting the drive directly in your computer (instead of using the external enclosure). Either the BIOS or a disk recovery tool should warn you if sector 0 is unreadable.

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