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Dying external HDD

Last response: in Storage
April 19, 2012 12:55:46 AM

Hi guys, I really hope you can help me out here.

My girlfriend has all her data stored on a 1.5 TB WD MyBook Essential. She's keeping all her photos on that disk, and, ofc, there is no backup. I know, she should have made backup to a second drive, and now we're learning from our mistakes. The disk is starting to show signs of weakness, i.e. it takes way to long to copy files to and from it, and she can under no circumstances edit the pictures while they're still on the drive. So I got her a 2TB Seagate external drive, and prepared backing up.

I wanted to start copying the files from one drive to another, but when I do so, I get the window about preparing the files for copy, it calculates space, and then *poof*, the window disappears. So, I try copying the files one folder at a time, but as soon as I copy a larger folder, the same happens. I have succesfully copied folders of 400MB but that's max.

So, I can see something is obviously wrong with the disk, and start a disk scan with the native scandisk option in windows 7. Aaand, the same happens, it gets underway, scans for 3-4 minutes, and then suddenly the scanning window disappears without any error messages or anything. But before it closes down, I can see that it definitely encounters bad sectors.

I've tried downloading Disk Checker 3.3 and scanning the disk with that, but that will take over 100 hours (!), the scan runs at max 4.2MB/sec. I've also tried downloading Testdisk 6.13, but I get lost in that program, and am afraid I'll suddenly do something I shouldn't have done.

So I suspect the problem being some bad sectors on the disk, only problem is, I can't really get it repaired.

Any of you guys got any advice as to how I should proceed? I really need some help here, please, and would be truly grateful for some help.

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April 19, 2012 7:28:07 AM

Use bartpe,Hirens, or ERD commander to boot system. Then copy the files over. Hirens default file manager is teracopy.

Also if you run into issues of the drive not letting you copy the files over you can stick the hdd in a zip lock bag and stick it in the freezer for about 10mins. Make sure you remove the electronics from it if you can. -- Note this can mess up your hdd even worse if you don't know what you are doing.. Only use as last resort.
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April 19, 2012 11:06:40 AM

Thnx for your replies, guys.
I've started out with Tera Copy to see how that works out, and so far I've had no problems. It all goes very, VERY slow, I'm coping at 2.8MB/s atm, but I think it is the HDD's fault.
But my main issue isn't that the copying itself stops. It is more that with all these bad sectors on the drive, I'm afraid of getting a lot of corrupt files when I'm done copying. So I'm really looking for a tool that can fix the bad sectors on the HDD before I start copying, and preferrably one that does it at a decent speed :) 
April 19, 2012 11:19:58 AM

I am not sure I want to go so far as to try the freezer solution. As you write yourself, it's a last resort, and I'm afraid I'll do irreversible damage with it.