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Old 04-11-2009, 02:54 PM   #1
michael.schmid
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Defective External USB Hard Disk - Data Recovery


Hello Forums,

this is my first post. I'm struggling with what (to me) appears to be a hardware defect in an external USB hard disk (Brand: Western Digital, Model: 3208 G). The drive cannot be mounted/formatted using either Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista or Linux - I tested this using 3 systems.

My system is:
-------------

Ubuntu Intrepid, Kernel: 2.6.28-11-generic (64 bit)

This is what I tried so far/what showed up in the various log files after the drive has been attached (note that the drive has been recognized as "/dev/sdd"):

/var/log/messages:
------------------

Apr 11 20:36:51 localhost kernel: [ 3948.553049] usb 2-1: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 3
Apr 11 20:36:51 localhost kernel: [ 3948.687024] usb 2-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
Apr 11 20:36:51 localhost kernel: [ 3948.688044] scsi7 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.691655] scsi 7:0:0:0: Direct-Access WD 1.06 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.697006] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Very big device. Trying to use READ CAPACITY(16).
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.733631] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] READ CAPACITY(16) failed
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.733646] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE,SUGGEST_OK
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.733660] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Use 0xffffffff as device size
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.733678] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] 4294967296 512-byte hardware sectors: (2.19 TB/2.00 TiB)
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.735502] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Write Protect is off
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.738485] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Very big device. Trying to use READ CAPACITY(16).
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.743864] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] READ CAPACITY(16) failed
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.743873] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE,SUGGEST_OK
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.743884] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Use 0xffffffff as device size
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.743898] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] 4294967296 512-byte hardware sectors: (2.19 TB/2.00 TiB)
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.768385] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Write Protect is off
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.768429] sdd:<3>end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.789834] Dev sdd: unable to read RDB block 0
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.801822] unable to read partition table
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.801978] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Attached SCSI disk
Apr 11 20:36:56 localhost kernel: [ 3953.802058] sd 7:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 0

dmesg:
------

[ 3948.553049] usb 2-1: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 3
[ 3948.687024] usb 2-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
[ 3948.688044] scsi7 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
[ 3948.690264] usb-storage: device found at 3
[ 3948.690271] usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
[ 3953.689375] usb-storage: device scan complete
[ 3953.691655] scsi 7:0:0:0: Direct-Access WD 1.06 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0
[ 3953.697006] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Very big device. Trying to use READ CAPACITY(16).
[ 3953.733631] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] READ CAPACITY(16) failed
[ 3953.733646] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE,SUGGEST_OK
[ 3953.733660] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Use 0xffffffff as device size
[ 3953.733678] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] 4294967296 512-byte hardware sectors: (2.19 TB/2.00 TiB)
[ 3953.735502] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Write Protect is off
[ 3953.735512] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Mode Sense: 00 00 00 00
[ 3953.735520] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 3953.738485] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Very big device. Trying to use READ CAPACITY(16).
[ 3953.743864] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] READ CAPACITY(16) failed
[ 3953.743873] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE,SUGGEST_OK
[ 3953.743884] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Use 0xffffffff as device size
[ 3953.743898] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] 4294967296 512-byte hardware sectors: (2.19 TB/2.00 TiB)
[ 3953.768385] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Write Protect is off
[ 3953.768400] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Mode Sense: 00 00 00 00
[ 3953.768409] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 3953.768429] sdd:<3>end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.772889] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 3953.774838] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.774851] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 3953.778063] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.778066] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 3953.779809] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.779812] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 3953.781811] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.781814] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 3953.781941] ldm_validate_partition_table(): Disk read failed.
[ 3953.783811] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.783814] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 3953.785938] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.785941] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 3953.787816] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.787821] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 3953.789811] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.789815] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 3953.789834] Dev sdd: unable to read RDB block 0
[ 3953.791809] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.793813] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.795811] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 24
[ 3953.797811] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 24
[ 3953.799867] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.801809] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.801822] unable to read partition table
[ 3953.801978] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdd] Attached SCSI disk
[ 3953.802058] sd 7:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 0
[ 3953.835826] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.837813] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.972867] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 3953.974825] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 4592.844820] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 4592.844827] __ratelimit: 16 callbacks suppressed
[ 4592.844831] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 4592.844836] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 1
[ 4592.844838] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 2
[ 4592.844841] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 3
[ 4592.845809] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 4592.845814] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 4592.846809] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 4294967288
[ 4592.846812] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 536870911
[ 4592.848809] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 4294967288
[ 4592.848812] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 536870911
[ 4592.850869] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 4592.850891] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 4592.850917] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 1
[ 4592.850928] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 2
[ 4592.853464] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 4592.866825] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 4592.867809] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 5806.296822] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 5806.296830] __ratelimit: 7 callbacks suppressed
[ 5806.296833] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 5806.296838] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 1
[ 5806.296841] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 2
[ 5806.296844] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 3
[ 5806.298811] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 5806.298814] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 5889.055880] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 5889.055916] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 5889.055946] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 1
[ 5889.055958] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 2
[ 5889.055969] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 3
[ 5889.059976] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 5889.059987] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 5899.018747] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 5899.018771] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0
[ 5899.018804] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 1
[ 5899.018815] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 2
[ 5899.018827] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 3
[ 5899.023462] end_request: I/O error, dev sdd, sector 0
[ 5899.023473] Buffer I/O error on device sdd, logical block 0

