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Hard drive partitions showing far larger than the drive

Last response: in Storage
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September 25, 2012 6:06:09 AM

I have an old Maxtor 20Gb (edited) disk drive that suffered a directory structure problem over 6 years ago that I could not recover with the software available back then. So, I shelved it to deal with at a later date. That date has finally come around.

I used a USB to IDE interface to get it hooked up to my Windows Vista x64 computer. When I got it connected, the device showed up as 2 disks. This was expected as I remembered having partitioned it. They are both showing as unallocated, but what's far worse is that they are much larger than they could physically be. One appears as 987Gb and the other as over 1Tb! This is impossible, as it's only a 20Gb drive.

I can't find anything about it on the Internet. I'm thinking this is reflective of a serious media failure and that my odds of recovering any data isn't good. Attempting to run something like ARAX Disk Doctor starts scanning as if the drive is as large as Windows thinks it is. Over 600 hours to surface scan just doesn't make any sense.

Is this hard drive absolutely toast, or is there any chance of fixing it?
a c 288 G Storage
September 25, 2012 7:25:40 AM

Could you show us a report from HD Sentinel?

http://www.hdsentinel.com/

You can generate a report by selecting Report -> Save TXT Report.
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September 25, 2012 3:23:58 PM

^ Thanks for your response. I hadn't known about HD Sentinel. In any case, I installed it and ran the report. Impressive details where it came to my internal drive. But for this old Maxtor drive? Not much. For reference, the drive is a MAXTOR 92049U6 DiamondPlus 6800. It's also a 20Gb drive, not 80Gb as I'd thought. I got different values compared to last time, but the 2nd partition is still showing over 800Gb.

It's really weird how these Maxtor drives lose all kinds of on-board information, like the vendor and serial number. Unless it's the USB/IDE interface that is distorting the data from the drive (not really sure). This is the 2nd old Maxtor drive I've discovered to do this. I'll tell you this much, I won't ever buy a Seagate drive knowing they acquired Maxtor.


Anyway, here's the HD Sentinel report content:


-- Physical Disk Information - Disk: #1: hhhh hhhhhhhh --

Hard Disk Summary
-------------------
Hard Disk Number . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 1
Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : SCSI
Hard Disk Model ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : hhhh hhhhhhhh
Firmware Revision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : hh
Hard Disk Serial Number . . . . . . . . . . . . : ?
Total Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 3451 MB
Power State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Active
Current Temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : ?
Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : ? (Unknown)
Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : ? (Unknown)

Properties
------------
Vendor Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : ?
Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : OK
Version . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0
Device Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Disk
ASC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0
ASCQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0

SCSI Information
------------------
Removable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Not supported
Failure Prediction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Not supported
Failure Prediction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Disabled

Transfer Rate Information
---------------------------
Total Data Read . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 MB, 0 MB since installation (9/25/2012)
Total Data Write . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 MB, 0 MB since installation
Average Reads Per Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0.00 MB
Average Writes Per Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0.00 MB
Current Transfer Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 KB/s
Maximum Transfer Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 KB/s
Current Read Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 KB/s
Current Write Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 KB/s
Current Disk Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 %



-- Physical Disk Information - Disk: #2: hhhh hhhhhhhh --

Hard Disk Summary
-------------------
Hard Disk Number . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 2
Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : SCSI
Hard Disk Model ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : hhhh hhhhhhhh
Firmware Revision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : hh
Hard Disk Serial Number . . . . . . . . . . . . : ?
Total Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 830853 MB
Power State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Active
Current Temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : ?
Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : ? (Unknown)
Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : ? (Unknown)

Properties
------------
Vendor Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : ?
Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : OK
Version . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0
Device Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Disk
ASC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0
ASCQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0

SCSI Information
------------------
Removable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Not supported
Failure Prediction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Not supported
Failure Prediction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : Disabled

Transfer Rate Information
---------------------------
Total Data Read . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 MB, 0 MB since installation (9/25/2012)
Total Data Write . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 MB, 0 MB since installation
Average Reads Per Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0.00 MB
Average Writes Per Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0.00 MB
Current Transfer Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 KB/s
Maximum Transfer Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 KB/s
Current Read Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 KB/s
Current Write Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 KB/s
Current Disk Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . : 0 %

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September 25, 2012 4:00:36 PM

I think this drive is a lost cause. The status in Disk Management is "Not Initialized." I tried to initialize it, first with a Master Boot Record and then a GUID Partition Table... both failed due to an I/O device error.

This drive sat in a temperature controlled room installed in a computer that was not put to use at all since the failure. So, this failure wasn't due to environmental circumstances. The drive just imploded...
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Best solution

a c 288 G Storage
September 25, 2012 8:41:26 PM

I wouldn't give up just yet. Some drives, including Western Digitals, don't play nicely with certain USB-PATA bridge ICs. You could identify the IC (eg JMicron, Initio, Cypress) by visual inspection, or by way of its Product ID and Vendor ID in Microsoft's UVCView utility:

http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/USB_IDs/UVCView.x86.ex...

A Google search might then tell you whether your bridge is a problematic one.

BTW, the drive must be jumpered as master. Did you do this?

As for partitions, HD Sentinel is identifying two *physical* drives, not two *logical* volumes. That is, HD Sentinel thinks that there are two hard drives, not one. That's very odd.

You say that "both [drives are] showing as unallocated". This means that Windows thinks that there are two physical drives, and that neither drive has been partitioned. I can't see how a single faulty HDD could make itself appear as two physical drives. That's just bizarre. There has to be a problem with the enclosure, not the drive. Some enclosures, eg WD's, will identify themselves as a VCD (Virtual CD) and a HDD. Do you have something like this???

Edit: ISTR that certain enclosures will enumerate a large (> 2TiB) HDD as two virtual physical drives, each having a capacity less than 2TiB. This is to maintain compatibility with Windows XP which is limited to a maximum MBR partition size of 2TiB (for 512-byte block sizes). It could be that your enclosure is receiving garbled Identify Device information from the Maxtor drive, and this garbled data may include a nonsensical capacity. This in turn prompts the bridge firmware to split the drive into two halves.

See http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274015-32-external-us...


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October 7, 2012 4:52:33 PM

Best answer selected by cytherians.
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October 7, 2012 4:55:21 PM

Thanks for your help fzabkar, it was very educational. I ended up abandoning the hard drive. There wasn't any critical data on it anyway (thankfully). With both Windows and HD Sentinel seeing two physical drives instead of one drive partitioned, that suggests a more severe issue. The other thing is that there may be an issue with how the HD plays with the IDE adapter that I'm using (Rosewill), although the same adapter worked fine for another Maxtor drive I own.
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