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I have a Samsung HD103UJ 1TB SATA HDD which is malfunctioning, but not a complete brick.

If I try to boot off it, the boot takes forever and there is slow ticking sound.

If I hot-plug it into a running system it slows the system to a crawl, and never opens the drive it is mapped to.

Because Samsung HDD division has merged with Seagate I assumed it was perhaps manufactured by Seagate and just rebranded by Samsung, and therefore assumed SeaTools is going to work with it. Also the new websites seemed to send me in that direction.

So I ran SeaTools for Windows and got:

  • SMART - Pass
  • Short DST - Fail (code 6C9AC2A4, but message said it has bad sectors)

I booted into SeaTools for DOS and it did the long test and found 2 errors, but then failed to fix them. At the end it even said it is not a Seagate disk.

Anything I can do on my own to recover some data besides sending this to a data recovery firm (which is very pricey)?

How do I make it mark the bad sectors bad if SeaTools for DOS won't do it?

Perhaps SeaData isn't supposed to work with this drive?

So should I instead be downloading some obscure Samsung tool or even another tool altogether? MHDD perhaps?

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Attempt it yourself or better still get someone acquainted with Linux to run ddrescue from a LiveCD/USB. If you hear a clicking sound, it signals a hardware failure and likely imminent drive death, so instead of stressing it unnecessarily by running disk checks get as much data as possible off it ASAP. –  Karan Dec 21 '12 at 18:55
    
Karan, what you write makes a lot of sense. However, I have to figure out how to do it. I already replaced the 1TB disk with a 750 MB one so I have 750 MB + 500 MB drives to which I have to ddrestore a 1 TB one :(. The total free space is 1 TB but I didn't figure out how to do this. –  John M Dec 21 '12 at 21:22
    
I ordered a 2TB disk to attempt this. –  John M Dec 22 '12 at 18:26

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If Karan had posted the comment as an answer, I would accept that.

I got about 99.9% of my data back with ddrescue, it was quite easy and free.

Thank you so much Karan for suggesting this!

Steps:

  • Got bigger hard drive than old one, connected only the new drive and the old one to the system, disconnecting other drives
  • Downloaded Ubuntu 12.10 Live CD
  • Downloaded LinuxLive USB creator
  • Burned Live CD to USB stick (DVD drive would take forever to boot)
  • Booted up with the Live CD
  • Found both drives in /dev/sd* , with very nice symbolic links already created by Ubuntu that specified which disk is which by name also there
  • Installed ddrescue (for that I had to enable Universe repository by editing the apt repository list file, and do "sudo apt-get upgrade")
  • Did something like "ddrescue -r 3 /dev/sda /dev/sdb logfile" ("-r 3" is for three retries on each bad sector, you can also skip it)
  • Left it running for ~12 hours, periodically checking the logfile for progress
  • Logfile obtained was very clear, showed I had exactly one bad sector and had lost only 8kb
  • Shut down
  • Swapped old drive for boot drive, ensured I'm booting from boot drive
  • Mounted new drive in Windows, ran a Disk Check which fixed some issues and created a "Found" folder for the few files affected
  • Checked the files in "Found" folder and they were both something unimportant
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Try GetDataBack. I have had great success with this utility.

I have also heard Recuva works good though Ive never used it personally

As far as a diagnostics tool, here is a link to the samsung tool. Note: Ive never used this myself

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The first two tools seem like they work after the disk as such is working, just the data is corrupt on it. I may need something after I get the disk to work normally, but first I need the disk to work by marking the bad sectors properly. The third link, especially the ES-tool is very relevant, but the download and more information links are broken now and lead to the stupid Seagate site. –  John M Dec 21 '12 at 16:58
    
@JohnMurdoch Ive was able to use get data back to recover data plenty of times even when the drive isnt even recognized by windows. As long as it spins up you should be able to recover –  MalwareManiac Dec 21 '12 at 17:30

What you can also try is to make first a full image of the disk.

Since the disk is damaged there is certainly some sectors that cannot be read anymore. Anyway, there some tools are able to skip unreadable sectors (after a few tries) and are able to always make a image even if the disk is baldy damaged (WinHex does that).

Once you have your disk image (saved on a bigger, safe drive), you can then mount that image on an os and run data recovery software against it. The good thing with the method is that you can try as many software as you want and as many times as you want, without damaging the disk furthermore and without the risk of totally locking it.

Scanning all sectors on a damaged drive is in my opinion not a bad idea, because this is also how most data recovery programs work : it first scan all sectors the disk, skipping unreadable sectors. While the disk is being scanned, it try to find patterns that looks like file records and store that information somewhere for later (eg : a file has been found at sector 24127128). Then all information collected before is analysed and showed as a human readable form (most of the time a treeview).

About recovery software : you dont specify any os or file system, so i presume your are using Windows with a NTFS partition.

Here is a list of software i used in the past that worked for me :

  • GetDataBack (NTFS version)
  • File Scavenger (worked for me while getdataback do not recover anything)
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Well, if you have written other data into the Samsung, I'm afraid that part of your files had been gone forever.

If you have not written any data in to Samsung galaxy, then you can use some Samsung Data Recovery software to restore Samsung galaxy device.

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