An attempted mount gives:
-------------------------

sudo mount -t ntfs /dev/sdd /media/

Error reading bootsector: Input/output error
Failed to mount '/dev/sdd': Input/output error
NTFS is either inconsistent, or there is a hardware fault, or it's a
SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware. In the first case run chkdsk /f on Windows
then reboot into Windows twice. The usage of the /f parameter is very
important! If the device is a SoftRAID/FakeRAID then first activate
it and mount a different device under the /dev/mapper/ directory, (e.g.
/dev/mapper/nvidia_eahaabcc1). Please see the 'dmraid' documentation
for more details.

An attemp to fdisk the thing:
-----------------------------

sudo fdisk /dev/sdd

Unable to read /dev/sdd


I'm running out of ideas, can anybody help - tools/related documentation are appreciated. What I'm really trying to do is to rescue some of the data (in case this really *is* a hardware defect).

Thanks in advance,
michael
 
Old 04-11-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
linus72
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Check out my multidistro recovery/rescue/toolkit below on the line...
The post tells you what's in it-lots of stuff-and it just works.
 
Old 04-11-2009, 06:59 PM   #3
thorkelljarl
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?, with apologies for the nieve questions...

The disk does spin up?
What if anything occurred to put the drive in this state?
What kind of partitions and file systems should be seen, NTFS?

Considering that the first problem is recognition, what about trying a live KNOPPIX to see if it can pick up the drive. There may be possibilities in the cheatcodes.

?, that is I'm guessing.
 
Old 04-11-2009, 10:28 PM   #4
hurry_hui
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I am not sure with this.

Your running kernel is too generic you need to recompile it. at Partition Type section select CONFIG_EFI_PARTITION =y (EFI GUID Partition support) to enable large HDD.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 06:02 AM   #5
michael.schmid
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Registered: Apr 2009
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First, thank you for all your answers, really appreciate it.

@linus72:
Thanks for the link, although I think your distro won't help in my case. Just to clarify things: I'm working on an up and running Ubuntu system, the problematic hard disk is "just" an external disk with some personal data on it. I can boot into my system fine and have all backup/recovery tools the Linux world has to offer at my hands. I'm really trying to get this thing done from my system as is, which should be possible. Please correct me if I misunderstood your post.

@thorkelljarl:
Yes, the disk does spin up. I forgot to mention that one can hear the characteristic click sounds some hard disks make before they go boom. My internal Seagate hard disk produced similar noise before it destroyed my data a few years ago. I don't get your second question, forgive me, english is not my native language:

Quote:
What if anything occurred to put the drive in this state?
And yes, you are correct, the drive should hold a single NTFS partition that uses all available space (500GB). Will try out Knoppix if all else fails, though I think it should be possible to access the drive from my current system.

@hurry_hui:
I respectfully disagree. Sure, the kernel is generic in that it is the "standard" Ubuntu kernel that is designed to run on most systems. But it recognizes both NTFS and large volumes, in fact the system I'm on itself has a 500 GB hard disk (RAID), and I can access a 1 TB external drive (NTFS) without problems.

Do you guys know any tools I could try? I really try to restore and backup what is still left, but even a ddrescue (which to my knowledge is as low-level as it gets without special hardware) does not work:

Code:
ddrescue if=/dev/sd of=/home/michael/rescue bs=512
 
Old 04-12-2009, 07:57 AM   #6
thorkelljarl
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Translation...

What happened? What did you or anything do to it? What changed?

I suggest that you try the Clonezilla live-cd to see if you can clone a copy of the HDD. Did you try Knoppix or another live-cd and is the HDD at least seen?

The question is whether the HDD is damaged so that nothing can be read from it or is assessable. You are now not sure if the problem is limited or not, nor if it is a question of a fault of the hardware or the data on it.

If you could make a full cloned copy, you could use recovery and forensic tools such as testdisk to work on the copy. These tools are on several live-cds: SystemRescueCD, UBCD, Parted Magic. Here is the standard live-cd list.

http://www.livecdlist.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TestDisk

The documentation from the Clonezilla site is sparse but google will give you more guidance and howtos.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 04-12-2009 at 08:10 AM.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 08:10 AM   #7
onebuck
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Hi,

Since you want to utilize your existing install then use 'test-disk'.

