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I've got a 1TB Iomega 2.5" FireWire Drive. The drive contains important data which is contained in a 950GB TrueCrypt volume. Format is MAC OS Extended (Journaled). I'm mainly connecting it on a MacBookPro, 15", early 2011 model.

It won't spin up anymore. When I plug it in, a short faint sound can be heard for a few seconds. That's it. It doesn't spin at all. No "click-click-click" sound that disks about to fail often emit.

  • I've tried holding it in different positions.
  • I've tried "swinging it" (almost like when throwing a frisbee) cause I read somewhere that it might release stuck disks.
  • I've tried both FireWire and USB cable.

None of the above works.

The drive doesn't show in Disk Utility. I've tried Disk Warrior, Data Rescue, Drive Genius, Stellar Phoenix and non of them can detect the drive either.

Any suggestions what to do apart from bringing it in to a Data Recovery Service? Does the fact that the data is all on a TrueCrypt volume limit chances of recovery further?

I would LOVE recommendations of what methods to try AND in which order they ought to be tried?

Could putting the drive in the freezer harm the drive thus making it harder to recover data using our methods? It's got no fan so my theory is that it's been running too hot.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Oh, and yes..I don't have a fresh back up anymore. Stupid! I know!

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closed as too localized by Bobby, Dave M, wizlog, 8088, Hennes Feb 28 '13 at 18:24

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seriously, try another casing... faint sound might be a condensator or some voltage regulator hissing because of a burned component. you can only hope that its the electronics on the casing and not on the drive. –  Baarn Apr 18 '12 at 23:01
    
"Does the fact that the data is all on a TrueCrypt volume limit chances of recovery further?" Yes, encrypted data is nearly impossible to distinguish from random data, additionally if it was compressed there are good chances that even the smallest error renders it unrecoverable....also, do you like to give the Data Recovery Company your key? If not, they'll have a hard time recovering anything. –  Bobby Feb 27 '13 at 15:09
    
possible duplicate of Can't read External Hard Drive anymore! –  Hennes Feb 28 '13 at 18:24
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1 Answer

Here is the check list on how to recover data from a harddisk:

How badly do you need your data?

Very!

Go to a Data Recovery Company, if possible one which has a good reputation and does not brag itself with a fast and cheap recovery.

Not very, but would be nice to have again...

Try to run a Linux Live CD with ddrescue, that might work. If the harddisk is not even recognized you could try to get the same (!!!) model again and swap out the controller, that at least would rule out that possibility (of a faulty controller, that is).

Not sure if I need it at all...

Well, place it on the heater, in the freezer, tip it, swing it, punch it...might work at some point again.

My drive was encrypted...

...and that stinky Data Recovery Company will never get my key!

That's great...for you, that is. Encrypted data is not or hardly distinguishable from random data. So even if the company is able to copy stuff of the harddisk, they won't be able to tell you how successful that was until you're at home and try to decrypt whatever they got off the harddisk.

...and I guess I can trust that company.

That's great...also for you, because they might be able to help you in that case.

...and I've forgotten the key...how do I get my data?

Well...how do I put this? The whole point of encryption is that somebody without the key will not get your data...you don't have the key, you don't get the data!

What if all this does not work?

You do have a backup, right?

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