How can I reformat a (very) damaged hard disk ?


C

Castor Nageur

Hi all,

On of my 2 TB HDD (formatted in NTFS) felt on the floor (the disk was
off when it felt).

At first, it looked as if the disk was still working fine but after
one month of use, the disk began to fail and I completely lost access
to my data a few days ago.

Thanks to ddrescue (a wonderful Linux recovery tool), I was able to
copy the recoverable data to another brand new 2 TB HDD and thanks to
some data recovery tool, I recovered about 1/3 of my data from the
copy.
(hopefully, all my personnal data was backed up so I only lost GB of
recorded TV shows ;-))

Actually, it seems that the more I try to read the damaged disk, the
more it becomes unaccessible.

I would like to find a way to reformat it so I can use the undamaged
area of the disk.
I tried the WD low-level format/erase tools, tried almost all the
tools provided on the UBCD 5 but none of these tools work.

I am pretty sure that my HDD is unrecoverable but if anyone one know a
tool which could help me, he would be welcome !

Thanks in advance.


Here is a snapshot of my current SMART data:

WDC WD20EARS-00MVWB0

ID Current Worst
ThresholdData Status
(01) Raw Read Error Rate 179 179 51
2977 ok
(03) Spin Up Time 253 201 21
1000 ok
(04) Start/Stop Count 100 100 0
228 ok
(05) Reallocated Sector Count 183 183 140
334 warning
(07) Seek Error Rate 200 200 0
0 ok
(09) Power On Hours Count 100 100 0
403 ok
(0A) Spin Retry Count 100 100 0
0 ok
(0B) Calibration Retry Count 100 100 0
0 ok
(0C) Power Cycle Count 100 100 0
189 ok
(C0) Unsafe Shutdown Count 200 200 0
158 ok
(C1) Load Cycle Count 200 200 0
826 ok
(C2) Temperature 116 106 0
34 ok
(C4) Reallocated Event Count 197 197 0
3 warning
(C5) Current Pending Sector 200 199 0
0 ok
(C6) Offline Uncorrectable 200 200 0
1 ok
(C7) Ultra DMA CRC Error Count 200 200 0
0 ok
(C8) Write Error Rate 200 200 0
1 ok
 
Ad

Advertisements

R

Rod Speed

Castor said:
On of my 2 TB HDD (formatted in NTFS) felt on the floor (the disk was
off when it felt).
At first, it looked as if the disk was still working fine but after
one month of use, the disk began to fail and I completely lost access
to my data a few days ago.
Thanks to ddrescue (a wonderful Linux recovery tool), I was able to
copy the recoverable data to another brand new 2 TB HDD and thanks to
some data recovery tool, I recovered about 1/3 of my data from the copy.
(hopefully, all my personnal data was backed up so I only lost GB of
recorded TV shows ;-))
Actually, it seems that the more I try to read the damaged disk, the
more it becomes unaccessible.
I would like to find a way to reformat it so I can use the undamaged area of the disk.

Its far from clear that there actually is an undamaged area of the disk.

If the fall caused some damage that produced a head crash when the
drive was used after the fall, there may well be a significant amount of
debris floating around inside the drive and thats whats producing the
symptom you are seeing of it become more and more inaccessible.
I tried the WD low-level format/erase tools, tried almost all the
tools provided on the UBCD 5 but none of these tools work.

What do you mean by work ? Nothing will allow you to use the
undamaged area of the disk if there is no undamaged area of
the disk because debris is floating around in the drive.
I am pretty sure that my HDD is unrecoverable

Yep, bet it is.
but if anyone one know a tool which could help me, he would be welcome !

There is no such animal if debris is floating around in the drive.
Thanks in advance.
Here is a snapshot of my current SMART data:
WDC WD20EARS-00MVWB0

ID Current Worst
ThresholdData Status
(01) Raw Read Error Rate 179 179 51
2977 ok
(03) Spin Up Time 253 201 21
1000 ok
(04) Start/Stop Count 100 100 0
228 ok
(05) Reallocated Sector Count 183 183 140
334 warning

Thats a hell of a lot of reallocated sectors and has
likely exceeded the capacity of the bad sector map.
 
C

Castor Nageur

Thats a hell of a lot of reallocated sectors and has
likely exceeded the capacity of the bad sector map.

Yes, you are probably right :-( (I just expected that I could save a
little of this HDD I just bought $100 6 months ago).
I always dreamed of opening a HDD and see how it is made inside (even
if plenty of photos of opened HDD exist).
I can now achieve my dream ;-) and therefore I will see how much
damaged it is.
 
