Question External hdd fails after deleting recycle.bin (clicking sound)

Danny4214

Commendable
Nov 24, 2020
19
9
1,515
0
Hi,
while i was trying to free up some space on my 500gb external hdd i discovered with help of Glary Utilities a folder named recycle.bin is using 75gbs of space. So i deleted this folder, before 10gb free space, after 85gb free space.

I started to copy files on it, but shortly after reaching 10gb+ the external hdd started making noise / clicking every second. I instantly stopped copying and removed the disk.

Later on i plugged in the hdd again, all good. I tried to copy a file from it, at the beginning everything looked fine so i walked to the kitchen for a few minutes, but after returning the clicking was here again...
The copied file is ok and not corrupted.

Now everytime i plug in the hdd it starts clicking and its not visible anymore in drive window.
Is there any way to restore all data on the disk ?
 

Danny4214

Commendable
Nov 24, 2020
19
9
1,515
0
The drive was on its last legs.
Any action would have tipped it over the edge.

How old is it?

Was the data on it the ONLY copy?
The drive is about 5-10 years old but i have used it probably only 40 hours.

Unluckily its the only copy, so i really hope i can find a way to make it run for a few hours again.

But i think this issue definitly was triggered by deleting the recycle.bin with glary and writing on that space.
 

DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
Is there any way to get the data from it ?
May should i try to open it ?
Have you ever had a stomach ache? If so, did you cut open your stomach with a kitchen knife and check out what was going wrong inside? Opening a hard drive is the same thing for the drive as this would be for you; there's nothing you'll gain from looking inside and outside of clean room conditions and expertise, the only thing you'll do is make it worse. There's a reason hard drives are only opened up under laboratory conditions, and it's not that hard drive recovery firms have a fetish for wearing white space suits.

If you can't get it to read anywhere, and software recovery tools like Recuva don't help you, then your only recourse is likely one of these firms. These firms are expensive because of the level of equipment and expertise required -- depending on the level of challenge recovery is, it can easily go into four figures -- but just like not changing the oil in your car or the filter in your furnace, neglecting basic upkeep can be very expensive. And backing up important data in multiple places is basic upkeep that's a crucial part of responsible PC ownership.
 
Reactions: Grobe and CountMike

Danny4214

Commendable
Nov 24, 2020
19
9
1,515
0
Well i cant afford sending my drive to any of those firms. So i might have to life with it 😢...

Is there any software which automatically can check if some of my drives gona fail soon ? Preferable every time i plug in a external and probably weekly internals automatically.

I have a few external hdds (easily 10 years old and rarely used), full with important data. I hope they dont die as soon, i will buy only ssd for external storage anymore and at the moment i cant afford more then 1.
 
Is there any software which automatically can check if some of my drives gona fail soon ?
It can go south at any moment, you have to adjust your workflow/routines in order to deal with that if you cannot effort to loose any data on it.

Internal drives, yes maybe S.M.A.R.T. data can help, but from what I hear around, more often than not hard drives fails all of a sudden without user pick up the danger ahead of time.

But the issue for external hdd's is that in many cases, s.m.a.r.t. data isn't available. From what I've heard, it's said to be caused by limitations of usb storage protocol or implementation of this. The only thing I know for sure is that it work sometimes and other not, and that any hdd can fail suddenly at any moment.
 

DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
Well i cant afford sending my drive to any of those firms. So i might have to life with it 😢...

Is there any software which automatically can check if some of my drives gona fail soon ? Preferable every time i plug in a external and probably weekly internals automatically.

I have a few external hdds (easily 10 years old and rarely used), full with important data. I hope they dont die as soon, i will buy only ssd for external storage anymore and at the moment i cant afford more then 1.
For the most important data, there's cloud storage, much of which is free. IDrive gives you 10 GB of cloud storage for free, Google Drive gives you 15 GB for free and up to 200 GB for $2 a month, and so on.

Having a bunch of offline drives is not ideal, you want things that are actively plugged in so that they can be automatically verified and updated regularly. You could have a dead drive in storage and not know about it until you need the data.
 

vertigo_2_20

Distinguished
BANNED
Sep 13, 2009
42
11
18,535
1
There are some tricks to recovering data off drives like this, though the results are very much YMMV, and odds are you're out of luck. This is why backups are critical. A couple things you can try are to put the drive in the freezer for a while and also to try holding it in different orientations (horizontal right-side-up and upside-down, vertical in both portrait and landscape). Taking it out of the enclosure will likely only help if it's the enclosure itself that failed, and not the drive, which is what it sounds like it was (of course, the controller in the enclosure could have failed and caused the clicking, though that's unlikely). IF you can remove the drive without damaging the enclosure, so you can put it back in if needed in case you find the enclosure did in fact encrypt it, then you can try that and see if hooking it up directly via SATA works. You also need to be aware that even if any of this does work and you're able to access the drive again, odds are it's going to be for a very limited time, so you need to be ready with another drive to copy everything over and you need to have a plan of what you're going to grab first (the most critical data) and what you're willing to risk losing by going after it afterwards. I'd also suggest using FastCopy to transfer the data off, since it's faster than Windows copy, though you should disable verification since you don't want to waste time on that.

As for offline vs cloud storage, IMO offline is much better, as it's private and air-gapped. Of course, you want multiple copies, more for more important data, and some of it should be off-site. Cloud storage is great depending on the use due to ease, but you should encrypt it, and you shouldn't be constantly connected to your backups, since that will allow malware to infect/encrypt them. Once you recover from this, you should do some reading and give some serious thought to a backup strategy.
 

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