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Computer requires reformat after changing External HDD caddy

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November 3, 2012 2:17:53 PM

Salutations, everyone. I'm sorry to be yet another helpless tech-illiterate newbie, but I have searched the forum and haven't been able to find another thread addressing this specific problem, and I would be very grateful for any assistance that anyone can provide.

I own a 1TB external hard drive (Samsung H100UI/Z4). The USB-3 port on the drive's enclosure (an Iomega caddy) was damaged. Although the port was damaged, the drive itself was unaffected - I was able to use the drive and access all of my data with no problems by keeping the port physically in position until I had an opportunity to replace the enclosure.

I replaced the enclosure with a tool-free 2.5" Orico 2598US3. The caddy has a metal casing, and came with a Seal King TT6135 "HDD Protective Film" which I have not applied (the original Iomaega caddy had no such film and I'm hesitant to go sticking things onto circuit boards unless I know that I need them). The drive fits inside this enclosure without difficulty, but when connecting it to my computer (Windows 7) the drive has become unreadable. It is recognised as a disk in the Disk Manager, but the computer prompts me to reformat the drive before it can be used. As all of my data is on this hard drive, I'm naturally reluctant to do this!

Does anybody recognise this situation, and is there any way around it? Thank you for your assistance.

November 3, 2012 10:45:17 PM

Thanks for your interest, fzabkar.

Using Roadkil's Sector Editor, I opened disk "logical I:" (where I: is the drive letter for my external hard drive) and Sector 0 seemed to be blank:



I flicked through the pages and things didn't start to happen until no.441:



Peculiarly, though, I also opened the HDD in the HxD editor and this didn't agree with Roadkil, giving a different result for sector 0:



There are comments in the right-hand columns which don't look encouraging, but I'm baffled as to why this should be happening now as all I've done is swap the casing.
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a c 100 G Storage
November 3, 2012 11:11:07 PM

Try this:
Remove the hard drive from the new case and hook it up to your PC internally (when it's OFF).

REBOOT and try to access it.
(If your computer won't reboot you may have to change the BOOT ORDER in your BIOS as it might be trying to boot to the new drive.)

Your drive may be damaged or just corrupted but try the above first.

If that doesn't work then you have to use recovery software. You MUST have a separate drive to COPY all the data to if it can recover.

I finally managed to recover data from a 2TB but required a non-free EASEUS program. There are several free programs which may or may not work.

*Do NOT try any methods such as rebuilding a partition that are DESTRUCTIVE. Only try methods that attempt to SCAN the drive and find files to COPY to a different drive.
a c 316 G Storage
November 4, 2012 12:50:33 AM

@kapparomeo, the reason for the differences in your sector dumps is that the HxD dump appears to have been taken when your drive was installed in your new enclosure, whereas the Roadkil dumps appear to have been taken when the drive was in its original enclosure.

Notice that the total number of sectors in HxD is 1953525168 whereas in Roadkil it is 0243995155.

1953525168 sectors x 512 bytes per sector = 1 000 204 886 016 bytes

243995155 sectors x 4096 bytes per sector = 999 404 154 880 bytes

It appears that the Iomega enclosure's firmware was configured for 4KB LBAs while your new enclosure still uses the standard 512-byte LBAs. Moreover, the Iomega firmware appears to reserve about 800KB of disc space (= 1000204886016 - 999404154880 bytes) for itself. WD's SmartWare products reserve a similar amount of space for a virtual CD (VCD), so perhaps that is what the Iomega enclosure is doing.

Sector 0 of the HxD dump appears to be a standard Windows XP MBR (the error messages are normal).

An Examination of the Windows 2000 & Windows XP MBR:
http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/Win2kmbr.htm

Offset 0x01CA contains the size of the partition:

0x0E8B1215 x 4096 = 999 404 163 072 bytes

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=0x0E8B1215+x+4096+in+...

Sector 441 in your Roadkil dump shows a standard Windows NTFS boot sector.

NTFS Volume Boot Record of Windows 2000 & Windows XP:
http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/NTFSBR.htm

A View of the NTFS Boot Record in a Disk Editor:
http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/NTFSbrHexEd.ht...

Offset 0x0B/0x0C contains the sector size. In this case it is 0x1000 (= 4096) bytes. In a standard boot sector this value would be 0x0200 (= 512 bytes).

Offset 0x28 contains the volume size of 0x0E8B1214, which is [correctly] one sector less than the value in the MBR.

In short, you will not have access to your data, either in your new enclosure, or when the drive is connected directly to a SATA port on your computer's motherboard. Your best option is to find someone to reattach the USB connector on your original PCB. Perhaps your local TV/AV repairer could do it for you.

!