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Recovering issues from a dying HDD

HD Sentinel shows my internal HDD health 4% and gives it 4 days to live. I've got a new HDD where I'm transferring my data. In my old/unhealthy HDD, I can still easily open all files, view videos, seek fw fw/bw, extract archive files, save game files are loaded and saved without any hint of trouble, no sign of any problems. But if I try to copy them on a different drive, my new one or any other drive, the starting speed is good but quickly falls to a few kbps when I have to try again. Sometimes, I have to restart PC before that file can be moved. Sometimes copy fails and prompts to try again. It works for small files but not so for big ones. If I set a large file to transfer and speed goes down, the HDD becomes silent. Also, if I touch the case, there's no sign of movement. I think the HDD isn't spinning.
Where is the problem? Is it the disk surface, head or circuits? Is there any way I can quickly move this data to my new hard drive. I have about 1TB of data to move most of which are without backup. At current rate, this will take patience and days if my HDD doesn't die by then.
What can I do?
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  1. Hi there maruf01,

    As you still can transfer small files, my suggestion would be to back these up and start with the most important ones.
    Apart from that, you can try the Ubuntu Live CD approach. Sometimes, Ubuntu seems to handle better failing drives. You can boot up from a CD or another USB drive: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/267999-32-recover-data-mode

    Most probably, the problem stems from bad sectors. I believe the SMART report should have shown that.(pending/reallocated sectors)

    Hope this will help,
    D_Know_WD :)
  2. maruf01 said:
    HD Sentinel shows my internal HDD health 4% and gives it 4 days to live. I've got a new HDD where I'm transferring my data. In my old/unhealthy HDD, I can still easily open all files, view videos, seek fw fw/bw, extract archive files, save game files are loaded and saved without any hint of trouble, no sign of any problems. But if I try to copy them on a different drive, my new one or any other drive, the starting speed is good but quickly falls to a few kbps when I have to try again. Sometimes, I have to restart PC before that file can be moved. Sometimes copy fails and prompts to try again. It works for small files but not so for big ones. If I set a large file to transfer and speed goes down, the HDD becomes silent. Also, if I touch the case, there's no sign of movement. I think the HDD isn't spinning.
    Where is the problem? Is it the disk surface, head or circuits? Is there any way I can quickly move this data to my new hard drive. I have about 1TB of data to move most of which are without backup. At current rate, this will take patience and days if my HDD doesn't die by then.
    What can I do?


    Your most effective approach would be to do one of the following:

    1. If your data's worth $300-500 take it to a professional data recovery company who can image it using a hardware imaging tool such as PC-3000 or DeepSpar Disk Imager. That'll get the most data with the least risk to the disk.
    2. If it's not worth that much, try cloning it using ddrescue in Linux (tutorial here). Not DD or any Windows cloning tools. ddrescue has some features that make it specially suited to imaging drives with bad sectors such as yours. Then after you image it onto another drive or image file, you can copy your files out from there.
  3. Well, I've done moving everything that I needed. Took about 3 days to move ~700GB data, an exercise in patience, I'd say.
    I've noticed that transfer would start at good pace and drop to kbps range and staying there for quite a while and suddenly jumping up to top speed before slowing again, repeatedly. The detailed view of Windows 10 file transfer window that shows the transfer rate revealed a repeating, regular, wave shape, like a sinusoidal wave. Strange. Anyone ever saw this phenomenon?
  4. Best answer
    That's when it runs into a problem so it has to read multiple times to get it right, than obviously slows down. Important thing is that you asved your stuff, now make a backup of it if it's important.
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