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Can I recover data from a "Primary Hard Disk Fail"

 
 
ByteLess
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      12th Aug 2003
Hi,
I have a WD75DA 7.5GB HDD that the system boot says "no fixed disk
present".
The system (PIII - 64MB sdram - Win98SE) halted whilst transferring data.
I have tried <fdisk /mbr>and swapped the HDD into another machine.
CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet the system boot says "primary hard
disk fail".
The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.
Assuming the HDD is shot, what processes can I investigate to recover some
of the files on this HDD?
(its principal purpose in my machine was as a storage for CD burning
archive data - I do need to recover the last 5 days of work)
I am thinking there has to be some low level software that will look at the
data and allow it to be copied?

Than You.


 
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Leo
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      14th Aug 2003
"Rod Speed" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<bhbr5k$10g27m$(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de>...
> > CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
> > the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".

>
> > The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.

>
>
> See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
> the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
> back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.


Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case. In this case
problems with HDD's system area are most probable. Some firmware
modules, which rewrite during work (SMART tables etc.). It can be
checked up by swapping the logic card.

Leonid
 
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ByteLess
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      14th Aug 2003
On Wed, 13 Aug 2003 08:53:52 +1000, "Rod Speed" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>
>ByteLess <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
>> I have a WD75DA 7.5GB HDD that the
>> system boot says "no fixed disk present".

>
>> The system (PIII - 64MB sdram - Win98SE) halted whilst transferring data.
>> I have tried <fdisk /mbr>and swapped the HDD into another machine.

>
>> CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
>> the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".

>
>> The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.

>
>> Assuming the HDD is shot, what processes can
>> I investigate to recover some of the files on this HDD?

>
>See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
>the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
>back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.
>

Thanks for the response Rod, I followed up by:
Running Western Digitals "Lifeguard Diags" for drives under 137GB (EIDE).
Rebooting with Win98se DOS disk.

I have also obtained the later Ver. 10 of this diagnostic tool/s.
I have also written to WD,, buut from past experience I will not be holding
my breath waiting for a response (any).

Interestingly enough the BIOS will not boot beyond "primary hard disk fail"
until I tell the CMOS there is no HDD mounted. This remains the same for
either a DOS boot or using the LGDiags image boot disk.

DRFAT32 from the LG image boot, reports on booting A:\
"no valid FAT32 drive found".

The diagnostic returned Codes 0000 on both the "Quick Check" and "Extended
Check".
0000 is "no errors found".
This, after finding the drive and relaying its info.
The extended check did a type of "scandisk" taking about 5mins to complete.

If I have this right (?) the diagnostic is telling me there are no physical
errors on the drive , however the FAT is destroyed/unreadable.
Past experience has seen errors where there are two copies of the FAT seen
on a HDD boot with the WIndows DOS boot asking which the operator wants to
use -I always have gone for the default.
As this HDD is not even getting to the DMI update part of the BIOS boot
then I am having trouble getting my head around the obvious message that
the BIOS cannot read the drive table
(yet the architecture is seen in CMOS auto-detect)
and therefore fails to recognise the drive on booting.
This, I cannot understand.
Like, the BIOS has stuff all say in what FAT will be used on any HDD..yeh?
Also remembering I swapped this HDD out to another machine with a foreign
(to original) BIOS so how the heck can a FAT be universal to all BIOS..bets
me !

I am now convinced the HDD is more likely quite OK in respect of data
retention and physical order. Simply a matter of unlocking the door on the
boot sector.
Question is, How does one get the key? <g>

Care to speculate ? ;-)

Cheers

______________________________________________________

feedback from LifeGuard Diags Tool

Mod # : WD75DA - 00AWA1
Ser # : WD - WMA1J1533560
Firmware Ver.: 07.21L07
C H S : 15520 15 63
Drive (0,1): 0 Port 0x01F0
DCM : DRBEQHB
Build Date : 24/08/00

--------------------------------------------
 
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ByteLess
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      14th Aug 2003
On 14 Aug 2003 03:27:54 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (Leo) wrote:

>"Rod Speed" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<bhbr5k$10g27m$(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de>...
>> > CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
>> > the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".

>>
>> > The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.

