Bad sectors, files can be seen but won't open/copy (corrupt)

I was running a homeserver with a 1.5TB seagate barracuda hard drive. At first, my drive became inaccessible until reboot. It would need to be rebooted once per day... then once per hour... then once every few minutes. I ran the SMART add-in from WHS and it showed over 2000 bad sectors. At this point, I could still access and open files on the drive. I replaced the drive and reloaded the WHS software, which is running fine.

I immediatley put the bad drive back in a second bay to copy the data to the new drive. I was able to see the files, but could not copy them. I then tried to open a file and it was corrupt. The several that I tried were all corrupt and could not open.

I can attach this drive with an external usb enclosure to my win7 computers and the drive will show up, I can see the files, but they are all corrupt/won't open.

I copied many files (not my large movie backup files) with testdisk. I tried to run a checkdisk and spinrite on the healthy drive but neither seems to have worked.

Is there anything that can help in this case? Thanks.

P.S. - I took it to a data recovery place and after the evaluation, the quoted me $1000, which I'd rather not pay if I can do this myself.
5 answers Last reply
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  1. What version of Windows Home Server are you using? V1 or 2011?

    Try running checkdisk from the Windows 7 machine and see if will remap the data around the bad sectors.

    You can also try running an app called Recuva (see below for link) to recover the files:

    Good luck!
  2. If this is a hardware problem, a data recovery place is the only options. Any more software fixes/test you going to do on it, will just going to make it worst(less chance for recovery).
  3. Thank you both. Checkdisk, recuva, getdataback all did not work. I didn't think it would be this big of a problem since it spins and I can see my files, but maybe the physical damage is worse than I thought.
  4. Hello,

    It does indeed sound like your hard disk has got quite a severe bad sector problem.

    In this case it's pointless using software because ideally some form of hardware control is necessary also.

    I guess it's time to weigh up how valuable your data really is, and use a data recovery company if necessary.
  5. Try cloning your drive with ddrescue (freeware). It understands how to work around bad patches in the media.

    Avoid SpinRite. It is a drive killer. It potentially accelerates the total failure of a weak head.

    Try Bad Block Copy for Windows (freeware):

    "Copies data from file or raw harddisk ignoring Bad Blocks. If target file doesn't exists, ZEROs are written instead of unreadable blocks. If target file exists, its blocks, coresponding to Bad Blocks in source are not touched. Thus, if you have some copies of the same file with Bad Blocks in different places, it is possible to completly restore the original file."
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