Question Data recovery on a failed drive that won't initialise?

lemming3k

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It looks like I've had an SSD fail so I'm just trying to recover what little data I can.
It currently shows in disk management as "unknown, not initialised" with no size displayed. If I try to initialise (either GPT or MBR) or set it offline - it displays "A device which does not exist was specified".
It also shows in device manager as 'unkown device' but not in windows explorer(no drive letter assigned).
I've tried a few recovery tools but none of them seem to detect the drive. Also removing and re-inserting cables but no change.
Is there anything I can do to bring it online and recover data? I had expected it to be easier with an SSD and less likely to fail but no luck so far.

Thankfully it was a boot drive so it's mostly just pofile data and saves. Bit annoying to lose though.
 

USAFRet

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Well, if you "initialize" you increase the degree of difficulty of actually getting any old data from it. A lot.

Being an SSD does not make it easier to resurrect data from a probably failed drive.
Indeed, it is likely harder.

What make/model/size drive is this?
What was the last thing you did before this happened?
 

lemming3k

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Well, if you "initialize" you increase the degree of difficulty of actually getting any old data from it. A lot.

Being an SSD does not make it easier to resurrect data from a probably failed drive.
Indeed, it is likely harder.

What make/model/size drive is this?
What was the last thing you did before this happened?
Ah, I thought that with SSDs not having moving parts and using flash memory it was meant to be possible to still read from in the event of failure or running out of writes so would be easier to retrieve. My bad.

It's a Sandisk Plus 240gb.
This is due to a system failure (which may have originated with this drive but I can't confirm) - a blue screen then a failure to boot to either of my SSD boot drives as if the MBR was missing on both and couldn't be repaired, followed by a bios corruption resulting in power cycling to the bios screen.
After many attempts I got the bios to flash from the backup bios(dual UEFI). The other SSD was formatted with a clean O/S install and works fine for now. One of my HDDs also went offline but was brought back online without issue. Just this one seems to be stuck.
RAM seems to be fine and system is now back up and running with normal temps etc, but I can't confirm if the mobo or CPU were/are the cause of the issues. They're old. I was just hanging on for Zen4 to build something new. PSU is new as it's for the new build, but I know that's no guarantee it isn't bad.

Just looking to retrieve data and take the drive out at this point.
 

USAFRet

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Ah, I thought that with SSDs not having moving parts and using flash memory it was meant to be possible to still read from in the event of failure or running out of writes so would be easier to retrieve. My bad.

It's a Sandisk Plus 240gb.
This is due to a system failure (which may have originated with this drive but I can't confirm) - a blue screen then a failure to boot to either of my SSD boot drives as if the MBR was missing on both and couldn't be repaired, followed by a bios corruption resulting in power cycling to the bios screen.
After many attempts I got the bios to flash from the backup bios(dual UEFI). The other SSD was formatted with a clean O/S install and works fine for now. One of my HDDs also went offline but was brought back online without issue. Just this one seems to be stuck.
RAM seems to be fine and system is now back up and running with normal temps etc, but I can't confirm if the mobo or CPU were/are the cause of the issues. They're old. I was just hanging on for Zen4 to build something new. PSU is new as it's for the new build, but I know that's no guarantee it isn't bad.

Just looking to retrieve data and take the drive out at this point.
If the drive ran out of write cycles and went into 'read only' status, then sure...read all you want.
But that is by far not the only way a drive can die.

My one and only SSD death was quite sudden. 960GB SanDisk.
PC off.
wait 5 minutes.
PC on.
'hey...where's the G drive?'

For whatever reason, it was dead dead dead. Completely nonresponsive.
Nothing I did would make it be seen. In any system....Windows, Linux, external dock, whatever.

SanDisk agreed, and replaced it. Even though it was 33 days past the 3 year warranty. 4 yrs later, still using the replacement.
 

lemming3k

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If the drive ran out of write cycles and went into 'read only' status, then sure...read all you want.
But that is by far not the only way a drive can die.

My one and only SSD death was quite sudden. 960GB SanDisk.
PC off.
wait 5 minutes.
PC on.
'hey...where's the G drive?'

For whatever reason, it was dead dead dead. Completely nonresponsive.
Nothing I did would make it be seen. In any system....Windows, Linux, external dock, whatever.

SanDisk agreed, and replaced it. Even though it was 33 days past the 3 year warranty. 4 yrs later, still using the replacement.
Sounds pretty similar.
Yeah I figured without the moving parts the failure would be with some of the memory cells or something and I could work around it but it seems not. It's tantalising that it shows in device manager and disk management but nowhere else. Not even the bios.
The 6th or so recovery tool I tried seems to have found a few items but won't let me preview to confirm and wants payment to restore. Seems this is going to be a ah heck unless it somehow shows up for a few minutes.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Sounds pretty similar.
Yeah I figured without the moving parts the failure would be with some of the memory cells or something and I could work around it but it seems not. It's tantalising that it shows in device manager and disk management but nowhere else. Not even the bios.
The 6th or so recovery tool I tried seems to have found a few items but won't let me preview to confirm and wants payment to restore. Seems this is going to be a ah heck unless it somehow shows up for a few minutes.
And this is specifically why we preach backups so much around here.

In my SSD death situation, 100% of the 605GB data on it at its demise was recovered from the nightly backup.
I do not know nor really care why it died.

Replace, and recover the data from your backup.
The physical drive is trivial. The data on it was irreplaceable. Mostly photos, some of them from before the turn of the century.
 

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