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Software to recover damaged Hard Drive?

Hello guys,

I've got an internal 500 GB Seagate Barracuda hard drive which I had removed from my PC about 3 years ago when I went entirely into using SSD. I would plug it in once every few months only to transfer to it all photos/videos I've taken during our holidays.

A few days ago I tried to use it again and I got an message stating a S.M.A.R.T. error with the hard drive. The only way to make the PC start is to disable the S.M.A.R.T. check for the drive through BIOS. The drive is obviously starting to fail so I decided to buy an external HDD and transfer all my photos and videos to it and just dispose of the old internal drive.

Just when I attempted to transfer the data from the internal to the external drive the old Seagate would show an error in the middle of the transfer and then disconnects itself so it's no longer visible in Windows.

The only way to make it show up is to shut down my PC and turn it on again. Simple restart doesn't make it show up.

I tried using chkdsk but it would hang up and disconnect the hard drive again. I also downloaded Seatools from Seagate's website but when I tried running the test I was told the windows version of the Seatools won't do the trick and that I have to download the DOS version of it and try again. The DOS version has to be burned into a bootable CD/DVD but I don't even have a DVD drive (never needed one). I tried using an USB memory stick and make it bootable with the DOS Seatools but it won't do anything.

I'm sorry for the long post but I tried to give as many details as possible.

Can anyone recommend some (free) software that could help me patch things up with the hard drive so I could at least transfer my data from it?

Thanks in advance.
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Seagate drives are affected by a "pending bug". When the heads are starting to become weak, or when there are media problems, the drive will bog down on read retries or sector reallocations. It will then remain busy for an excessive amount of time, and won't be detected, or it may go offline.

    The solution is to disable this behaviour by sending various ConGen commands to the drive's serial terminal port. However, you will need a serial TTL adapter (~US$10) and some patience.

    See http://malthus.zapto.org/viewtopic.php?f=83&t=557&p=2805

    http://malthus.zapto.org/viewtopic.php?t=193&p=3955#p436

    After you have implemented the above procedure, then you should clone the drive, sector by sector, using a tool (eg ddrescue) that understands how to work around bad media.
  2. Hello fzabkar,

    thank you for your reply. I'm afraid I'm not the most patient person around. I wish there was a simpler method, like just downloading, installing and running some software overnight or something but what you say makes a lot of sense so I guess it won't be that simple.
  3. Sorry, if I knew of a "fix_my_hard_drive_with_a_single_click.exe" tool, I would make everyone aware of it.
  4. You can repair it if you can see its drive letter, just open the command prompt with admin rights and execute that command:
    chkdsk x: /f /r
    replace the x with your hdd's drive letter and let it work for 1-3 days, just don't shut down it.
    You can do many things while chkdsk is repairing the disk, but don't run any programs that use a lot of your cpu
  5. xrhstos7003 said:
    You can repair it if you can see its drive letter, just open the command prompt with admin rights and execute that command:
    chkdsk x: /f /r
    replace the x with your hdd's drive letter and let it work for 1-3 days, just don't shut down it.
    You can do many things while chkdsk is repairing the disk, but don't run any programs that use a lot of your cpu


    Hey,

    thanks for the input but as I already mentioned chkdsk was the first thing to try. It disconnects the drive when it finds an error.
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