>>
>>
>> See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
>> the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
>> back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.

>
>Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case. In this case
>problems with HDD's system area are most probable. Some firmware
>modules, which rewrite during work (SMART tables etc.). It can be
>checked up by swapping the logic card.
>

Leo,
I appreciate you are responding to Rods input but for the benefit of one
who is not so in tune with the 'speak' could you expand your statements a
little please?
Maybe there is something there I can work with?

Thanks
 
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Folkert Rienstra
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Posts: n/a
 
      14th Aug 2003

"Leo" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "Rod Speed" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<bhbr5k$10g27m$(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de>...
> > > CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
> > > the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".

> >
> > > The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.

> >
> >
> > See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
> > the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
> > back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.

>
> Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case. In this case
> problems with HDD's system area are most probable. Some firmware
> modules, which rewrite during work (SMART tables etc.).


First it is the Maxtors that overwrite the reserved area and now
it is the Western Digitals? There must be a conspiricy going on!

> It can be checked up by swapping the logic card.
>
> Leonid

 
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Rod Speed
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      14th Aug 2003

ByteLess <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Rod Speed <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
>> ByteLess <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote


>>> I have a WD75DA 7.5GB HDD that the
>>> system boot says "no fixed disk present".


>>> The system (PIII - 64MB sdram - Win98SE) halted whilst transferring data.
>>> I have tried <fdisk /mbr>and swapped the HDD into another machine.


>>> CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
>>> the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".


>>> The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.


>>> Assuming the HDD is shot, what processes can
>>> I investigate to recover some of the files on this HDD?


>> See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
>> the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
>> back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.


> Thanks for the response Rod, I followed up by:
> Running Western Digitals "Lifeguard Diags" for drives under 137GB (EIDE).
> Rebooting with Win98se DOS disk.


> I have also obtained the later Ver. 10 of this diagnostic tool/s.
> I have also written to WD,, buut from past experience I
> will not be holding my breath waiting for a response (any).


Yeah, most likely they'll just say that since their diagnostic says
the drive is fine, that whatever appears to have scrambled the
data on the drive is nothing to do with them, even if they do reply.

They'd be right if thats what they say.

> Interestingly enough the BIOS will not boot beyond "primary hard disk fail"
> until I tell the CMOS there is no HDD mounted. This remains the same for
> either a DOS boot or using the LGDiags image boot disk.


Yeah, in some situations there can be a real mess config
data wise and that can prevent the boot from happening.

Can you put the drive in another system as a slave
drive ? That may allow you to boot and run something
to recover the data on the drive like R-Studio etc.

> DRFAT32 from the LG image boot, reports on booting A:\
> "no valid FAT32 drive found".


> The diagnostic returned Codes 0000 on both
> the "Quick Check" and "Extended Check".
> 0000 is "no errors found".
> This, after finding the drive and relaying its info.
> The extended check did a type of "scandisk" taking about 5mins to complete.


Thats a pretty good indication that there isnt anything physically wrong
with the drive, just the data structures have got scrambled somehow.

> If I have this right (?) the diagnostic is telling me there are no physical
> errors on the drive , however the FAT is destroyed/unreadable.


Correct.

> Past experience has seen errors where there are two copies of the
> FAT seen on a HDD boot with the WIndows DOS boot asking which
> the operator wants to use -I always have gone for the default.


Have you seen that much ? With that particular hard drive ?

> As this HDD is not even getting to the DMI update part of the
> BIOS boot then I am having trouble getting my head around the
> obvious message that the BIOS cannot read the drive table
> (yet the architecture is seen in CMOS auto-detect)
> and therefore fails to recognise the drive on booting.
> This, I cannot understand.


There's a number of possibilitys. There is some geometry
info in the MBR and if the MBR gets clobbered somehow,
so its got bad data in it, the bios can get royally confused
when it trys to use the bad data assuming its valid data.

> Like, the BIOS has stuff all say in what
> FAT will be used on any HDD..yeh?


Yes, but it does use whats in the MBR to work out
what partitions are on the drive and which one to boot.
It can get rather confused if that MBR has bad data in it.