A

Arno

Castor Nageur said:
On of my 2 TB HDD (formatted in NTFS) felt on the floor (the disk was
off when it felt).
At first, it looked as if the disk was still working fine but after
one month of use, the disk began to fail and I completely lost access
to my data a few days ago.
Thanks to ddrescue (a wonderful Linux recovery tool), I was able to
copy the recoverable data to another brand new 2 TB HDD and thanks to
some data recovery tool, I recovered about 1/3 of my data from the
copy.
(hopefully, all my personnal data was backed up so I only lost GB of
recorded TV shows ;-))
Actually, it seems that the more I try to read the damaged disk, the
more it becomes unaccessible.
I would like to find a way to reformat it so I can use the undamaged
area of the disk.

Forget it. There is no "undamaged" area. Damage due to mechanical
shock always is head or bearing damage, affecting the whole
device. The defective data is just an indirect effect of that.

Arno
 
G

GMAN

Yes, you are probably right :-( (I just expected that I could save a
little of this HDD I just bought $100 6 months ago).
I always dreamed of opening a HDD and see how it is made inside (even
if plenty of photos of opened HDD exist).
I can now achieve my dream ;-) and therefore I will see how much
damaged it is.
If there is no sign of physical damage to the outside, contact the
manufacturer and get that thing replaced under warranty.
 
C

Castor Nageur

If there is no sign of physical damage to the outside, contact the
manufacturer and get that thing replaced under warranty.

The disk has absolutely no external sign of damage.
Thanks for telling me this before I open it and definitely lost the
warranty :)
I am just going to try to wipe what can be wiped because I do not want
to send my personal data to some unknown people.
 
Ad

Advertisements

G

GMAN

The disk has absolutely no external sign of damage.
Thanks for telling me this before I open it and definitely lost the
warranty :)
I am just going to try to wipe what can be wiped because I do not want
to send my personal data to some unknown people.
Good idea. If not possible, i wouldnt sweat it as the manufacturers dont have
a habbit of doing that. But if possle, do a wipe at least using some program
like this free one. Dont let the name fool you , its not a true llf like in
the old days. Its as close as one can get, it wipes the drive.



http://hddguru.com/software/HDD-LLF-Low-Level-Format-Tool/
 
C

Castor Nageur

Good idea.  If not possible, i wouldnt sweat it as the manufacturers dont have
a habbit of doing that. But if possle, do a wipe at least using some program
like  this free one. Dont let the name fool you , its not a true llf like in
the old days. Its as close as one can get, it wipes the drive.

http://hddguru.com/software/HDD-LLF-Low-Level-Format-Tool/

Thanks for the tool, I am going to try it.

I just filled the RMA so I can return the disk to WDC.
I wrote "H.S" (~ "out of order" in English) on the disk label with a
pencil so I do not confuse it with a good disk (I have many Caviar
Green HDD at home). The label is still perfectly readable. Do you
think writing on the disk could cancel the guarantee ?
 
G

GMAN

Thanks for the tool, I am going to try it.

I just filled the RMA so I can return the disk to WDC.
I wrote "H.S" (~ "out of order" in English) on the disk label with a
pencil so I do not confuse it with a good disk (I have many Caviar
Green HDD at home). The label is still perfectly readable. Do you
think writing on the disk could cancel the guarantee ?
Just wipe it off before you put it in the box to ship to WD.
 
C

Castor Nageur

Just wipe it off before you put it in the box to ship to WD.

Impossible, this is the pencil with the permanent ink I use for
writing on my cds.
I am going to try. I will only lose the postage if it does not work.
 
J

Joseph Terner

The disk has absolutely no external sign of damage.
Thanks for telling me this before I open it and definitely lost the
warranty :)

You already lost it by dropping the drive on the floor. Damage by
excessive G-forces is easily detected by just looking inside the drive.
So WD bills your credit card with $200 for the replacement drive.
I am just going to try to wipe what can be wiped because I do not want
to send my personal data to some unknown people.

For legit RMA cases (say SMART self-test failures due to defective
sectors) just send the drive an ATA SECURITY ERASE command with MHDD.
Then it wipes itself without further intervention and is ready for
shipping.

A fall-damaged drive is not able to read, write or erase something
reliable. The only way to make sure, there isn't any data left, is to
dismantle it phsysically.

Joseph
 
Ad

Advertisements

C

Castor Nageur

You already lost it by dropping the drive on the floor. Damage by
excessive G-forces is easily detected by just looking inside the drive.
So WD bills your credit card with $200 for the replacement drive.