I also suggest that you get the LiveCD(s) 'UBCD' or 'SystemRescueCD' to have on hand for future problems with forensics for your system(s).

These links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
 
Old 04-12-2009, 08:56 AM   #8
linus72
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I have both SystemRescueCD-1.1.7(latest). and UBCD + zorOS which can clone disks etc
You should try it-I burned it to CD-RW using a Lite-On DVD writer then to CD-R once I verified everything worked.
Doesn't hurt to check it out...
 
Old 04-12-2009, 10:21 AM   #9
michael.schmid
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Ok guys,

since neither the Knoppix Live CD nor testdisk (thanks for the suggestion) are able to access the drive, and the drive noise gets more "disturbing" every minute I close this case as a hardware failure and get my replacement. Thanks for all the help and valuable suggestions!
 
Old 04-12-2009, 12:01 PM   #10
thorkelljarl
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Just so you know...

For early warning, I have the smart function activated in my BIOS and on my HDD. You have at least testdisk ready for the next disaster. Did someone here mention backup, or is that beyond the limits of tact? Sorry
 
Old 04-12-2009, 12:36 PM   #11
michael.schmid
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Yeah, using S.M.A.R.T. is a good idea. I have it enabled for all my drives, getting mails on your root account that say "Your drive is gonna destroy itself!" is just fancy ;-). I already gave the backup advice to the person whose disk I tried to repair.
 
Old 04-13-2009, 01:52 AM   #12
Junior Hacker
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My externals have been known to disappear in the past also, not sure what happens, just know it happens after using them in Linux. The only way I can get any OS to see them again is to slap it into my desktop as an extra drive, boot up Windows, look around, shutdown and put it back in it's case and it shows up again in any OS.

I do data recovery and have some questions...
Did you run chkdsk /f as advised in the error you posted in the first post?
Are you saying the drive started clicking and is getting worst?

Your ddrescue command won't work unless you specify a disk, /dev/sd is not a disk.
 
Old 04-13-2009, 04:04 AM   #13
michael.schmid
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Quote:
My externals have been known to disappear in the past also, not sure what happens, just know it happens after using them in Linux. The only way I can get any OS to see them again is to slap it into my desktop as an extra drive, boot up Windows, look around, shutdown and put it back in it's case and it shows up again in any OS.
Never had this problem, and definitely did not have it this time, because this drive is owned by a Windows-only user. I first tried to repair it on Windows (both XP and Vista).

Quote:
Did you run chkdsk /f as advised in the error you posted in the first post?
I tried to, but without success. Windows did not recognize the drive, not even the "volume manager" (is it called this way in an english Windows XP?). I even tried a different USB cable just to be sure it was not the cable.

Quote:
Are you saying the drive started clicking and is getting worst?
Yes. Heard similar sounds before one of my internal HDDs stopped working.

Quote:
Your ddrescue command won't work unless you specify a disk, /dev/sd is not a disk.
True, sorry this was a typo. Should have read "/dev/sdd".
 
Old 04-14-2009, 11:29 PM   #14
Junior Hacker
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I have recovered data off of drives that started clicking and eventually stopped spinning. If you Google hard enough, you might be able to find out how it's done. If I were to post the method I used I surely would be cutting my own throat.
Thing is though, is that my trick is to get a non spinning drive to spin again to make a one time end to end read to acquire an image.
You mentioned earlier that the drive still spins. Which means if you are not getting a bios error during P.O.S.T., the operating should see something via the fdisk -l command. And if it does see a drive, there should not be a problem getting an image of it. I don't use ddrescue, rather I just use dd, or dcfldd for a noisy drive so I can watch the progress, and since dcfldd defaults to block size it is much faster. If you used /dev/sdd in your ddrescue command, it should have worked.

If operating systems don't see it, it probably does not spin. If you're sure it spins and operating systems don't see it, see if you can get a floppy DOS firmware flash application for it from the manufacturer and do the flash on a computer where it is the only hard drive installed.
Western digital also has Data Lifeguard for free that you should try first, I believe you can get both DOS and Windows executable variations of it. There is also an application called DiskWizard, and Ontrack Disk Manager which is the application Maxblast (Maxtor) and Data Lifeguard (Western digital) use.
 
Old 04-14-2009, 11:35 PM   #15
Junior Hacker
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One thing I forgot to mention:
You never mentioned removing the drive from the enclosure and installing it directly in a computer. I had mentioned that earlier for you and others whom come across this thread as it can/has made drives visible where they were not visible from an enclosure.
 
  


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