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Thread: Help me recover my children pics on my (dying) external HDD!

  1. #1
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    Help me recover my children pics on my (dying) external HDD!

    I own a Western Digital 500GB External HDD. The drive stopped responding a few hours ago - all I hear when I turn it on is 'tick-tick-tick...' and of course it's not recognized at all in /media or anywhere by the filesystem.

    Testdisk and photorec can't be used because the drive is not even recognized.

    So what do you suggest I do to save the data that's on the disk? It's direly important because it has all my children pics on it and I don't want to simply ditch the drive!

    Thanks for your help!
    Desktop : iMac 21.5" (2011) Core i5 Sandy Bridge - AMD Radeon HD 6750M - 8Gb RAM - OS X 10.8.3 Mountain Lion
    Laptop : EasyNote TS 44HR (2012) - Core i3 Sandy Bridge - Intel HD3000 - 4Gb RAM - elementary OS 0.2 + Windows 7 Home Premium SP1

  2. #2
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    Re: Help me recover my children pics on my (dying) external HDD!

    Did it get hot? It's possible you have an electronic or mechanical failure, in which case if you can't get it up in time you will either lose everything or you will have to take it somewhere to have the data extracted.

    First thing I would do is make sure you have enough space somewhere else, already attached, so that if it ever comes back up you can drag as much from it as you possibly can as soon as possible.

    AFTER you get that extra space, the next thing that I would do is find out if any sort of mechanical activity can bring it back. Wiggle connectors, squeeze/bend wires, tap it with a pencil (like it's a bat) in various places, shake it a bit while it's hooked up, anything you can do to get it to start.

    I recall back in the 80's we had a hard drive that would only work if you sprayed freon on it. You could actually buy it in a can with a spray nozzle on it, like a regular aerosol can. (those were the days!)

    For whatever reason, if you can get a drive back up then for some reason there is a fairly good chance it will stay up until you've turned it off again, and you may be able to get data from it just fine.

    Good luck.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Help me recover my children pics on my (dying) external HDD!

    You can try placing the drive in your freezer (no really) http://lifehacker.com/#!5515337/save...-freezer-redux


    I'd also like to add that data that isn't backed up isn't important.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Help me recover my children pics on my (dying) external HDD!

    I agree completely.

    +1 on the freezer idea.

    +1 on the importance of data which is not backed up. If you have never had a hardware failure and lost data before, then it's somewhat forgivable, but you must always assume that any data on any computer can be trashed easily and gone in a blink. Or for that matter, found on WikiLeaks.
    Help stamp out MBR partition tables. Use GPT instead!

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    Re: Help me recover my children pics on my (dying) external HDD!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1clue View Post
    I agree completely.

    +1 on the freezer idea.

    +1 on the importance of data which is not backed up. If you have never had a hardware failure and lost data before, then it's somewhat forgivable, but you must always assume that any data on any computer can be trashed easily and gone in a blink. Or for that matter, found on WikiLeaks.
    But at least if it's on WikiLeaks he can get it back
    *Don't PM me directly for support, open a new thread
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  6. #6
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    Re: Help me recover my children pics on my (dying) external HDD!

    Throw it in the freezer and hope for the best!

    If you have access to a windows machine, set the drives jumper to CS (cable select), hook the drive up and use a program called Recuva to grab all the files that aren't corrupted very quickly.

    http://www.piriform.com/recuva <-- free
    Last edited by |{urse; April 2nd, 2011 at 12:22 AM.
    clear && echo paste url and press enter; read paste; (youtube-dl $paste) | zenity --progress --title="" --text "Downloading, please wait" --auto-close --pulsate && ans=$(zenity --file-selection); gnome-terminal -x mplayer "$ans"

  7. #7
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    Re: Help me recover my children pics on my (dying) external HDD!

    its not free but spinrite is supposed to be the best software you can use to save files from a dying hard drive http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm

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    Re: Help me recover my children pics on my (dying) external HDD!

    Sorry for the 2x post but you should also run Magical Jellybean Keyfinder (using the "load remote hive" option) while the drive is hooked up to recover any product keys from the dying drive. $$$
    clear && echo paste url and press enter; read paste; (youtube-dl $paste) | zenity --progress --title="" --text "Downloading, please wait" --auto-close --pulsate && ans=$(zenity --file-selection); gnome-terminal -x mplayer "$ans"

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    Re: Help me recover my children pics on my (dying) external HDD!

    Quote Originally Posted by |{urse View Post
    Sorry for the 2x post but you should also run Magical Jellybean Keyfinder (using the "load remote hive" option) while the drive is hooked up to recover any product keys from the dying drive. $$$
    I'd venture that a 500GB external hard drive isn't going to have many keys that the magic jellybean finder will grab
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  10. #10
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    Re: Help me recover my children pics on my (dying) external HDD!

    Quote Originally Posted by tgm4883 View Post
    I'd venture that a 500GB external hard drive isn't going to have many keys that the magic jellybean finder will grab
    Who knows besides the op? Did the op maybe have an installation on another partition of this enclosed drive? At any rate the external drive will need to be disassembled and installed as a secondary internal. Data recovery via usb speeds would be slow at best.
    clear && echo paste url and press enter; read paste; (youtube-dl $paste) | zenity --progress --title="" --text "Downloading, please wait" --auto-close --pulsate && ans=$(zenity --file-selection); gnome-terminal -x mplayer "$ans"

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