Yes, I suppose you are right.
Because the drive did not fall from a high point and was off (the HDD
was initially set vertically in an external box then fell flat on the
floor). I expected that this event may not be the cause of my
problems.
I neither gave my credit car number nor sent the drive yet. I think I
will keep my damaged drive.

But what happen if you buy a HDD damaged by the vendor (so you can't
know it before you buy it) and you get problems months later.
Will WD charge you $200 for fixing the drive ?
 
R

Rod Speed

Castor Nageur wrote
Yes, I suppose you are right.

No he isnt.
Because the drive did not fall from a high point and was off (the HDD
was initially set vertically in an external box then fell flat on the floor).
I expected that this event may not be the cause of my problems.

Likely it was.
I neither gave my credit car number nor sent the drive yet.
I think I will keep my damaged drive.
But what happen if you buy a HDD damaged by the vendor (so you
can't know it before you buy it) and you get problems months later.

WD gets to supply you with a new drive.
Will WD charge you $200 for fixing the drive ?

Nope, they cant.
 
A

Arno

You already lost it by dropping the drive on the floor. Damage by
excessive G-forces is easily detected by just looking inside the drive.
So WD bills your credit card with $200 for the replacement drive.

And modern HDDs often have g-sensors, just for this purpose.
Also know that what you intend to do is fraud and immoral.
For legit RMA cases (say SMART self-test failures due to defective
sectors) just send the drive an ATA SECURITY ERASE command with MHDD.
Then it wipes itself without further intervention and is ready for
shipping.
A fall-damaged drive is not able to read, write or erase something
reliable. The only way to make sure, there isn't any data left, is to
dismantle it phsysically.

Indeed.

Arno
 
A

Arno

Yes, I suppose you are right.
Because the drive did not fall from a high point and was off (the HDD
was initially set vertically in an external box then fell flat on the
floor). I expected that this event may not be the cause of my
problems.
I neither gave my credit car number nor sent the drive yet. I think I
will keep my damaged drive.
But what happen if you buy a HDD damaged by the vendor (so you can't
know it before you buy it) and you get problems months later.
Will WD charge you $200 for fixing the drive ?

Difficult. Typically yes, unless you can show it was
damaged in shipping.

Arno
 
C

christophe colomb

And modern HDDs often have g-sensors, just for this purpose.
Also know that what you intend to do is fraud and immoral.

I did not want to fraud or being immoral : the drive only fell from
vertical to horizontal position and I just expected that it was not
the cause of the problem.

* Is there a way to access the g-sensors so I am sure about this ?

* Does my SMART data (cf. my first post) tends to prove that my HDD
was damaged by a g-shock ?

If the sensors are OK, I think I could return my disk back to WD.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 
Ad

Advertisements

C

Castor Nageur

And modern HDDs often have g-sensors, just for this purpose.
Also know that what you intend to do is fraud and immoral.

I did not want to fraud or being immoral. The unit just fell from
vertical to horizontal position so I am not sure this is the
consequence of my problems.

* Is there a way to access to the g-sensors data ?

* Does my SMART data reflect a damage due to a g-shock ?

If the sensors are OK, I suppose I can send the HDD back to WD.
Thanks in advance for helping me.
 
C

Castor Nageur

* Is there a way to access to the g-sensors data ?

I found that my new Seagate drive has a "g-sense error rate" SMART
property so I suppose this is the sensor you were talking about. I
deduce that my faulty drive does not have the property so it has no g-
sensor.
 
G

GMAN

Impossible, this is the pencil with the permanent ink I use for
writing on my cds.
I am going to try. I will only lose the postage if it does not work.
Is you meant a permamnant marker, then a small amount of rubbing alchohol will
remove the ink. I wouldnt worry about it though, they would most likely not
care if its written on. I have put a large X on my drives when damaged and
they never minded.
 
Ad

Advertisements

G

GMAN

Yes, I suppose you are right.
Because the drive did not fall from a high point and was off (the HDD
was initially set vertically in an external box then fell flat on the
floor). I expected that this event may not be the cause of my
problems.
I neither gave my credit car number nor sent the drive yet. I think I
will keep my damaged drive.
\\\


You only have to give a credit card number if you are expecting them to cross
ship or advance ship a replacement to you. If you are just sending it in and
then they are sending out a replacement, you do not need a credit card number
on file. Dont let people scare you, get a replacement from WD.


But what happen if you buy a HDD damaged by the vendor (so you can't
know it before you buy it) and you get problems months later.
Will WD charge you $200 for fixing the drive ?


NO,
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top