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Seagate external HDD with I/O device error

gimme5

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Apr 26, 2018
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My external Seagate 3TB is not able to be seen under "My Computer". When checking the disk through disk management, the disk is shown as "unknown, not initialized, 3.9GB", where it supposed to be 3TB. The disk has divided into multiple partitions and drive letters not appearing for any of them in disk management. Also when I went to disk management, I was prompt with a message to ask me to initialize the disk, clicking yes for either "MBR" or "GPT" option will lead to error message "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error." As I have very important data in the disk, I don't really want to initialize or format the disk...

Appreciate anyone with similar problem to share their experience and solution. Thank you.
 
Hello gimme5, sorry to see that your drive has run into problems. The difference in drive size is due to the computer seeing the bridge card of the drive and not the drive itself. Basically it wont go further and that I/O error means there isn't any communication with the drive and unfortunately your information is inaccessible. Even if you try to format the drive, you wont be able to. If your data is of utmost importance to you we can suggest our In Lab Recovery Service or any other data recovery company of your choice. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but that is the state of your drive unfortunately.
 

gimme5

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Apr 26, 2018
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Thanks for feedback.....for this case, what would be the chances of recovering all data in the disk?

 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator


Unfortunately, if you can't communicate with the drive, then you can't access any of the data. If the external hard drive is out of warranty, I'd try removing the drive and placing it in another hard drive enclosure to eliminate that as a potential of issues.

But if you can't access it, then you're looking at a data recovery service. Your chances of recovering the data varies widely -- there's no way to tell just what the source of damage is -- and be prepared to pay up to and into the four-figure territory.

Sadly, the only dependable way to save important data is to treat important data as if it's important and have it properly backed up. It's a basic part of PC upkeep, similar to changing the oil in your car or the air filter in your furnace. The 3-2-1 strategy is a good rule of thumb for protecting important data, meaning that you want three copies of all important data, two that are local and on different devices/storage mediums, and one copy that is off-site, such as cloud backup or even a flash drive in a security box.

 


Hard to tell really. It all depends on the state of the drive and the damage. We wont truly know until the drive is accessed.
 

gimme5

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Apr 26, 2018
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Just a quick thought, will cloning the entire disk help save the data, if I can actually perform the cloning....
 


Nice idea, but if the computer cant access the drive, it most likely wont work. Worth a try.
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator


You can't clone something you can't access or read. Backing up data only works if you do it *before* something bad happens.
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
If your data is truly important, stop right now. The more you tinker with this, the less likely you'll ever be able to recover anything. That the hard drive is reporting 3.86 GB is not the problem, it's the *symptom* of the actual problem, the hard drive failing to initialize and that number being reported as a result.

There's no "3.86 GB issue." What you're doing is the equivalent of seeing the oil light come on in your car and deciding you have an "oil light problem" and have to figure out how to get the warning to turn off.
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator


That's pretty silly; all brands of hard drives will fail sooner or later. Which is why, again, a proper process for backing up important data is a basic part of responsible PC ownership. Anytime you have to chose between possibly paying >$1000 to recover important data or losing important data, the main culprit is the person in the mirror.
 

gimme5

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Apr 26, 2018
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DSzymborski

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Moderator


Since you're no longer interested in advice, I will happily unfollow this thread. Your issue here was your carelessness - you should have had a backup no matter what the quality of the hard drive is.
 

gimme5

Prominent
Apr 26, 2018
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You should do so long before repeating yourself over and over again like an old lady, rather than advising achievable post-problem solution other than going to repair shop as some ultimate resort.
 

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