> Also remembering I swapped this HDD out to another
> machine with a foreign (to original) BIOS so how the
> heck can a FAT be universal to all BIOS..bets me !


All the bios is doing at that stage is looking at the partition
table in the MBR, deciding which is the active partition that
needs to be booted from, without knowing anything about
how to boot from it. The boot sector of the bootable
partition has a tiny fragment of code that looks after
actually booting the partition and its that code that has
to know how to boot the partition. Thats written to the
boot sector of the partition at format time normally.

> I am now convinced the HDD is more likely quite
> OK in respect of data retention and physical order.


Yes, no evidence that its dead or dying.

> Simply a matter of unlocking the door on the boot sector.


Yes.

> Question is, How does one get the key? <g>


> Care to speculate ? ;-)


You should be able to rebuild the boot sector.
Hopefully Joep or Svend or both will comment.
They both have tools for that sort of thing.

> ______________________________________________________
>
> feedback from LifeGuard Diags Tool
>
> Mod # : WD75DA - 00AWA1
> Ser # : WD - WMA1J1533560
> Firmware Ver.: 07.21L07
> C H S : 15520 15 63
> Drive (0,1): 0 Port 0x01F0
> DCM : DRBEQHB
> Build Date : 24/08/00
>
> --------------------------------------------



 
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Rod Speed
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      14th Aug 2003

Leo <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Rod Speed <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote


>>> CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
>>> the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".


>>> The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.


>> See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
>> the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
>> back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.


> Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case.


Bullshit.

> In this case problems with HDD's system area are most probable.


More bullshit.

> Some firmware modules, which rewrite during work (SMART
> tables etc.). It can be checked up by swapping the logic card.




 
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Leo
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      15th Aug 2003
"Folkert Rienstra" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<bhgj6m$ikfi$(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de>...

> First it is the Maxtors that overwrite the reserved area and now
> it is the Western Digitals? There must be a conspiricy going on!
>

It also is typical for Fujitsu, in case of malfunction CL-SH8671, and
in some cases for Quantum. WD - only for model AA and newer. For
Fujitsu and Maxtors, for example, it is the reason more than 50%
references in data recovery service.

2ByteLess:
You can check your HDD with any non-destructive surface test, for
example with http://www.alkor.ru/~00115800/HDDTEST.ZIP. If there will
not be any good sectors, my diagnosis most likely is true.
Publicly accessible tools for correction of this malfunction does not
exist (if it really defect in firmware), it is necessary to address to
data recovery professionals.
HDD's PCB most likely is good, because the spindle turns also you can
see the correct name of model and serial number.

2Rod Speed:
Your version of diagnosis?

Leonid
 
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Rod Speed
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      15th Aug 2003

Leo <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Folkert Rienstra <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote


>> First it is the Maxtors that overwrite the reserved area and now
>> it is the Western Digitals? There must be a conspiricy going on!


> It also is typical for Fujitsu, in case of malfunction CL-SH8671,
> and in some cases for Quantum. WD - only for model AA and
> newer. For Fujitsu and Maxtors, for example, it is the reason
> more than 50% references in data recovery service.


> 2ByteLess:
> You can check your HDD with any non-destructive surface test, for
> example with http://www.alkor.ru/~00115800/HDDTEST.ZIP. If there will
> not be any good sectors, my diagnosis most likely is true.
> Publicly accessible tools for correction of this malfunction does not
> exist (if it really defect in firmware), it is necessary to address to
> data recovery professionals.
> HDD's PCB most likely is good, because the spindle turns also you can
> see the correct name of model and serial number.


> 2Rod Speed:
> Your version of diagnosis?


That this latest is nothing like your original
'Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case'



 
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ByteLess
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      15th Aug 2003
On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 04:30:53 +1000, "Rod Speed" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>
>Leo <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message

snipt
>
>> Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case.

>
>Bullshit.
>

I thought so too, hence the thrust of my response.

>> In this case problems with HDD's system area are most probable.

>
>More bullshit.
>

I detest doing "I agree with that" posts, however in the vein of trying to
disseminate misinformation I have to say IAWT so as to preserve the
integrity of method research into any future problems,,, for others.

/me turns the cap around (brim to front)

</geekdom>
 
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