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External to internal aiming for no data loss?

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November 4, 2012 4:26:07 AM

Hi Guys,
I've got a problem I'm hoping you could help with.
Our external WD SmartWare's USB port broke off, so we thought we'd install it inside our Windows 7 computer, as an internal, and we are trying not to loose the data on it.
So we've plugged it in to our motherboard, a SATA AMD Phenom II, though it's not coming up in the drives section in Windows Folders / Computer: .... but it is being recognized in Device Manager and says everything is working properly, and in Disk manager, though it's space is Unallocated, and doesn't have a format next to it. It was used on both a Mac and a PC before it broke, so that means it must've been FAT32 formatted for it to work on both. It's asked us a couple of times to initialize the drive, and I clicked yes finally.
I have an option of reformatting, but we are trying to recover the data. There was a "lock" on the drive, where you had to enter a password to get into it.... not sure if this is causing a problem or what, as when an external it wouldn't be recognized unless the certain program was opened for it to be unlocked.....

One other thing, we just took the 2 cords from the DVD drive and unplugged them and plugged them into the back of the drive.

Any help you could offer we'd be grateful!!
:) 's Lucy

Best solution

a c 323 G Storage
November 4, 2012 4:42:13 PM

Lucy, your most expedient solution is to find someone (eg your local TV/AV repairer) to reattach the USB connector.

Be aware that certain SmartWare products (eg My Book Essentials) are hardware encrypted, even if you have not set a password. The decryption is handled by the USB-SATA bridge board inside the enclosure. When you install an encrypted HDD inside your computer, all you will see is gibberish. In fact you have now made the problem worse by initialising the drive. Initialisation is data destructive. After repairing your bridge board, you will need to install the drive inside the enclosure and use data recovery software (eg TestDisk, Partition Find and Mount) to recreate the partition table.
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November 4, 2012 11:23:22 PM

Thanks for the reply fzabkar.
I'll try what you said. I'm hoping the initialization didn't work as when I clicked yes nothing happened, no spinning circle, no other popup, nothing. So i'm hoping it just went dud there after what u wrote, I guess I'll find out.
We did actually try and solder the USB drive back on first thing, the lights all came on the drive, but the Mac wouldn't read it, so we will try again. I have had it happen in the past when the drive was all good that the Mac was a bit slow at recognizing it, I had to replug it, etc, I'm hoping that's just it then.....

I'll let u know how we go, thanks for the info!!
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a c 323 G Storage
November 5, 2012 1:55:43 AM

How does HD Sentinel see your drive when it is attached via SATA?
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November 5, 2012 3:06:30 AM

if all else fails we will ask an expert for help...... just hoping to save some bucks as we've spend thousands over the years on repairs for faulty computer stuff!

fzabkar, Sentinel says health 100% temp 39%. good news?!
I havent started to take it out yet and put it back together again, is there anything I can try before I take it out again? Is there a way to check if I did initialize it?
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a c 323 G Storage
November 5, 2012 3:49:54 AM

It looks like the drive may be OK (I'm assuming you meant to say that the temperature was 39C). From your initial description of the symptoms it was looking like the drive may have had internal problems.

To check whether anything was written during your attempted initialisation, you could use a disc editor to examine sector 0, in hexadecimal mode.

You could use any of the following sector editors to do this.

Roadkil's Sector Editor:
http://www.roadkil.net/program.php/P24/Sector%20Editor

HxD - Freeware Hex Editor and Disk Editor:
http://mh-nexus.de/en/hxd

DMDE (DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery):
http://softdm.com/download.html
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November 5, 2012 9:47:41 AM

Are these Disk Editors pretty straight forward to use? Seems I'm getting a bit out of my technical know how territory....

We've tried to reattach the USB to the bridgeboard and plug it all back up, though again the power is on but there's no read from any computer via the USB cable, cable tested, so the USB bit on the board is definately broken. I thought my partner soldered it, but he superglued it. So I think we may have to get someone to look at it, and hopefully they can replace the USB bit or the whole bridge board??? Is that even possible with the encryptions?

I'll try the Disk Editor, wish me luck examining sector 0! :) !!
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November 5, 2012 10:09:35 AM

OK, I have the DMDE, I have the drive back in, I have the program open and the drive selected, but I have no idea what it all means.......
There were no partitions on the drive, and it comes up with line 1 - 1.00 TB, Ind T, 0 -1953525167, and the next line a green dot and 1.00TB unallocated space, 1 - 1953525167

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November 5, 2012 10:12:14 AM

And the program is run via the keyboard and I don't know how to do the manouvering! :) 
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a c 323 G Storage
November 5, 2012 4:36:47 PM

Select your physical drive.

Mode -> Hexadecimal

Tools -> Copy Sectors
First Sector - 0
Number of Sectors - 2049
Destination - File
Save

ZIP or RAR the saved file and upload it to a file sharing service.
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November 6, 2012 9:00:50 AM

i downloaded all 3 of the programs, and couldn't figure a single one of them out :/ 
technically retarded, sorry!!!! :) 
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November 6, 2012 9:03:48 AM

I got closest with the first one, the DMDE, though I couldn't get the Tools menu up, I checked help, it didn't help....
Whenever I clicked crtl T for Tools, it put a x in the T-something checkbox in another part. I couldn't get the Top Menu active at all. feel like a dunce.
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a c 323 G Storage
November 6, 2012 6:45:28 PM

Try HxD.

