Problems accessing old internal Hard drive

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Re: Problems accessing old internal Hard drive

Post by muzines »

merlyn wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 1:50 pm Spinrite, a snip at $70. They're going to say that, aren't they? Let's say miraculously some more life was squeezed from this drive. The first thing to do would be to copy it onto a good drive. So you may as well start doing that immediately before the drive truly does die.

Sure. And if the OP can read from the drive, they don't need to use or buy any recovery tools at all.

But if they can't read from the drive with any freely available tools, Spinrite has a bunch of tech to smartly try and extract those sectors. I'm not saying it's the only tool available, but it's one I know about, and have been following the development and how it works under the hood for a while. And I'm also waiting for a Mac version, because it's a tool I'd like to be able to more easily use on drives, as I no longer have any PC's around for that purpose. To my understanding, it doesn't many unique things that other tools don't do, and has successfully recovered many drives that other tools couldn't.

But it's just a recommendation, ymmv. The OP was asking for suggestions, those were mine.
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Re: Problems accessing old internal Hard drive

Post by merlyn »

muzines wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 2:50 pm ... And if the OP can read from the drive, they don't need to use or buy any recovery tools at all.

I don't know what you're getting at there as the OP can't. Windows doesn't even see this drive. It's knackered. :D For me the priority would be getting the data off, not trying to repair it.
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Re: Problems accessing old internal Hard drive

Post by BWC »

Baldo wrote: Mon Mar 20, 2023 5:25 pm I can hear some clicking when I power it...

I'm a proud owner of a Spinrite license, and a long time fan of Steve Gibson, but even Steve says if it's clicking it probably doesn't have enough life left for Spinrite to work its magic. It can be set to do little more than chkdsk does, or it can be set to absolutely hammer each sector until it gets the data, which a clicking drive likely wouldn't survive.

merlyn wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 1:00 pm ...that means the drive itself is failing. That can't be fixed.

At least, not without a cleanroom, the right parts & tools, and a fair bit of specialized knowledge. :)

merlyn wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 1:50 pm Spinrite, a snip at $70. They're going to say that, aren't they?

And I'd agree. Steve is a very generous guy. Take a look at all he gives away for free. Spinrite is the only thing he sells, and the price is reasonable, and it doesn't tend to change (don't know if it ever has).

muzines wrote: Tue Mar 21, 2023 2:50 pm I'm also waiting for a Mac version...

I'm confused. As you already seem to know, it runs in its own freeDOS environment. Windows is only needed, once, to create the bootable media. I haven't checked in a while, but I'd be surprised to ever hear of a coming Mac version.
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Re: Problems accessing old internal Hard drive

Post by merlyn »

I wouldn't say there is any magic involved. Software can't fix hardware. If a drive starts to go, get the data off it onto another good drive. That's it.

ddrescue maximises the amount of data that can be recovered by going for the good sectors first, and coming back to the problematic sectors later. Spinrite may have a similar mode. Still this involves transferring the contents of a bad drive onto a good drive.

There seems to be a misunderstanding in this thread that running some software can make a bad drive good. It might be able to produce a temporary improvement, but once a drive starts to show problems, it can't be relied on.
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Re: Problems accessing old internal Hard drive

Post by BWC »

merlyn wrote: Thu Mar 23, 2023 2:19 pm I wouldn't say there is any magic involved.

Neither would I, was just an expression. If I could still edit, I'd happily correct it to "do its work."

merlyn wrote: Thu Mar 23, 2023 2:19 pm Software can't fix hardware. ...seems to be a misunderstanding in this thread...

Not from me, I'm agreeing with you. I'm also stating that Spinrite is an excellent product, made and sold by an individual that I like and respect, who does not make any false claims about his product and would likely be the first to say that software can't fix hardware. I meant it when I said "Take a look" I think you'd like what you'd find at grc, and his security related netcast is also full of good, reliable info.

I've seen numerous threads recently where people have been reminded to be careful to be fair in their comments about vendors / manufacturers. You didn't exactly say anything negative, but the "They're going to say that, aren't they?" bit, made me want to point out that there is no "they" in this case. It's just Steve, and he's a good guy. He does have two or three employees, I think, to help with day to day stuff, but he is the maker of Spinrite, and he's very honest about what it can and can't do. In fact, there's an old episode of his netcast where he goes into great detail about what it does and how it works, and it's not a sales pitch at all, more educational, like all Security Now! episodes. He, like you (and many here), is one of those trying to put some accurate, reliable, verifiable information out there instead of the usual mess. So if he said it, I'm confident that, to the best of his vast knowledge, it's true, and I'd agree with him that Spinrite is worth more than it's cost.
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Re: Problems accessing old internal Hard drive

Post by merlyn »

I don't know if it is for the OP. How good value then is ddrescue at $0? These are not apps that a person really wants to be using if avoidable. When you need ddrescue or Spinrite the drive is already in the disaster zone.

Look at your SMART data! Checking up on the SMART data every now and then gives a person a heads-up on the state of a drive. One motherboard I had flashed up a warning that the SMART data wasn't good on the POST screen. Of course a lot of people never see that, as they have the manufacturer's splash screen instead.
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Re: Problems accessing old internal Hard drive

Post by BWC »

This just tells me that you still haven't taken a close enough look at Spinrite, GRC, or the Security Now! episode I mentioned. Until you have, no point discussing it further. I'm sure ddrescue is great for what it is.

Totally agree about keeping an eye on SMART data (so does Steve https://www.grc.com/sr/smart.htm), and BIOS splash screens would annoy me even if they didn't hide all those helpful (or reassuring if all is well) POST results.
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