Question Recover a crashed hard drive?

dahermit

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I had a computer go crazy some months ago. The hard drive took off, spinning ever faster RPMs. I thought that it may have been a malware attack, so I shut it down and replaced the hard drive with one on my clones (clone "A"). However, that drive went nuts too. So I shut the power off and waited awhile, replaced (foolishly) that drive with another clone (clone "B"), and that clone went nuts too. At than point I wrote the computer off as either a mother board failure or power supply failure and ordered a new (another refurbish, actually), computer. So I am now up and running again (however, lost a lot of photos and the source code for a program I wrote.). That is the background for my question.

Of the three wrecked hard drives, I managed to reformat and save two of them. However, one of the drives, a 2TB, SATA 3.0 Hitachi, is no longer able to be detected by my computer in Disk Management or File Explorer. There is no error message, just does not see the drive.

Note that I am using a Sabrient dock that has shown to be working fine for other hard drives, so all the "fixes" suggested to change cables, connections, etc. do not apply.

My question is: Is there anything else that I have not considered/tried that might work to get the computer to see that drive so I can format it to use as a clone?
 

dwd999

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It would help if you first determined whether its a hardware problem or a Windows problem. So think outside the Windows disk management box and try booting from a Linux distro (e.g. Linux Mint Mate), and see what the Disks and Gparted apps there say. If the disks can be accessed there then it might be a problem between Windows and your dock. If not then the drives are most likely just dead since they don't last forever.
 
I don't know of any way to speed up the hard drive's spindle motor other than by hacking the firmware, and I'm not aware of any tools that can do this, not even the professional ones.

Does the Hitachi HDD appear in BIOS if you connect it via SATA?
 

dahermit

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It would help if you first determined whether its a hardware problem or a Windows problem. So think outside the Windows disk management box and try booting from a Linux distro (e.g. Linux Mint Mate), and see what the Disks and Gparted apps there say. If the disks can be accessed there then it might be a problem between Windows and your dock. If not then the drives are most likely just dead since they don't last forever.
I don't have access to that Linux stuff. I only have computers with Windows 10 system.
 

dahermit

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Does the Hitachi HDD appear in BIOS if you connect it via SATA?
I went into the BIOS a couple of weeks ago it did not see that faulty drive in the USB dock. I am not sure I understand what you mean by "...connect it via SATA". Do you mean to reinstall the non-working drive in a computer and go to BIOS instead of allowing it to attempt booting to Windows 10? I could try that, if that is what you mean... the computer that was involved in the crash is just sitting, waiting to be recycled and given how easy it is to swap things out in a HP Compaq Small Form Factor computer, it would not be a big problem to try that... or did you mean something else?
 

dahermit

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Looking into that, I am concerned that they are talking about using a "bootable floppy". It so happens that I have a floppy reader that attaches to a USB port, but floppy technology seems pretty old. Although I have that floppy drive that plugs into a USB port, I don't know if I have any floppy disks anymore.
Addendum: I found some floppies but have trepidations... I don't know if it is possible to boot from a "bootable floppy" via a USB port. Do I really want to go this route?
 
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Ralston18

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Source for "bootable floppy"?

No you do not want to and should not need to follow that floppy reader/ USB port route.

Key point being that if there is Hitachi diagnostic software for their HDD's that is the diagnostic software that should be run.

Or other similar programs.

Reference:

https://www.lifewire.com/free-hard-drive-testing-programs-2626183

Compare the diagnostic results of the wrecked drive to the diagnostic results of the repaired drives.

What, if anything, is different?
 

dahermit

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Source for "bootable floppy"?

No you do not want to and should not need to follow that floppy reader/ USB port route.

Key point being that if there is Hitachi diagnostic software for their HDD's that is the diagnostic software that should be run.

Or other similar programs.

Reference:

https://www.lifewire.com/free-hard-drive-testing-programs-2626183

Compare the diagnostic results of the wrecked drive to the diagnostic results of the repaired drives.

What, if anything, is different?
Is that Hitachi diagnostic program likely to work on a drive that the computer cannot see?
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
I do not truly know what the Hitachi program looks for and tries to use.

Linux might find the drive.

Powershell is another option. And generally easy to do: In many cases you simply copy the cmdlet and paste it in at the PS> prompt.

https://theinfinitekitchen.com/recipe/readers-ask-how-do-i-get-disk-details-in-powershell/

https://www.itprotoday.com/windows-server/how-check-disk-health-and-identify-unhealthy-disks-windows-server

Stick with "Get-" cmdlets just to see what you can learn about any all drives.

Compare the two working drives to the failed drive.

Late thought: Do any of the drives appear in BIOS?

Also per @dwd999 (Post #3) try Linux.

FYI:

https://www.lifewire.com/create-a-linux-bootable-usb-drive-from-linux-4117072

And you can easily find other similar links.

https://fossbytes.com/create-bootable-usb-media-from-iso-ubuntu/

The first objective being to determine if the failed drive is truly at EOL (End of Life) for whatever reason.

Plus learning why the drive is not appearing could reveal some other issue that is indeed making the computer and drives "go crazy".

Otherwise you could lose more drives....
 

dahermit

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Plus learning why the drive is not appearing could reveal some other issue that is indeed making the computer and drives "go crazy".

Otherwise you could lose more drives....
Losing more drives is not a concern inasmuch as I have retired that computer. Nevertheless, I am still interested in what was the cause of the drives failures... power supply or something on motherboard.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
I would be interested as well; which is a bit self-evident

So you try the things that have been suggested by myself and others. Perhaps there will be other suggestions.

And you look for other ideas and more ways to troubleshoot. From general to specific.

For example - PSU:

https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-manually-test-a-power-supply-with-a-multimeter-2626158

Not a full test because the PSU is not under load. However some voltage out of spec/tolerance may be a clue.

Similarly testing a motherboard is possible - but not for the majority of end users (including myself).

Take one of the drives apart. Unlikely that there will be an "Eureka" moment but who knows?

(Note: The internal magnet is very strong and quite useful. I use the reflective/shiny platters to discourage birds and other critters hanging about.) Recycle the rest.

Unfortunately many things are not built to last. An EOL (End of Life) is designed in no matter how well any given thing is treated, cared for, and maintained.

It will fail in some manner. And most people have experienced that failure not long after the warranty has ended....

And manufacturers have no real interest in providing troubleshooting and repair information in many cases. Repairs often cost more than a new product.

Sometimes failures occur due to some "perfect storm" of events. Unpredictable and unlikely to reoccur again.

Lastly - at some point it may simply narrow down to those all invasive and well known critters called gremlins. :)
 

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