Extras -> Open disk
Select Physical disk

The readonly box must be checked. This prevents you from writing on the drive.

You should now see sector 0 in hexadecimal mode.

Edit - Select Block

"hex" radio button
Start-offset - 0
Length - 100200
OK

Edit -> Copy As -> Editor View

This copies the first 2049 sectors to the clipboard.

Now open NotePad or WordPad.
Edit -> Paste

You should now see the first 2049 sectors in your word processor.

Now save the document as a text file.

Use WinZip or 7Zip to compress the file and upload it.
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November 7, 2012 3:08:05 AM

Thanks for those instructions!!
Easy peasy,
Hopefully I chose the right drive, it had an option of harddrive 1 and harddrive 2, I opted for 2.

Here is the file :
erm...

how do i upload?
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November 7, 2012 5:26:35 AM

thanks for your time fzabkar!!
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November 7, 2012 5:55:23 AM

and your patience :) 
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a c 323 G Storage
November 7, 2012 6:40:55 AM

Your sector dump is from a 500GB drive with two NTFS (type 07) partitions and one extended (type 05) partition -- 131MB, 182GB and 318GB.
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November 7, 2012 8:57:25 AM

oh dammit! wrong drive! take two -

ps i can't believe you can read that from that gibberish
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a c 323 G Storage
November 7, 2012 2:34:11 PM

The good news is that your drive appears to be working. Your hardware problems appear to be confined to the bridge board. I would engage your "expert" TV repairer to resolder the USB connector. Hopefully that's all you need.

As for your sector dumps, they show that your drive is encrypted. Notice that there is a repeating pattern of 16 bytes (= 128 bits):

74 B6 30 12 45 53 D1 0C DD 68 6C EF 79 3A 84 4C

These represent 16 encrypted zeros.

Offset 0x7E00 (= sector 63) is where we would expect to find an NTFS boot sector. If it were not encrypted, we would see some plain text. Instead we see gibberish at the beginning, followed by the abovementioned data pattern, and then more gibberish at offset 0x7FF0.

An unencrypted boot sector would look something like this:
http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/NTFSbrHexEd.ht...

Yours doesn't have the boot code in the middle (because your drive is not bootable).

Offsets 0x0000 to 0x01FF (= sector 0) in your sector dump represent the MBR and partition table.

Your MBR looks like this Windows 7 example:
http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/W7MBR.htm

This sector clearly has plain text, which means that it is not encrypted. Also, there are no entries in the partition table. This means that you did in fact initialise your drive, but you did not get around to allocating any space to partitions. Unfortunately this means that, after you reinstall the drive in your enclosure, you will need to reconstruct sector 0 using a tool such as TestDisk.

Good luck.
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November 7, 2012 8:54:58 PM

Thank you for all that!! Really appreciate your time. I'll come back and write how we went :) 
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November 14, 2012 4:52:07 AM

Best answer selected by Lucy_79.
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December 22, 2012 11:57:01 PM

hello fzabkar, i hope you're still around?! It's been a while....

The disk has been sitting on the shelf for a little while, til a friend suggested we buy another exact same drive and take the hard drive bit out of our old one and slot it into the new one.... so we thought we'd try this. The only thing is, I think those drives have been superseeded, so we now have bought a WD MyBook. And we did slot it into the bridgeboard on the Mybook, and plugged it in..... on my PC it downloaded and installed the driver (giving me the impression it's a whole new ballgame as I would have had the old drives' driver already installed. The MAC wouldn't read it.

So it doesn't come up in My Computer, though I do have it in my devices. I downloaded the TestDisk you mentioned, and opened it, selected the Drive, though now I am stuck. I am too scared to screw it all up. It's asking me to choose a partition table type. I don't know what to select.

I was hoping you could talk me through the steps to recover the Boot sector or whatever it is I need to do!!!
Thanks!@!!!
:) 's Lucy
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a c 323 G Storage
December 23, 2012 4:04:41 AM

Don't write anything to the drive. We first need to determine if the new bridge board is compatible. I'm expecting that it won't be. :-(

What do you see at offset 0x7E00? Does it look like an NTFS boot sector?

How many sectors does DMDE see? It should show a sector range near the top of the screen.

Is your new My Book an Essentials or an Elements? What capacity is it?
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December 23, 2012 8:20:13 AM

hello!
thanks for writing back!

easy stuff first - it's a 2 terrabyte drive (the Smartbook was 1tb) and it's an Essential.
On the back of the box it says Smartware Software. Auto Back up (which the last one possibly had aswell) and Password Protection.

Now, how do I find the rest of the info out for you?

The drive is write protected.
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December 23, 2012 10:40:38 PM

I have had a look with HxD and everything is O the whole way across and down, including sector 63... though I do get a box popping up saying the drive is write protected every time I try to do anyting on it......
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December 23, 2012 10:41:33 PM

so no boot sector.
and I still don't know how to use DMDE so no luck there, sorry !
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!