HD- Dead or Alive?

Hi All- Been searchin this forum for answers to my HD conundrum, and haven't found a complete one. Here's the situation. My external drive one day, about a month ago, decided it no longer wanted to work correctly. It is a 160GB Maxtor DiamondMax9 ATA133, manufactured Jan1104. I can connect using firewire or usb2.0, and usually only used the firewire to do so. This drive is my primary storage spot. About 80% of the mp3's I have are on here, as well as many school projects and other stuff I would really like to have.
I had this drive set up to be 'safely removed'. I do remember getting a 'delayed write error' a few times, but my data all seemed to be intact each time, as well as the drive functioning correctly. So, about a month ago, I went to plug the firewire into my desktop like I always have been and nothing happens. The drive does not show up in device manager or explorer. So I plug in the usb. The drive activity light stays on, and I get a consistent noise, kind of like a click but I am not sure. The sound it makes is one like it is reading the drive. The sound occurs once every 4 to 5 seconds, for as long as the usb is plugged in. The sound doesn't happen otherwise.
I tried demos of Stellar Phoenix, getdataback, partition table doctor, and even spinrite. This problem makes all of them run EXTREMELY slow. Spinrite was able to read only 250MB in over eight hours on my first partition. It also reported that the disk was in danger of total faliure (what a shocker). Partition doctor showed 2 of the 3 partitions on there damaged, but the one I really wanted to get off there is still intact. My hopes were to copy it to/ create an image of it on a new 320GB WD sata2 drive I just picked up.
I did hook this drive up to my desktop and it still reads slower than slow. I was able to see a message in the drives hex format that 'NTLDR is missing' . I tried using fixboot in partition doctor and DOS but neither worked. I tried copying a new NTLDR in DOS to the affected drive but that didn't work either.
I still have a bit of hope left. The drive does show up in the BIOS. It also shows up, after several minutes and playing around with the usb, in these other demo utilities. I can't seem to get anything off the drive data wise though.
If any of you folks could give me some insight as to what I can do I would sincerely appreciate it. I don't want to send this drive to maybe get recovered by some service for the low price of $400. Thanks in advance...
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More about dead alive
  1. bump
  2. Have you tried taking the drive out of the portable case and installing it in the computer like a normal hard drive to see if it works better?
    Be sure to set the jumper correctly.
    As far a ntldr missing, thats only needed on your boot drive.
  3. If the hdd wasn't getting sufficient power it could do that. On the other hand in a worse case scenario the read write heads may have crashed into one or more of the platters in which case its nothing more than a paperweight. I would try out sturm's suggestion first though.
  4. Yes, I have installed it as a slave in my desktop. The jumper was set correctly for this also. The drive showed up in the BIOS. The drive ran the same as it did when hooked up via USB. A recovery program I ran was only able to read @250MB in @8 hours. Can I take it apart to see if what you (h3llscream) was the case?
    There were originally 3 partitions on this disk. It shows them all, and there correct sizes. One the first and last partition it shows a 'boot sector error'. The middle partition appears to be fine. I was hoping to at least get the middle one out....

    ...Am I F'd??? :(
  5. Oh, by the way. When I've tried to fix this boot sector error, each demo/app I have tried have not been able to repair it. Also, thanks again for the replies, more advice is greatly appreciated.

    Also BTW, that new drive I picked up is sweet. WD 320GB 7200rpm 16MB cache SATA II. Via a SATA I pci card I get a sustained rate of 67Mbs, on a 4 year old system. Not bad for $139...
  6. You could take it apart and see if thats what has happened if you just wanted to satisfy your curiousity. Fixing it would be out of the question though. Besides you would have to dissect it anyway to be able to see if all the heads were intact.
  7. :?:
  8. :?:
  9. It sounds to me like your drive is toast. If you really want the data off the partition, try downloading a demo of easyrecovery and see how it works. I think the licensed version it only about $70 for one PC. I have used it in the past pretty successfully.

    and Remember, NEVER keep critical data in only one place.
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