Disk Geometry for an external hard-drive? Where to get the information?

Hi,

I have been doing some data recovery. But there is some trouble I cannot fix.

I am using testdisk and need the disk geometry for a particular type of My Book. I contacted Western Digital Technical Support and they will only refer me to their data recovery partners. Professional data recovery is expensive.

A program such as Recuva by Periform and owned by Avast will not recognize the corrupted/malware infected/failing external hard drive because of not allowing the software to scan it sector by sector and does not support the low-level commands needed for file recovery.

I am unsure this will work or what it is: Can the device be mounted via UMS and be assigned a drive letter, indicating direct access to the storage?

How do I get the disk geometry for devices? I understand there could be a lot of different disk geometry numbers and information. Each device, when manufactured, the size of memory, where it was manufactured, the year, etc can change the information. This YouTube video about Flobby B disks and their geometry will explain some of that. It starts at the beginning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANym0BgT_IE

Where can a person who does data recovery get all the information? Do the companies and head office offer this information? Does anyone do data recovery for work on this forum? How does this all work or who do you have to contact? Do the companies and corporations require anything from some requesting the information?

Thank you.
Reply to SyncroScales
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More about disk geometry external hard drive information
  1. SyncroScales said:
    Hi,

    I have been doing some data recovery. But there is some trouble I cannot fix.

    I am using testdisk and need the disk geometry for a particular type of My Book. I contacted Western Digital Technical Support and they will only refer me to their data recovery partners. Professional data recovery is expensive.

    A program such as Recuva by Periform and owned by Avast will not recognize the corrupted/malware infected/failing external hard drive because of not allowing the software to scan it sector by sector and does not support the low-level commands needed for file recovery.

    I am unsure this will work or what it is: Can the device be mounted via UMS and be assigned a drive letter, indicating direct access to the storage?

    How do I get the disk geometry for devices? I understand there could be a lot of different disk geometry numbers and information. Each device, when manufactured, the size of memory, where it was manufactured, the year, etc can change the information. This YouTube video about Flobby B disks and their geometry will explain some of that. It starts at the beginning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANym0BgT_IE

    Where can a person who does data recovery get all the information? Do the companies and head office offer this information? Does anyone do data recovery for work on this forum? How does this all work or who do you have to contact? Do the companies and corporations require anything from some requesting the information?

    Thank you.


    current drives (made in the last 10 years) will tell the drive controller the LBA settings the drive uses
    (google "HD LBA" for info) there really is no need for a user to use this anymore.
    however you can query the drive makers web site for the drive model and it may list this information, but as i said current
    drives mostly don't have this posted as the software recovery app can query the drive direct for this

    change your recovery program, there are numerous ones available to use (however not all are free)
    and the non free ones usually have a demo mode/version to try before buying

    here's one i have used

    https://www.seagate.com/services-software/recover/recovery-software/
    Reply to groves.damien
  2. Thank you groves.damien.

    I tried about 5 programs. The ones offering to look at the files and not let me copy them are not good. They had more trouble with the two I am currently using. I will try the Seagate link.

    The problem seems to be encryption, physical damage (probably a little rust or the external drive was knocked over onto its side). There was a malware attack onto the main computer with trojans, rootkits, viruses, etc. It seem the culprits tried to cover their tracks and made the disk unrecognizable.

    The only program that has worked is the testdisk photorec program being able to recover some files and then stop at certain sectors and not finish the job. Recuva could not recognize the file structure after ignoring it and not recognizing anything.

    I cannot even re-format the external HDD. Windows does not recognize it and says it is encrypted or corrupted. Windows XP, Windows Vista Home Premium 32 and 64-bit, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit do not work with all these programs and plugging the device in. Even a different cable does not work.
    Reply to SyncroScales
  3. If it is encrypted, you are out of luck. By design.
    If there is physical damage, you are out of luck. All the messing around with block sizes does not fix physical damage.

    If the regular consumer grade applications do not work, there are three options:
    1. Send it to a professional data recovery service. $$$
    2. Recover from your backup
    3. Give up, and accept the fact that you did not have a backup plan.
    Reply to USAFRet
  4. REMOVE THE DRIVE FROM THE USB ENCLOSURE CONNECT IT TO A PC SATA PORT

    now try the recovery program


    assuming the drive does not have a hardware issue or failing media

    it can be formated, windows sometimes has issues with formatting drives that it does not recognize as fat/NTFS

    to work around this problem use a linux boot/util disk and use the gparted command to remove all partition info and then
    create a NTFS partition under linux or windows

    or you can try the windows method below (i think gparted works better)

    Deleting a partition using Diskpart (make sure you have selected the right drive!!!)
    At a command prompt, type: Diskpart.exe.
    At the DISKPART prompt, type: Select Disk
    At the DISKPART prompt, type: Select Partition
    At the DISKPART prompt, type: DELETE partition
    At the DISKPART prompt, type: Exit

    or once connected to the sata port run the hard drive makers test/utility program, it will check the drive for errors and can also reinitialize the drive (besides checking mapping out any bad sectors)
    Reply to groves.damien
  5. I was under the impression if I remove a pre-made usb external drive's HDD that it is encrypted and just plugging it in wont work. I also don't know how to open a Western Digital enclosure without breaking it.

    Are the connections soldered?

    USAFRet: I understand those 3 options. I know those are the options. Nice picture, are you taunting anyone?

    1. Professional data recovery costs a lot of money and if they are honest, after I give them a list of what I did and what did not work, then they may do what I cannot and it might cost less.
    2. There was no back-up. After suggestions to whom I am recovering this media for about back-ups and what they needed to buy, they did not listen. I have been able to recover or go through other pieces of media and obtain stuff with Recuva and testdisk. But there is some older stuff stuck on the external HDD.
    3. I will not give up yet. There are some other methods of back-up that will take longer.
    4. There is a fourth option, maybe more? Since this external HDD is potentially bricked and I am learning what I need to about data recovery: I can get the disk geometry or at least understand how the professionals will do it so they can then do it later. If I brick this external HD, some stuff was protected and so be it.

    The Seagate Recovery Suite does not recognize anything on my computer or it says my HDD's are unsupported.

    diskpart.exe will not let me select a disk and I put commands into it and all that happens are the help list of commands keeps showing up. I am going in a circle.

    I tried using gparted. There is one more thing I can try, but nothing is working. Would gparted format the HDD different than Windows XP, Vista or Win7? Is there a way to minimize data loss with the new partition erasing old information?

    I cannot use the Windows disk error checker at start up or within Windows either. the external HDD is not recognized.

    The Windows error messages when it cannot re-format are:

    1. Windows cannot format the disk.
    2. Windows cannot format O:\
    Check to see that the disk and drive are connected properly, make sure that the disk is not read-only, and then try again. For more information, search Help for read-only files and how to change them.
    Reply to SyncroScales
  6. I'll contact the hardware manufacturer to see what they have to say.

    USAFRet no offence.
    Reply to SyncroScales
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